Let's have a look today at the now-vintage movies that once gave us our first taste of the para realm and our love for the unknown. I'm breaking it down by decade.
The 1950s led us into the SciFi Era big time. It also introduced us to expeditions (the vogue at the time) that came across amazing "creatures" (yeti, Bigfoot) and haunting/gothic movies were in vogue.
Creature From the Black Lagoon
The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas
The Thing From Another World
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates. This movie affected viewers with the concept that people may not be what we think, that aliens may take over our bodies and minds and even our identities.
Hold That Ghost!
House on Haunted Hill
UFOs: The Truth About Flying Saucers
Night of the Living Dead
The Legend of Hell House
A team consisting of a physicist, his wife, a young female psychic and the only survivor of the previous visit are sent to the notorious Hell House to prove/disprove survival after death. Previous visitors have either been killed or gone mad, and it is up to the team to survive a full week in isolation, and solve the mystery of the Hell House. This para investigation movie also introduced us viewers to the concept that hauntings could be grounded in science and that we really don't know who we are talking to on the other side.
The Amityville Horror
A young, abused and timid 17-year-old girl discovers she has telekinesis and gets pushed to the limit on the night of the school prom by a humiliating prank. Telekinesis was just becoming a really popular subject to discuss in the para realm and movies came out right and left like "Scanners" and "Firestarter" that made us shiver at the concept of someone's mind commanding actions.
The Legend of Boggy CreekA documentary-style drama which questions the existence of a monster in an Arkansas swamp. It is really more of a glimpse at lower-class swamp culture from the seventies, though, than a monster flick. This campy but a-dorkable pseudo-documentary about a swamp-living Bigfoot was terrifying at the time. We had no considered Bigfoot was in our own backyards and in the Deep South. We had to wonder what we would do if we ran into one.
Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot
Scientists mount an expedition to find a Bigfoot-type creature. This slow-moving documentary was also a favorite to learn more about these supposed "apes" in the woods.
The Mysterious Monsters
One of the many notorious 70's "unknown" documentaries, The Mysterious Monsters covers topics such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Pictures, sounds, and videos of these two monsters are examined by Peter Graves, the host. Psychics, hypnotism, and the history of Bigfoot in many ancient cultures is also scrutinized. This crypto-themed documentary was well done and had lots of evidence and witnesses and was very inventive for its time. It certainly convinced us we must know more about these hidden creatures.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Note: I don't usually think of Bigfoot as para, but given that we have yet to prove their existe