Crop Circles: Quest For Truth

Crop Circles: Quest For Truth (2002)
Shout! Factory
Extras: Interview, Additional Scenes, Photo Gallery

Messages from the Great Beyond or a load of crop? The 2002 documentary ’Crop Circles: Quest For Truth’ tackles the seemingly inexplicable phenomenon of crop circles. Eschewing narration, producer/director William Gazecki follows a large group of researchers, scientists, philosophers and authors giving their interpretations of the global enigma along with speculations about their meaning and ultimate impact on humanity.

While Gazecki makes a convincing argument that crop circles might signify the intervention of presently incomprehensible forces, the documentary finds greater sympathy for those who explain it metaphysically than scientifically. I found the hard physical data the most compelling. Rigidly controlled experiments were able to justify the evidence of unbroken stalks at right angles and intricate geometric symmetry in the patterns through completely natural, scientific reasons. When the arguments wandered into Celtic symbolism, extraterrestrial intervention and multi-dimensional pathways, it sounded more like ’the-abyss-looking-into-you’ wish fulfillment. Either that, or the two-hour running time could have been shortened by at least half an hour.

Shout Factory’s DVD edition presents the shot-on-video documentary in 1.78 anamorphic widescreen. Much of the actual crop circle footage comes from personal sources (i.e. consumer video formats) so unfortunately the image quality widely varies, sometimes looking washed out or smeared, other times clear and clean. The Dolby Digital stereo soundtrack also reflects the multi-source origins, with the sound occasionally congested and distorted, as compared with the Philip Glass-ish score by David Hamilton.

The DVD also sports a few extras, which tap more into ’The Truth Is Out There’ paranoia. Three excerpts categorized as ’the untold story of government disinformation’ come off more as deleted scenes about government cover-ups and more inexplicable physical evidence. An eight minute interview with Gazecki, chaptered in five sections, covers the same thematic territory with some additional perspective that should have been included in the doc itself. Mistakenly identified as a ’photo gallery,’ a twenty six minute montage of the crop circles used in the film round out the supplements.