The advent of Thor-sday is upon us! Thor: The Dark World premiers world-wide today, and many are those who would proclaim that we should cower before it’s hype-hammer. However, I’m among those who shout, “embrace it!” (And it appears to be getting good advance reviews anyway)…

William Shatner’s Mysteries Of The Gods (or just plain ‘ol Mysteries of the Gods — 1976) is a great way to surf the wave. William Shatner, near the end of his ‘Kirk’ hiatus between the cancellation of the Star Trek TV series and the production of the first Trek film, brings his inimitable combination of stern countenance and warm assurance. He also adds a subtle touch of devilry (notably in his interview segment with celebrity psychic Jeanne C. Dixon) that Loki would jealously appreciate, as well as a great assortment of turtlenecks, sport coats and V-necked pullovers.

The film picks up where Chariots of the Gods (1970) left off — further exploration of author Erich Von Daniken’s theories on whether extra-terrestrials have influenced the evolution of mankind, and speculation as to whether they will soon return. To the groovy moog doodles of the returning Peter Thomas (who provided a treasure trove of DJ samples on his soundtrack to Chariots), we are transported to exotic locales in Indonesia, France, the Caribbean and South America (as well as NASA and near the nuclear power plant in Stony Point, NY), looking for the slightest (and funkiest) of evidence in support of extraterrestrial visitors. (Certain rock impressions in a Texas river recalled Jamie Alexander’s red carpet dress more than alien giants, but that’s still on my mind).

Some of the Shatner’s priceless interviews and interactions include:

    • Dr. Dennis Hauck, North American Director of the UFO Registry, discussing flying saucer diameters and the Plains of Nazca in a field dwarfed by radio telescopes.
    • Dr. Richard Yinger, an exo-sociologist and Manfred Mann look-alike, discussing the meaning of his title and ‘what (mankind) is trying to find’, at Cape Canaveral.
    • Dan Citron, a parapsychologist (and ‘level-headed’ man) running UFO visitation reporting center in New York, displaying a tricorder-like detector device and ruminating on where the aliens would land. Quote: “They just wouldn’t go anywhere and risk getting mugged.”
    • Also, a NASA Senior Staff Scientist in Houston with an unpronounceable name who, despite expressing rational skepticism regarding von Daniken’s evidence, states he has an ‘open’ mind and actually presents an interesting postulation on the mystery of the origins of our DNA code, and who might have ‘brought’ that into existence. Aliens? Odin? Malekith? The speculation is delectable…

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Related Links:

Gotta Watch — Thor Edition: Last of the Vikings (video)
How to make Thor: The Dark World the ultimate date movie
Gotta Watch for Halloween: Embryo