The Wicksboro Incident
Vanguard // Unrated // $24.95 // February 25, 2003
Review by David Blair | posted April 2, 2003
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The Movie

If I hadn't known this was a fictional story, I might have believed at first this was a real documentary, because the acting by Bobby Harwell is so convincing in his opening interview. However, as the movie moves on, it becomes quite clear that this movie is far from factual, becoming quite silly at times.

The Wicksboro Incident is a fictional documentary that serves as a perfect mix of The Blair Witch Project and X-Files. Yes, this comparison for this movie has been made before, but it is the most accurate way to describe it. The movie begins with an elderly man named Lloyd (Bobby Harwell) telling the unbelievable story of his life. He claims in 1953 he was involved in a secret government project to build devices capable of reading peoples brain waves. With these devices, they were able to determine if a person had psychic powers, and because of the security implications of these devices, the entire town of Wicksboro, Texas was eliminated. Lloyd claims to be the only survivor from the town. (Of course it's never explained how he managed to survive) Lloyd apparently had to leave the state and change his name to keep from being killed. He strongly believes that aliens are invading our planet, and are slowly taking it over, and he believes the government knows all about it.

From here, the movie gets going as Lloyd and two armature documentary filmmakers Mike (Dan Brinkle) and Gary (Kyle Nudo) travel back to the missing town of Wicksboro to find proof of the government conspiracy. During their investigation they realize that they've dug too deep into the cover-up, and find themselves on the run fighting for their lives.

I actually might have really liked this movie if a few things would have been different. First of all the ending is horrible. I won't give it away, but it is excruciatingly unsatisfying. Second, the shaky camera work (ala Blair Witch) is extremely annoying and actually distracts from the content of the movie. Thirdly, I felt the acting started to go downhill as the pace of the movie picked up. And finally, I can take only so many shots of "scary" mysterious helicopters flying overhead.

The Wicksboro Incident definitely has its good moments, like when the team first discovers that they may be in over their heads, and when some of the better chases really kick into high gear, but ultimately the good parts were too few and far in-between. In the end, the excessively long and boring final chase ending, along with some poor acting and poor action in the middle drag this film back into the armature ranks.


Video: This movie is presented in 1.33:1 full screen. Despite being shot fully with mini Digital Video cameras, it looks quite good. As to be expected, there's a fair amount of graininess and pixelation present, but for the most part it looks pretty decent. However if your own a big screen TV or projector setup, this will look pretty bad. (Just a word of caution) Colors appear washed out, and lack any vividness or brightness. It's supposed to look like an armature documentary, and that's exactly how it looks.

Audio: Here we get a 2.0 audio track that's pretty bad. Dialogue is often hard to hear and the musical score isn't as powerful as it should be. But then again if you're shooting for that armature documentary sound, I suppose they hit the nail on the head here too. Also, the audio commentary is the worst sounding commentary I've ever listened too. The track is so distant and unclear, you'd think they'd used an old Sony Walkman to tape the session. Overall, this is a pretty poor sounding DVD.

Extras: This DVD offers a few extras, of which include outtakes, deleted scenes, and an audio commentary. The commentary would have been decent, if it weren't so damn hard to hear. The audio is so bad it forces you to crank up your volume to understand what's being said. Sadly you seemingly pick up more distortion than dialogue. Overall the commentary is fairly boring, but director Richard Lowry has some interesting things to say from time to time.

I suppose if you really liked the movie you will be interested in the outtakes and deleted scenes. However the outtakes aren't very funny, and the deleted scenes are better left unwatched.

Final Thoughts

The Wicksboro Incident is an independent film shot with mini DV cameras, and a shoestring budget. After the slow start, it really starts to gain some momentum, but then crashes back down into the ground toward the end. It really wouldn't have taken much to make this film a whole lot better. In the end though it was a neat idea that just wasn't executed as well as it could have been. Not a terrible movie, but nothing memorable either. Rent It

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