'Flatwoods Monster' Documentary to be Released by Small Town Monsters in April

A still image from the screener copy provided to The Singular Fortean Society, courtesy of Small Town Monsters.

A still image from the screener copy provided to The Singular Fortean Society, courtesy of Small Town Monsters.

Indie production company Small Town Monsters will release their latest documentary, The Flatwoods Monster, on April 6th of this year. 

The documentary, written and directed by Seth Breedlove, focuses not only on the events of September 12th, 1952, when the titular creature was reportedly encountered by a small group of locals in the hills outside of Flatwoods, West Virginia, but also on the sighting's lasting impact on the community.  Incorporating live interviews with surviving eyewitnesses, local experts, and reenacted written testimony, the film carefully tracks the far-reaching effects of this famous monster sighting on the town of Flatwoods and beyond.

A broader examination of UFO culture in the 1950s is used to place the sighting into context, including the national interest the United States had in UFOs during the Cold War and the prevalence of the science fiction genre as a result of heightened fears of global annihilation.  This isn't done to necessarily presuppose a psychosocial explanation for the sighting, so much as to help explain the cultural narrative applied to the experience and how it was reported.  A thorough examination of UFO sightings over West Virginia at the time is also included to provider further context to the experience.

The sighting and its investigation are covered in great detail, with vintage sci-fi reenactments of events that help to recreate the atmosphere of 1950s America.  This aesthetic is present throughout the film, and the retro feel of the music and effects serves to cement the sighting firmly in its time.

The Flatwoods Monster is fundamentally a study of how facts and folklore combine to create the stories that haunt America's back roads and small towns.  It's about the human experience of witnessing the impossible, and how sometimes a broader historical context can actually lend credence to otherwise unbelievable experiences.  But, more specifically to its subject, the film's combination of empathy and objectivity may be the best existing model of how to truly understand what happened just outside of this sleepy West Virginia town in 1952.

Tobias Wayland