Review: Seth Breedlove’s The Mothman of Point Pleasant

Fellow HorrorSociety writer Mac Brewer and myself are huge Mothman fans. Due to distance I keep my infatuation to books and movies, but Brewer has had the opportunity to visit the infamous town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia on two occasions and he even has a Mothman tattoo. I’ve been so jealous of him and his close proximity to the town because I want to travel there so badly and witness the sights for myself. Luckily with Seth Breedlove and Small Town Monsters’ new documentary, The Mothman of Point Pleasant, I can be there in spirit. This documentary, scheduled to see its VOD release on June 2nd 2017, is a fantastically produced picture that chronicles the legendary monster from its fight sightings all the way up to the infamous Silver Bridge Collapse of 1967. It’s a definitive source for all things Mothman!

As I expected, The Mothman of Point Pleasant took my breath away with shots of Point Pleasant and its most noteworthy locations as they appear today, both culturally and supernaturally. This is why I felt like I was there in spirit: viewers get to see the city streets, the rural fields, the landmarks and even the equally as famous TNT bunker in the woods. It’s funny to say, but I had this pit in my stomach the whole time watching as I started getting emotional seeing the town on screen that I want to visit so much. I had roughly the same reaction when I visited Sleepy Hollow, New York – the town home to The Headless Horseman – but this gut reaction was more intense. If you’re a Mothman fan who hasn’t visited the town on the border of Ohio yet, you’re going to be moved by this documentary. It’s jaw dropping and a wonderful, joyous opportunity.

The Mothman of Point Pleasant can be broken up into three parts. The first half is comprised of the town and the creature’s origins as well as its first sightings while two smaller portions talk about the Silver Bridge Collapse and the lure of The Mothman as it stands in 2017. I knew almost all the pre-collapse information about The Mothman before this documentary, but I forgot the part about an early English settler dying on new-found American land and placing a curse on the area. That was a nice reminder. What I didn’t know, however, was there have been a ton of other weird occurrences going on in this part of West Virginia; including many UFO sightings, ghosts and another otherworldly beast. The town of Point Pleasant seems to be a hub for paranormal activity and it’s no wonder The Mothman would call this place home. Although, according to the documentary, strange happenings have leaked into neighboring towns… so no one’s really safe.

It was a completely different experience hearing about The Mothman sightings, some even from actual eyewitnesses, as opposed to reading about them as I have in the past. That’s another reason why you should purchase/stream The Mothman of Point Pleasant. It’s such a fully cooked cinematic experience hearing and seeing these events instead of reading them on white paper. Hearing a person’s voice, seeing a location on the screen, seeing any kind of movement at all brings a whole new level of suspense to each and every story. I’d also like to say that the original scores from Brandon Dalo really helped to pack the much needed emotional punch I talked about earlier. His compositions were spot on and he accomplished the job of evoking conflicting feelings inside me and he should be applauded for his efforts here. Zac Palmisano, the film’s cinematographer, also did an amazing job with the film’s picture quality and style I enjoyed that he kept things kind of dark.

The Silver Bridge Collapse of December 1967 is probably what Mothman enthusiasts will be looking for the most. On the 15th day of the month, a large bridge that connects Point Pleasant, West Virginia to Gallipolis, Ohio collapsed during rush hour traffic and sent dozens of cars into the freezing water below. It resulted in the deaths of over 40 people and its effects can be felt on Point Pleasant to this very day as it’s become interwoven into their history. Many folks believe a previous sighting of The Mothman to be interpreted as a warning about a mass event like this, while others claim to have actually seen The Mothman perked on the bridge hours before it fell. This could all be chalked up to superstition, but I have to say The Mothman of Point Pleasant contains actual footage from the incident. Viewers get to see the structure of the bridge the day after the event as crews search the river for dead bodies and attempt to clean up the disaster. This footage is the second biggest reason you should get this documentary.

After that focus, The Mothman of Point Pleasant turns to everything that’s happened after 1967 and how the legend has grown into something much larger. It spread from a state-wide infatuation to a worldwide phenomenon. The documentary talks about John Keel’s 1975 novel The Mothman Prophecies, the movie that it spawned in 2002 starring Richard Gere, The Mothman Museum and the annual Mothman Festival. My interest, of course, could be found the most in The Mothman Museum. The store’s owner is featured throughout the documentary and viewers get a very in depth look into his shop; at all the historical articles and photos he’s collected and at his ever growing merchandise line. As with most of the town, I want to go there so bad and purchase t-shirts and other memorabilia. I’m aware that you can buy it off the museum’s official website, but I just want to do it in person for added effect. Maybe one day, but for now I was delighted to get another look into something Mothman related.

The Mothman of Point Pleasant was directed and produced by Seth Breedlove as a co-written collaboration with executive producer Lyle Blackburn. Blackburn has previously appeared on Animal Planet and Destination America and that’s perfect because I feel that this documentary would fit in so easily on one of those channels. Hell, I could even see it on Chiller! It’s that good. The Mothman of Point Pleasant was like opening a horrific time capsule and it’s a must watch for any Mothman or cryptid fan. My opinion may be a bit biased because my love for this unknown winged creature spawned years ago, but I’m still going to rate it very high. Final Score: 9 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)