More like the strangely downbeat COMMUNION than CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, this alien-visitors drama features a plot reversal that transforms it into a kind of E.T. GOES BACK TO THE FUTURE.
Paul Corliss (Parker Stevenson) is stigmatized because he claims to have been the victim of alien abduction, and his wife Annie (Erin Gray) is becoming less and less supportive. Meanwhile, the US Air Force intercepts a sightseeing alien ship. Loose cannon Lieutenant Colonel Dan Lerner (Dirk
Benedict) boards the downed vehicle and goes spaceman hunting; saner scientific heads rescue one frightened, fragile creature. Paul goes from being told that he's delusional to being kidnapped by military honchos from McClelland Base, who want to find out what he knows about alien life forms.
General Spalding (Chad Everett) bullies Paul into cooperating and forces him to sign an Official Denial pact, common practice in Air Force dealings with survivors of close encounters of the invasive kind.
Paul finds that he can communicate telepathically with the extra-terrestrial he nicknames DOS, and sympathizes with the vulnerable time-space traveller. While Annie frets about her missing mate, Paul learns that this stranger from another dimension must return to the crash site so he can be
nursed back to health by the spirits of his dead comrades. Paul outwits his keepers with General Spalding's unofficial aid, makes a believer of Annie, and drives DOS to the Indian reservation where the Mother Ship fell to Earth. Revived by the space ghosts, DOS reveals he's really a traveler from
mankind's future, and that his people have been abducting earthlings to locate rare genetic material. Before psycho patriot Lerner can intervene, DOS makes his getaway, but only after miraculously enabling Annie to become pregnant with a child who will secure the healthy future of the human race.
Near its end, OFFICIAL DENIAL takes a startling turn that doesn't make much sense in light of everything that's gone before. What starts out as a gentle alien/human buddy movie becomes a "we've got to save mankind from itself" adventure. It's two movies in one, and neither is well done. There's
more energy in the first-hand accounts of spaceship sightings and abductions on "A Current Affair" than in any of the performances here, and the production values are an ongoing problem--the alien's time capsule wouldn't look out of place in an Ed Wood film. Right down to its adorable alien (which
seems to have been zipped into an asbestos suit), OFFICIAL DENIAL is handicapped by having neither the brains not the budget to make viewers care whether mankind even has a future. (Violence, profanity.) leave a comment