Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Mothman of Point Pleasant

Director - Seth Breedlove (Beast of Whitehall, Minerva Monster)
Release Date - 2017
Genre - Documentary
Tagline - "13 months that changed history"
Format - Screening

Rating (out of 5):

     The mountain state has a rich history with no short supply of lore and legends.  I grew up in McDowell County which is considered the poorest county in the United States.  What it lacked in money it more than made up for in strange tales and unusual encounters.  In the area where I lived there was constant tales of a black panther that roamed the hillside in my hollow and loved to hunt near a giant mining fan that has since been demolished.  A few hollows over was tale of the devil dog, a creature that looked like no known dog or wolf that would mysteriously vanish into thin air.  In that same county there was a tale known as The Sandy Huff Werewolf.  Many people, including several teachers in my elementary school, claimed that there was a werewolf that would hunt the camping grounds in Sandy Huff Hollow prompting the owners to close it every full moon.  The state is known worldwide for the Braxton County Monster and more famously the Mothman.  Both of these stories are mesmerizing and has captivated thousands.  Recently Seth Breedlove and his Small Town Monsters crew visited Point Pleasant to make a new documentary on the Mothman.  The film, The Mothman of Point Pleasant recently screened in Point Pleasant and I was invited along.  I want to thank Seth and the Mothman Museum for having me at the premier. 
     The documentary begins with a brief history of Point Pleasant of some of the landmarks in the area before moving on to the death of Chief Cornstalk and the curse he supposedly placed on the land.  Soon after the area befell flooding and other natural disasters making the locals believe that he did indeed place a curse on the land only to be disproven by a manuscript found belonging to a play about Cornstalk.  We then move forward to the first sighting of the Mothman and several UFO sitings in the area making many believe that the creature was not from this world.  These sighting coincided with one another for 13 months in which time mysterious men wearing all black arrived questions the locals and coercing them to stay quiet.  Then one day the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant collapsed making many suspect that the Mothman was involved or knew it was going to happen and was trying to warn people of their impeding doom. 

     I've seen several documentaries and a few movies based around the Mothman and most have several things in common.  They all rely heavily on the creature itself and the connection it has with the Silver Bridge.  Very few of these documentaries took the route that The Mothman of Point Pleasant did.  The interviews we got were very widespread.  We have some interviews pertaining to Cornstalk and his curse before we made our way to the Mothman interviews.  Some were by townsfolk that lived in the area during the time all the excitement was taking place before we get a few a few pre-recorded interviews from actual witnesses.  These interviews helps put everything into perspective for those that are new to the legend of the Mothman.  On the other side of the coin, I would have loved to hear from some of the locals that are skeptical of the Mothman, men in black, and UFOs.  I am a huge fan of cryptozoology but I do not believe in the subject matter.  The flow of the film is damn near perfect.  The documentary takes a chronological approach which really takes the viewer back to the beginning.  It doesn't jump from topic to topic like most documentaries do.  It is very well put together and very detailed.  The film is very thorough in how it approaches the events that lead to the Silver Bridge collapse.  Very few documentaries hit on every single encounter like this one does which makes it very unique and engaging.  Finally, the film does have a few flaws but these should be taken with a grain of salt due to how I viewed the film.  I did not watch the film on DVD at home or in a typical theater.  Instead, I watched it on a projector so my biggest complaint may not have been the film's fault but there was several times where the film's score was louder than those speaking.  This was painfully obvious when we are listening to the pre-recorded audio.  It was truly a pain to hear them talking over the score.  Overall, The Mothman of Point Pleasant is a must have for any cryptozoology fan.  The documentary sheds light on several moments of the Mothman encounters that most may have not been familiar with.  Check it out!

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