Review by Beverly
This review first appeared at Leviathan Libraries.
A group of Florida paranormal investigators go on the hunt to find Florida’s own cryptid, the Skunk Ape.
The Skunk Ape Experiments: Issue #1 | Director: Stacy Brown, Jr. | Stars: Stacy Brown Jr., Bill Brock, Joey Badia, James Brost, Ryan Golembeske | Release Year: 2022 | Genre: Reality – Paranormal Investigation | Runtime: 57 min | Source: Publicist | Unstarred
The Skunk Ape Experiments Issue 1 Review
I live in Ontario now, but I’m from Florida, so when we here at Leviathan Libraries were contacted about this I was excited to get caught up with the news from back home about Bigfoot’s Sunshine State cousin. Having now watched The Skunk Ape Experiments, Issue #1, I’m not any better informed than I was before I watched it.
The episode begins with the viewer being introduced to OutKast Paranormal, i.e. Stacy Brown, Jr. and his paranormal investigation team. Brown describes the experiments the team has planned. I found myself puzzled very quickly because the descriptions of both equipment and techniques were fast and convoluted and before I could make sense of one thing, we were already off to another.
Here is what I was able to glean: the show is divided into three repeating segments. The first one, “To Catch A Skunk Ape”, features a group headed to swampy areas in southwest Florida’s Myakka River State Park. At night, of course. (There is much talk of alligator safety, which is the most sensible thing I heard during the hour I spent on The Skunk Ape Experiments.) Anyhow, the group attempts to herd the Skunk Ape into a field with a lot of lighting and cameras so there can be solid video and photographic evidence captured.
The next group, in a segment called “Thinning the Veil”, is made up of a dude who takes one microdose psilocybin (magic mushroom) capsule and the people who are watching him with various paranormal scanning/sensing devices that I readily admit I don’t know anything about.
Now, as I understand it, the whole point of microdosing is to take such a small amount that you shouldn’t feel any different, so I am puzzled at what the team thought one microdose capsule was going to accomplish. In any case, Brown is very excited about this and says (many times) that they are doing stuff nobody else dares to do.
The third segment is called “Mr. Roger’s Paranormal Neighborhood” and it is made up of a team talking to various regular folks about their Skunk Ape experiences. The main guy they talk to in this part is named Roger (now you get the subtitle!), and Roger seems like he’s got a lot of problems, both physical and mental. I spent more time feeling bad for him than I did believing what came out of his mouth about his family’s Skunk Ape curse.
Almost to the end of our runtime, the screen becomes black and these words appear in all caps:
WARNING: THIS CHANT CAN TRIGGER PARANORMAL ACTIVITY ANYWHERE. EITHER STOP WATCHING NOW OR WELCOME TO THE EXPERIMENT. HIT US UP IF S#!T GETS WEIRD AFTER YOU WATCH IT VIA OUR WEBSITE.
Being the kind of lady who will take on paranormal risks willy-nilly on a Thursday, I did not shut it off but forged ahead bravely.
After the words disappear from the screen we see the entire group gathered together to hear Brown read, with great volume and passion, Hymn to Pan by Aleister Crowley. That Golden Dawn Crowley is, naturally, no relation to the Crowley Museum and Nature Center that the OutKast team uses, though they do not explicitly say it. Perhaps they are hoping this will all seem more mysterious than it is?
Oh, also somewhere in the mix were things like dowsing rods and floating orbs, but I was not clear on what was happening with those and how they tied into our topic.
I don’t mind an investigation reality show, but I like when they bring me along so I understand the steps being taken and their context. Perhaps the creators of The Skunk Ape Experiment could have done something to help create a narrative within the hour. A voiceover? Some title cards? A talking head to explain what’s next?
If it is not already clear, if you’re looking to take a deep dive (or even a shallow one) into the Skunk Ape, this is not it.
The Skunk Ape Experiments debuts on major streaming platforms on August 2nd, from 1091 Pictures, including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and FandangoNOW.
Consumers needing content warnings are urged to check out The Skunk Ape Experiments: Issue #1 page on Does the Dog Die by clicking this link: https://www.doesthedogdie.com/media/916039