A Journey to Planet Sanity: Film Review
A filmmaker and an elderly man go on a comical, cross-country, paranormal-debunking trip.
Blake Freeman’s A Journey to Planet Sanity is a quasi-documentary that sets out to debunk, in the filmmaker’s own words, "unproven paranormal propaganda."
Played primarily for laughs, the road trip taken by Freeman and his travel companion -- a lonely 69-year-old man named LeRoy -- is sporadically amusing, thanks mainly to a truly colorful assortment of real-life ufologists, psychics and other practitioners of the preternatural.
But after about an hour, even Freeman appears to have given up the ghost and the film veers distractedly into another, far less intriguing direction.
The film will be available on VOD and iTunes starting Dec. 6.
Determined to show his friend LeRoy (LeRoy Tessina) that he’s been throwing his limited income away on stuff like alien abduction insurance policies, Freeman, a self-described average, out-of-work filmmaker, hits the road on a metaphysical journey that will include stops at a UFO Festival in Roswell, a Hollywood Roosevelt hotel séance and even a consultation with a scatomancer.
In case you were afraid to ask, yes, that’s a person who prefers reading fecal matter rather than palms when it comes to telling your fortune.
Clearly influenced by Johnny Knoxville as much as Michael Moore, Freeman gets the most mileage out of a pair of true personalities, whom he first meets at Roswell and later recruits to prevent the 2012 Doomsday Prophecy, Don Ray Walton, who claims his mother was artificially inseminated by an alien, and Las Vegas-based Prophet Yahweh, who maintains he can instantly summon UFO’s by quoting biblical passages.
These two guys alone, who get on like oil and water, are ready-made candidates for their own joint reality show, and when Freeman parts ways with them to concentrate instead on helping LeRoy hold onto his home, his film goes slack.
Freeman’s heart might be in the right spot, but his focus is all over the place.
Production companies: Wunderkind Pictures, GoDigital
Cast: Blake Freeman, LeRoy Tessina
Director-writer: Blake Freeman
Executive producer: Michael Fancer
Producers: Danielle R. Crane, Alwyn Kushner, Tim O’Mara, Blake Freeman
Director of photography: Ryan Purvis
Editor: Paul Cain
Rated R, 87 minutes.