I try to keep my eye open for movies that I might have missed in theatres or that went straight to DVD. The majority of these are hardly worth the time to even watch them, but every once in awhile you come across a gem. I had never heard of THE WICKSBORO INCIDENT before, but after reading the back cover thought that it was worth checking out.
The movie proposes to be a documentary about a former military engineer named Lloyd (Bobby Harwell). The first fifteen minutes of the movie actually look and feel like a real documentary as Lloyd tells his story about his early life, his time in the military, and working as an engineer on some top-secret government projects. The most unusual aspect of his story is when he talks about the town of Wicksboro, Texas where he and two other men spent time working on some secret gadgets for the government that were intended to ferret out extraterrestrial life that was living among us. According to Lloyd, he was in the underground workstation one day when he was attacked by a loud ringing in his ears. His watch starting burning into his skin and he tore it off. Once the ringing stopped, he went above the surface to see what happened and discovered that everyone in the town had mysteriously disappeared. He fled to L.A. to hide among the large population there and has decided that before he dies he wants his story to be told to the world.
After this opening interview with Lloyd, the movie turns into some raw footage with the two friends making the documentary, Mike (Dan Brinkle) and Gary (Kyle Nudo) traveling with Lloyd to Texas in attempt to locate this mysterious town of Wicksboro (which doesn't exist on any maps from the 1940s on) to either validate his claims and continue filming or have to give up and start a new project. At first it seems like Lloyd is just a crazy drunk. He falls asleep smoking cigarettes and drinks often. But, when Lloyd, Mike, and Gary uncover Lloyd's old bunker, they begin to realize that he might be telling the truth. There just might be aliens all around and they don't want their presence known by the masses.
The first fifteen minutes of the film are a long interview with Lloyd and this footage looks and feels most like an actual documentary. There are points that it's obviously not, such as all the photos that are shown, but have the central figure shown just as a black silhouette. Still, the look and feel is right. With that said, this is the part of the movie that many people will find most boring. After this interview, the film's approach changes a bit and though it's never explained you soon realize that you are supposed to be viewing raw footage that was never edited for the documentary.
There are moments of comedy and some moments of creepiness. However, very little of it feels real and most of it lacks the suspense factor that a movie like this should have. There are things that are never explained, such as exactly what has Lloyd been doing (besides trying to stay underground) for the past fifty years. There are also elements that just don't make any sense. After finding the town of Wicksboro apparently razed to the ground, the trio decides later that night to go back and try to locate the door to Lloyd's old lab by using a witching rod. It makes no sense why they would go back in the middle of the night instead of waiting until morning. One of the members has a cell phone. Even if he doesn't use the phone, there's still a GPS device in it and the phone could be tracked, so I'm not sure why he keeps using the phone even after he realizes that they are being tracked through it. There are also points in the movie where there is no light and it's not clear what is going on. At one point there's apparently a car crash, but only two of three people in the car escape from the car.
I was a little disappointed by THE WICKSBORO INCIDENT. After the pace of the movie starting picking up, I thought it was going to turn into a kind of low-budget THEY LIVE. Had the film followed that premise a bit more, I think it would have been more interesting. Instead, THE WICKSBORO INCIDENT is more like a low-budget Blair Witch Project (and that's saying a lot because that film was really, really low budge) but with aliens instead of witches and a long chase scene at the end. The movie's not a complete waste of time, but you're probably only going to want to rent it when the two movies you really want to see are already rented out.