The Philadelphia Experiment
Release year: 1984
Director: Stewart Raffill
Screenwriter: Michael Janover, William Gray, Charles Berlitz & William L. moore (based on the book by)
Starring: Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas, Bobby Di Cicco, Louise Latham, Kene Holiday, Joe Dorsy, Miles McNamara
During a military experiment in 1943 to make navy ships invisible to the enemy the whole ship disappears. Two of the sailors finds themselves appearing in 1984 where they encounter Allison Hayes (Allen). She helps them try to find out what happened while a strange storm grows over the states.
It is an interesting story with lots of potential. Unfortunately, it is dimmed a bit by the poor special effects and stiff acting from an otherwise great cast. However, this is still entertaining. Paré (The Shelter, 2015) puts his good looks to use as the leading man opposite a sweet Allen (Dressed to Kill, 1980) and even though the story gets a bit goofy they ensure you care about the outcome of their characters. Watching it today, you find yourself wondering what was new to people from the 1940s in the 1980s, but the biggest problem the movie has is special effects so dated, that you wonder whether they were ever considered any good.
This film is widely believed to be based on a real-life and ill-fated experiment with invisibility and force fields in the 1940s. However, to the best of any factual knowledge, no such experiment ever occurred, and the story was the work of an eccentric loner, Carl Allen, who sent notes on the “experiment” to the government in the 1950s, and whose story was later leaked. Despite the lack of any factual evidence, the story has become an urban legend, and favorite of conspiracy theorists, who point to the lack of evidence as proof that it’s being covered up.
Picture copyrights: new World Pictures