When I heard our friend Dean was doing a documentary about conspiracy theories, I thought it was rather apropos seeing as his character Langly on the X-Files, and subsequently The Lone Gunmen with his compatriots, was certainly embroiled in his fair share. And as Dean travels a lot for conventions, he is often in proximity of all manner of people with theories they are all too ready to share.
This is a part of what his documentary, The Truth Is Out There, is about. How do you search for the truth when there are so many conspiracy theories clouding it? We follow Dean from place to place to see what he’s all about, etc.. Most of us sci-fi nerds will already know anyway, but it’s useful, just in case. And it gives all this a little context, as well.
It’s no wonder that people at conventions will either approach, or all-too-willingly offer when asked, their beliefs and experiences to Dean. Hell, some folks are eager to divulge their secret, personal stories to almost ANYONE expressing vague interest, let alone a guy that portrayed a conspiracy theorist on TV. But interestingly enough, some individuals are NOT so willing to admit the things they believe because of the label it puts on them. It’s hard enough to avoid Crazy in the entertainment industry. Just ask Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen. Talk about a losing battle. Are we sure either of them aren’t really aliens that just aren’t adapting well to Earth’s atmosphere?
Dean speaks to all manner of people, some that surely at first glance will appear, well, slightly “off”. I’d call them “bonkers”, but that might be the name of some comedy club somewhere, and I wouldn’t want to get Dean or any other comic in trouble. Speaking of needing psychological help, it’s interesting that throughout the film, Dean inserts scenes of himself talking to a therapist about himself and his perceptions and feelings. And surprisingly, he seems to be as sane as the rest of us. Just don’t ask him why The Lone Gunmen got canceled (Instead, buy the comic book!). But we also hear from noted scientists, philosophers, producers, political lecturers, authors, physicians, and university professors that will discuss all sorts of fascinating truths our government allegedly attempts to conceal from us. These ”truths” include, but are not limited to, Area 51, who controls the food we eat, and 9/11.
This is no small endeavor. In fact, coming in at about two hours and 20 minutes, it’s a tad daunting. But Dean manages to cover a lot in that time while making us laugh along the way. And for the record, Dean is a bright guy, maybe even a smarty pants (Ha – I kid, I kid! Uh, actually no, he’s pretty fucking smart), and just when I think they’ve introduced a subject my puny dinosaur brain can’t fathom, the discussion causes me to lean closer to the screen out of eyebrow-raising interest. Quantum Mechanics, what now? Tell me more! 🙂
You know, that might be my only complaint. A lot of subjects are covered here in two hours plus. There’s a little about a lot of things here. It leaves me wanting more. I’d like to see Dean take on one or two subjects and really dig into it. In fact, I can see this documentary as a jumping off point to a TV series. Sure, why not – a one hour series on The Discovery Channel or something where he explores a conspiracy theory? I would dig that. He must have thought of that already. In a sane world, Dean would totally get that show. Of course, in a sane world, we might not get some of the imaginative, diverse theories that Dean is exploring here. And that would be a shame, because he entertains us throughout without swaying the audience one way or the other. He lets us make our own decisions, even when it’s pretty clear what they should be. Well, to me, anyway. You talk to Angels? Really? Huh. I see.
Dean Haglund seeks answers to the big questions in an amusing and fascinating documentary that would have made Mulder and Scully proud. But we’ll ask questions along with him just the same, because, frankly, no matter how odd they seem, answers are what we seek.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, amazed I only made one Mulder and Scully reference.