When you watch a Small Town Monsters production, you can be assured of a story set in a small community where residents are terrorized by an unfamiliar creature. “Terror in the Skies” slightly deviates from the usual format as the team enters Chicago to discuss recent sightings of the Mothman with city residents who claim to have seen the cryptid.
In Terror In the Skies, Lyle Blackburn, author of Momo, 2019; Lizardman; and Beyond Boggy Creek narrates, taking viewers above the Chicago night sky, offering breath-taking views of the city lights. At street level, the cinematography tells a different story, capturing intimate glimpses as people talk about their encounters.
It isn’t too long before we leave the windy city to fly over the rolling swamp lands of Southern Illinois, traveling north along the western edge of the state to settle at the junction of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers in the small town of Alton. Locals discuss Native American legends and historical encounters with the over-sized flying cryptids, offering insight into a community’s long-standing fear.
Discussion with cryptozoologists, Loren Coleman and Ken Gerhard as well as other experts in the field, cover statewide sightings and historical events, detailing findings with an objective approach. As with many of Breedlove’s films, the viewer is offered objective information on an intriguing subject with the use of mixed media. There is no attempt to prove or sway belief. Information is presented in a way that allows the audience to simply enjoy and discern as they desire.
With animation sequences by Santino Vitale and Chris Scalf and stunning artwork by Mister Sam Shearon, “Terror in the Skies” runs for about an hour. I would recommend parents be mildly cautious in allowing young children (especially those who are sensitive) to watch this documentary due to some frightening images, but otherwise there is no language, gore, or inappropriate content.
My favorite parts are the opening and closing images combined with the original score by Brandon Dalo. Breedlove does a great job engaging the audience while setting the tone for the entire film. I’m also a big fan of the history that demonstrates how communities are shaped by past experiences.
You can preorder a copy of the DVD here. Release date is scheduled for June 7th.
I asked Seth what inspired him to create this documentary. He replied, “I’d been considering something focusing on Thunderbirds for a while and when we originally hit upon doing the “Monsters of the Midwest trilogy,” it seemed the best opportunity to do one given Illinois long history of “winged wierdies”. Also, I live in the Midwest, and this gave me an opportunity to make a film that was as much about the setting and the fading small towns of the Midwest as it was the Monsters.”
And which Sky Cryptid is his favorite? “I’m genuinely excited about the Thunderbird phenomenon. I didn’t necessarily feel that way going into the project but I think that it’s very believable to me that these giant, anomalous, natural birds could be flying around. So Thunderbirds are my favorite sky-bound Cryptid right now.”
I love this quote Seth used on his Instagram because I think it speaks to many artists and dreamers: “…I just wanna make cool stuff with my friends and not have anyone telling us what to do. I’ll deal with the fallout from taking the hard route as it comes.”
If you’d like to know more about Small Town Monsters and their incredible documentaries, you can visit their website at https://www.smalltownmonsters.com/.
Are you familiar with the Thunderbird and Mothman?
Have you seen any Small Town Monster’s Films? Do you have a favorite?
Do you have a favorite Sky cryptid?