Six Days in Roswell (review)

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On Independence Day weekend in 1997, UFO enthusiasts descended upon Roswell, New Mexico, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of what they say was the crash of a spaceship from another world. And the documentarians who brought you Trekkies were there, looking at the faithful with the same half-withering, half-respectful eye. But this time, in a bit of inspired brilliance, they got one of the inmates to take us on a tour of the asylum. Rich Kronfeld — a bona fide AV geek who still lives with his mom, the guy with the Captain Pike wheelchair in Trekkies — traveled from Minnesota to New Mexico on a quest to get abducted by aliens. Kronfeld is so deadpan that it’s impossible tell whether he’s just having fun or if he’s actually into this week-long orgy of conspiracy theories, costume contests full of too much silver lame, starchild hippies expounding on the religious implications of aliens among us, parades of homemade UFOs, and — shades of Waiting for Guffman — the Roswell community theater’s production of its original musical on the crash and coverup. I’d guess the latter, since one of Kronfeld’s hobbies is making audiotapes about human technology, which he plans to bring along for the aliens’ edification if and when he gets abducted. Six Days is an absolute riot for those afflicted with an MST3K ironic detachment, from the local Roswell merchants’ cashing in on the UFO mania to Kronfeld’s mom, who insists he take some self-defense lessons before leaving for New Mexico, in case his abduction dream comes true. Questions abound: Can 5.2 million Americans really be in contact with aliens, as one UFO researcher asserts here? Did atomic testing in the desert in the 40s attract the aliens in the first place? And, most importantly, which is better at repelling nasty Greys, a shotgun or a little hand-to-hand combat? Final tally: Hangar 18, Area 51, Geeks 0.

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