DAVID’S DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: Terror in the Skies (Small Town Monsters)

I first became aware of Small Town Monsters while looking around Amazon. Some of their documentaries were available as a part of my Prime membership. I watched “The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear” and really enjoyed it. The serious approach to the topic gives the documentary a feel not often found. Other documentaries should follow their lead.

Though it was nice to watch this documentary for “free,” I knew I wanted to support these guys. On a recent visit to the International Cryptozoology Museum, I found a couple of their documentaries. The first one, “Terror in the Skies,” was a signed copy and is what I am reviewing here. I have always been fascinated with Thunderbirds and sightings of living, flying reptiles so figured this documentary would be ideal.

Illinois is known for it’s miles of prairie, and for being a state rich in history… but what if that rich history isn’t quite what you’ve been told? In this new film they explore hundreds of years of terrifying reports of encounters with massive, winged creatures. From Alton’s man-eating Piasa Bird legends, to recent sightings in Chicago of a creature said to resemble West Virginia’s infamous “Mothman”, Terror in the Skies unlocks a centuries-old mystery. 

Journey to the heartland of the Midwest. In this new documentary they offer a startling, in-depth look at an ongoing phenomenon. The feature-length film was shot around the state of Illinois in September. It acts as much as a guide to the constantly changing terrain of the land as it does an introduction to a reality-altering subject. Breedlove contacted numerous witnesses and investigators who claim to have seen massive beings in the sky as recently as last year. One of the most recent, and popular stories to hit major media in recent years has been an ongoing wave of sightings of a red-eyed, shapeless creature dubbed, the “Chicago Mothman”; an event which is also covered in great detail in this film.

“Terror in the Skies” is narrated by author, musician and television personality, Lyle Blackburn. It is co-written by Seth Breedlove and Mark Matzke. Cinematography is by Zac Palmisano, an original score by Brandon Dalo, and sound design by Jason Utes. SRV Films and Santino Vitale are handling VFX and the film contains original illustrations by Matt Harris and Brian Serway. The film is produced by Seth and Adrienne Breedlove. Authors Loren Coleman and Troy Taylor are featured alongside numerous others. 

Like with many cryptids, the idea of gigantic birds is something that I wish was explored more. I have been fascinated by reports of long-extinct flying reptiles for years. Birds that are large enough to grab dogs and children are terrifying to me. Mothman sightings happen to often; there has to be something behind it.

“Terror in the Skies” explores all of these cases in a way that makes you crave more. When it ends, you want to go online and seek out everything you can on what you just watched. When a documentary makes you question what you were taught to believe, it has been successful in it’s job. The producers present the cases as originally reported, at times talking to the original people that experienced what was seen. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, the curator of the International Cryptozoology Museum, is also a huge part of this documentary.

Small Town Monsters is doing an excellent job here and I highly recommend checking out what they have to offer. Small companies putting out great work deserve our support. I hope that this documentary will inspire others to go out into the field.

~David Albaugh

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