The X-Files: Shapes   Rewatch 
March 15, 2020 9:09 PM - Season 1, Episode 19 - Subscribe

Mulder and Scully go to Montana to investigate the fatal shooting of a young Native American man by a white rancher, who swears he thought he was shooting at some sort of ferocious animal.
posted by orange swan (3 comments total)
There's a bitter realism in the the way the Native American community complains to Mulder and Scully about how the government only appears on the scene when white American interests are impacted (i.e., when a white rancher is unjustly accused), grudgingly works with Mulder and Scully to end the threat of the manitou, and then are left on their own again once that specific matter is resolved.

Ty Miller, who played Lyle, acted the transformation from human to manitou quite well -- at one point when his back contorts I thought it might actually have been a special effect, but no, it was just the actor writhing.

I do wish the special effects department hadn't gone with slow-mo in so many of the early special effects. It always looks chintzy.

Why would the manitou come back again in about eight years?

Is anyone going to let that poor cougar out of its tiny cage?
posted by orange swan at 3:52 PM on March 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

The show really loved not just slow mo but specifically that awkward kind of low-shutter-speed slow mo. I think it's just an effect that's super easy to do in post and serves a useful purpose in filling time when you can't afford a long effects shot?
posted by tobascodagama at 5:02 PM on March 16, 2020

Paranormal hunters around that era liked to use burst shots on SLRs on really fast film to try to capture events. High quality video wasn't available yet and using a movie camera with sufficient quality would have been too ungainly and cost prohibtive.

I think maybe the the X-files slomo tries to capture that feel, plus the graininess.
posted by porpoise at 8:05 PM on March 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

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