24 February 2024
The People (1972)
74 min.
Directed by John Korty.
With Kim Darby, William Shatner, Diane Varsy, Chris Valentine, Dan O'Herlihy, Laurie Walters, Johanna Baer.
Totally offbeat supernatural TV thriller based on a series of published stories by science fiction author Zenna Henderson.

Outsider schoolteacher Melodye Amerson (Darby) is hired to teach the local children in the rural, secluded California town of Bendo.

But almost at once Melodye realizes there's something strange about the youngsters...they seem unfeeling, cold and distant.

Soon, she begins to uncover Bendo's mysterious secret: the town is inhabited by extraterrestial beings with multifaceted powers of mind reading, levitation ('lifting') and some sort of spatial healing process called 'sorting.'

Sound bizarre? It is, but oddly watchable thanks to its very '70s moodiness and honest performances from Darby (also good in 1973's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark) as the headstrong teacher and Shatner as the village doc.

Not for all tastes. But the discriminating viewer with a craving for the truly weird might find this unique effort worth the time.

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