ACCORDING TO OCCAM'S RAZOR started out as a home movie for director Philippe Mora. But when his kids started seeing aliens and UFOs, it turned into an odyssey through the bizarre world, past and present, of UFO believers, charlatans and experts. Assembled over many years, the film is a unique look at the reality and fantasy of the "alien" phenomenon, which not only turned Mora's mind inside out, but will do the same to you. Starting with friends or acquaintances who said they had UFO experiences, Mora challenges himself and the viewer to judge who is telling the truth. Events escalate when he is invited to film an actual surgical procedure to remove an alleged alien implant; Mora films a surgery that clearly could not be faked. The out of bounds journey continues into the world of Nazi UFO's, Marilyn Monroe and aliens, remote viewing, presidential views on UFO's, scathing satire and a demonstration of the power of film and video itself to distort or magnify truth. Alien abduction, UFO's and alien life forms have been a staple of popular culture since Orson Welles' famous War of the Worlds broadcast in the Thirties. But things took a turn for the very strange in the Eighties when people started believing they had actually been abducted for real. Few are more familiar with this phenomenon than director Philippe Mora, who turned his old friend Whitley Strieber's book, COMMUNION, into a film starring Christopher Walken in 1989.
Director Philippe Mora has one of the most unusual careers in the history of cinema, ranging from critically praised documentaries on the 1930s to schlock horror like Howling III: The Marsupials to the respectful movie made from Whitley Strieber's book about alien abduction, Communion. But According to Occam's Razor has to be the oddest of the lot. It's part home movie, part wide-eyed speculation about the presence of alien visitors, and part meditation on the influence of the media over vulnerable minds. This strange patchwork begins when Mora's children claim to have seen a UFO. When Mora begins to investigate other such claims, he interviews a Spanish woman who says she was impregnated by aliens; a lawyer who discusses the legal options of abductees who've been anally probed; and an Australian abductee who suggests that Jews and aliens have been interconnected for centuries (he's Jewish himself). The movie's point of view is unstable--sometimes it seems bizarrely gullible (Mora shows a picture of Hitler on the phone and proclaims it's a picture of Hitler talking with an alien) and sometimes almost satirically skeptical (after a woman abductee says an alien brain-wave-reading device looked like a colander, there's a montage of the woman wearing a variety of colanders on her head). Some portions of the movie are obviously fictionalized; others are just too peculiar to call fake or real. In the end, According to Occam's Razor is a strange, surreal trip through Mora's mind. --Bret Fetzer