In Search of Ancient Mysteries (1973) – By Philip Smolen

If you’ve ever wondered how the current glut of cable TV shows that purport that aliens are responsible for man’s development got started, look no further than this decrepit piece of supposition and hearsay. “In Search of Ancient Mysteries” is the grand daddy of all aliens on ancient earth documentaries. Narrated in his best ever-so-solemn voice, the late Rod Serling, attempts to establish that aliens have visited the earth for thousands of years and have taught ancient human cultures everything they ever learned, simply because mankind was just too stupid to put it together.

Spun from the tacky offices of TV producer Alan Landsberg (Mr. Speculation himself), this trite and boring pseudo documentary comes from the ‘throw it against the wall and let’s see what sticks” school of film making. The film jumps from location to location and dredges up every ancient human mystery, and without any scientific evidence attempts to convince the audience that aliens were behind it all. For the cherry on top, the filmmakers even investigate the famed Bermuda Triangle and imply that it is an alien home base, even though that “theory” has now long since been debunked.

At least the new TV documentaries have invested some CGI eye candy to go along with their bizarre theories. “In Search of Ancient Mysteries”, however, is as dry and dusty as several of the mysterious ancient locations where it was filmed. Somber and painfully dull, this archaic look at human mysteries is almost like an Ed Wood movie. After it’s over, you really can’t believe how bad it was.

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