Fire in the Sky (1993)
Rated PG13

Starring: D. B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, and Craig Sheffer

out of

"Based on a true story" is a term that, in filmmaking, usually means that the core of a movie is based on fact but some dramatic license has been taken to make the story "more interesting" to a mainstream audience. Such is the case with Fire in the Sky, a movie based on the true story of Travis Walton, an Arizona logger who was allegedly abducted by aliens in 1975.

Walton (D. B. Sweeney), along with his logging crew, had been under contract to the U. S. Government to clear scrub brush from an area in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Leaving their worksite by truck just after sunset, the crew sees what appeared to be a fire just over a nearby hill. Since they were travelling on the only road out of the forest, they continued towards the light and saw that the "fire" was actually a UFO. The truck, driven by Mike Rogers (Robert Patrick), stopped and Walton jumped out to get a better look at the object. After his crew pleaded with him to get back in the truck, Walton was struck by a beam of light that knocked him to the ground. Believing him to be dead, Rogers sped off and drove for about a half mile before returning to try and find his friend. When he came back to the site of the incident, the UFO was gone and Walton was nowhere to be found.

Fire in the Sky dramatizes the events leading up to and following the incident, focusing mainly on the controversy surrounding Walton's disappearance and the guilt Rogers feels about leaving his friend in the woods. A state investigator (James Garner) attempts to blame Walton's fate on Allan Dallis (Craig Sheffer), a co-worker with a criminal past, with whom Walton had a disagreement earlier in the day he went missing.

The "based on a true story" tagline is valid except that the film's alien abduction sequence is entirely different from the one included in the book written by Travis Walton in 1978. Reportedly, Hollywood executives thought Walton's actual experience was too boring and wanted it changed to the more terrifying one in the movie. As it is, Fire in the Sky is an entertaining story based on one of the best documented alien abduction stories of all time. Just don't sit down to watch it with the intent of learning about what really happened that night in Arizona. Fire in the Sky creates more questions than it answers.

Trivia: There were actually a total of seven men in the logging crew. The writers whittled it down to six for the movie, not wishing to confuse the audience with too many characters. All seven men have passed lie detector tests, some of them twice. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

Bookmark and Share

eXTReMe Tracker