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Trivia / Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County

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The original 1989 film:

  • Actor-Shared Background: Dean Alioto made Mikey the middle child, like he is in his own family.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Dean Alioto also played Mikey, the man operating the camera.
  • Fiction as Cover-Up: An alleged real-life example. To this day, the film is passed around among some ufologists (who refer to it as "the McPherson tape") as proof that alien abductions are real, and that the story of it being a fictional horror film was just damage control. When it was remade as Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County, that film too was also alleged to be part of the cover-up.
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  • Improv: The actors were largely hired for their improv experience.
  • No Budget: Made for nearly $7000.
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: It was intended for a Direct-to-Video release in 1989, but a fire at the distribution warehouse destroyed nearly all copies of the film and the master print, and it was presumed lost. However, a few bootlegs, stripped of the opening and closing credits denoting it as a work of fiction, survived and found their way into the ufologist community in the early '90s, which helped it build its mystique as an alleged "real" account of an Alien Abduction.
  • Throw It In!: The mother asking if the camera drained the power from the house was ad-libbed by her actress.
  • Underage Casting: The aliens were played by three little girls wearing masks.

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The TV remake:

  • California Doubling: Despite being set in 'Lake County', the film was shot in Vancouver.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The director intended for the film to be treated as a work of fiction; the whole "THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED" angle was an executive mandate.
    • Subverted with the swearing. Dean Alioto expected the network to enforce Gosh Darn It to Heck!, but they were comfortable with the characters cursing, because it added to the realism. They did however have to bleep it out.
  • Fake American: The actors were all Canadians. The director joked that they'd be fined $1 any time they had accent slippages. He apparently made $200 off that. Kristian Ayre, who played Tommy, was a double example - born in Britain and raised in Canada.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The VHS release is long since out of print and this film has yet to see an official DVD release, though it can be watched in full online.
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  • Remake Cameo: Dean Alioto makes an appearance as one of the talking heads - a special effects director who endorses the authenticity of the footage.
  • Technology Marches On: Compared to the first film, Dean Alioto now added in the segment where the boys show the others the tape, as it was now possible with 90s camcorder technology.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Emmanuelle Chriqui had initially agreed to do the nudity for Renee, but changed her mind at the last minute. As a compromise, she wore pasties and the video was pixellated to make it look like Renee is actually nude.
    • Dean Alioto was struggling with his appearance as an interviewee, so he ad-libbed the Actor Allusion line “It’s unnerving because if it’s a hoax, I should have been the one that directed it.”
    • The static effect to signal that the aliens are near was thought up during the editing stages.
    • The scene with all the kitchen appliances going haywire was added to fill up time, as a Shout-Out to Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The subtitle was 'The McPherson Tape', and the family was named that because it had "fear" in it. The network changed it to 'Incident in Lake County'. It did air on some stations with the other subtitle though.
    • The actors initially played the final scene sadly - with them realising the brothers wouldn't come back. Upon watching that, the director felt it didn't work, and re-shot it so that they were still hopeful that they would.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: The first script ran only about forty-five minutes. Dean Alioto needed to make a ninety minute film to fit the TV broadcast requirements, so he wrote about twenty new scenes in about four days. Among them was the scene where Tommy gives a confessional in front of the camera.
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