TABLOID WEEK: The Force Beyond (1978)

The Weekly World News was launched in 1979 by The National Enquirer publisher Generoso Pope, Jr. as a means to keep using the black-and-white press that when that higher profile tabloid went to full color. Unlike any of the other rags you’d get at the supermarket, The Weekly World News was unafraid to wildly speculate on aliens, monsters and Elvis. It also introduced Batboy to the world and has been sadly lamented since it ceased publication in 2007 (although you can still read it online).

The Force Beyond is like watching an issue of that long lost tabloid without the smell of the pulp or getting black ink all over your fingers.

Producer Donn Davison did it all. He was a yo-yo master and a professional magician, while also a producer for Film Ventures International. He was a huckster who voiced the pitch to buy how-to sex manuals in roadshows and he ran the Dragon Art Theater in California, all before he did the voiceovers for The Crawling Thing and Creature Of Evil. Now, he’s our host, presenting the words of his wife, Barbara Morris Davison, who also was behind the movie Honey Britches. Whew!

Guess who else brought this movie your way? William Sachs, who also directed The Incredible Melting Man. Strap in. This movie is a non-stop deluge of info, where things are just thrown at you with no set order or reason. Grown men trying to make their own UFOs? Yeah, but did I tell you about the barn in Bangor that just suddenly disappeared?

Meanwhile, the soundtrack is a combination of Moog and chopped and screwed interpretations of Christian music made years before anyone knew who DJ Screw was.

My favorite part of this movie is that it’s voiced by Emperor Rosko, the son of Hollywood mogul Joe Pasternak. He started his career in 1964 on Radio Caroline, a pirate radio station broadcasting from a ship off the coast of Britain. He was joined on the air by his pet bird Alfie and would nearly rap his American-style music intros. He was also the inspiration for the character that Philip Seymour Hoffman played in Pirate Radio. He sounds like a verifiable maniac in this movie.

Honestly: this movie is one of the most ridiculous films I’ve ever witnessed, a whiplash tour through everything from Cayce to Bigfoot, Atlantis and MUFON. It’s the visual version of open calls back when Art Bell was still alive and people would call from Area 51 or the Antichrist would call in. Say it with me: “West of the Rockies, you’re now on Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell!”

You should read the above paragraph as me jumping up and down telling you that you should call off work, cancel any plans and watch this as soon as possible.

You can get The Force Beyond from Cult Action or for free on Amazon Prime.

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