No, the Boston Red Sox didn’t move Fenway Park. There’s another Green Monster, and he makes his home in the deep woods of West Virginia. He goes by many names, but he’s mostly known as The Flatwoods Monster, and he’s been given some love and attention by filmmaker Seth Breedlove as a part of his Small Town Monsters series. The film, The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear, is a documentary exploring this little known cryptozoic creature.
The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear was written and directed by Seth Breedlove (Invasion on Chestnut Ridge), and produced by himself and Adrienne Breedlove. The documentary was narrated by Clinton Granberry. The director of photography was Zac Palmisano. There was quite a bit of animation in the 45 minute film, which was designed by Chris and Brandon Scalf, while the stop motion animation was created by Santino Vitale. The monster effects were conceived by J. D. Riggs and the eerie music was composed by Brandon Dalo (Boggy Creek Monster 2016).
The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear is a new documentary from Small Town Monsters, which will unlock a decades-old mystery that included a government-ordered military examination of a purported alien crash-site, and multiple UFOs seen by countless residents of Braxton County, WV. In the years since their brush with the “Flatwoods Monster,” witnesses have seen their story evolve from a terrifying, true-life event to little more than a fable. Two of the remaining witnesses will set the record straight when the film is released on April 6th. The “Flatwoods Monster Incident” has become one of the most famous legends in modern memory. However, with the Pentagon now opening up about UFO investigations dating back to the 1940s, the incident can be seen in a new light. In September of 1952, hundreds of people across the United States witnessed glowing objects streak across the skies over much of the Eastern seaboard. One of the objects in question was seen to land on a hill near the small community of Flatwoods, West Virginia by a group of children. The children and two adults made a journey to the top of the hill to search for the object but instead found themselves face to face with a thirteen foot tall mechanical monster. Later that same evening, a branch of the local National Guard unit would be dispatched by Air Force officials to investigate the site of the encounter.
Like I mentioned above, The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy in Fear is a documentary. On the surface, the film is a cool and informative introspective into an urban legend that started in the hills of West Virginia back in 1952. But if you dig a little deeper, you realize that it was around this same time that The Mothman made his first appearance in Point Pleasant, WV, just over 100 miles away. Kecksburg which happened in nearby Pennsylvania in 1965, which Breedlove himself has brought to light in his film, Invasion on Chestnut Ridge. A few years previous, residents of Roswell, New Mexico reported on the most famous UFO case to date, at around the same time a West Virginian farmer also found unusual and unidentifiable wreckage on his land, only to bury it when no one was interested in checking it out.
There are tons of similar stories out there. Who’s to say what’s true and what’s not? With his Small Town Monsters series, filmmaker Seth Breedlove is here to investigate these tales and shine a light on the real truth behind the stories. I won’t tell you what he discovered – you have to watch The Flatwoods Monster to find out – but I will say that Breedlove let everyone have a say. He talked to conspiracy theorists, doubters and even witnesses from the original event. No one was left out.
There were a few things that I thought needed improvement in the film. I’m not sure if the interview cinematography was supposed to be lower grade – the shot would continuously pop closer and further away from the interviewee at random times – to match the obviously fake UFO footage and low quality flashbacks. I thought the animations were very cool, but they didn’t match the seriousness that was implied in the film itself. There is also a lot of B role of the town of Flatwoods in between the interviews as the narrator speaks, which was pretty but a bit mundane. I’m not sure what else they could have shown, but it did become a bit monotonous.
Despite the few complaints I have about the film, I was very impressed with The Flatwoods Monster in so many ways. The documentary is informative, impartial and very well researched. I was thrilled by the fact that Breedlove let all sides speak and didn’t try to sway the viewer into thinking one thing or another. He knows his audience is intelligent enough to make up their own minds. Not many filmmakers will tell a completely unbiased story, but Seth Breedlove wants you to make your own decisions.
The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear will be screened at HorrorHound Cincinnati the weekend of March 23-25, 2018. However, the official premiere will be held at the Elk Theater in Sutton, West Virginia on April 7th with members of the Small Town Monsters crew taking part in a Q&A following the showing.