Discover more from The Retroist
Search for the Gods (1975)
While certain modern cable channels are obsessed with explaining everything as being attributable to alien activity. This type of faux-documentary reporting on aliens is nothing new. The Seventies was a high watermark for this type of entertainment.
It started with the late Sixties publishing of Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Däniken. Put simply and briefly, Chariots of the Gods conjectured that many of the early accomplishments of ancient civilizations could be attributed to the activity of aliens.
As the Seventies progressed, Chariots would get its own documentary that would lead to the remarkable Leonard Nimoy hosted TV series, In Search Of.
Along the way, UFOs and cryptids of all manner would get their moment in the sun. In 1975, television attempted to bring the concept to series television with Search for the Gods. Only a pilot was ever produced, but the concept and execution were strong and it developed a cult following as a TV movie.
Search for the Gods was directed by Jud Taylor. Sci-Fi TV fans might recognize Taylor from his directorial work on shows like Star Trek, Dr. Kildare, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. So it has a pretty solid talent behind the camera.
On the other side of the camera, you had Kurt Russell, Stephen McHattie, and Victoria Racimo as the main protagonists. They come to believe that an amulet in their possession is actually just one piece that was left behind by ancient aliens.
Another solids aspect of the film is the music. It is credited to the very talented Billy Goldenberg. Goldenberg has close to two hundred musical credits, focused mainly on television, but what a resume. From Kojak to Amazing Stories and everything in between, he has had his talented hands in a lot of great TV series.
The film premiered on March 9, 1975 on ABC’s ABC Sunday Night Movie. Here you can see a newspaper article from March of that year hyping its release.
The movie moves along at a decent pace and captures the alien zeitgeist of the era. My biggest issue with it is that it is very obviously a pilot for something bigger. So you are left with a lot of questions that might have been answered in a full film.
The film was released in 2014 by Warner Bros and it was greeted by fans with excitement. It is still available on DVD, but if you prefer streaming, it has also been posted online.