Earnest is the best way to describe David Huggins. He’s an affable elder gentleman who works part time in a Hoboken deli, spends his spare time painting, and, oh yeah, lost his virginity to an extraterrestrial. Documentaries are often only as interesting as their subjects, and Brad Abrahams’ Love and Saucers: The Far Out World of David Huggins certainly has an eccentric focus.
Love and Saucers doesn’t blaze any new trails. The bulk of the scant run time is just Huggins, recounting his encounters—of which there are hundreds if not thousands—and many of which are immortalized in hundreds of impressionist paintings. Not only has he been visited countless times, he’s essentially engaged in years-long romantic relationships, even fathered dozens of human-alien-hybrid children.
What sets Love and Saucers apart from the documentary pack is that it neither asks viewers to believe Huggins, nor does it set him up for mockery. It presents a man with a fascinating story, real or not. If you view this from the perspective of a believer, it presents an intriguing look at our alien neighbors. If not, his layered, nuanced, incredibly complex story presents a mesmerizing portrait of self-constructed myth and delusion.
Even Huggins himself doesn’t push an agenda one way or another. This is simply his story, and whether you believe him or not doesn’t really bother him. It doesn’t impact his life either way, and he neither hides nor broadcasts his past. In an interview, his boss basically says, he’s nice, he does a good job, what do I care he’s banged a few aliens?
Over time, thanks largely to his art, which is surprisingly competent—I expected wingnut outsider paint splatters, but he paints in a reasonable facsimile of impressionist style, but, you know, with extraterrestrial boobs—Huggins has become a cult figure. Watching footage of an art show, the crowd features a wide swath of viewers. Some are drawn by the prospect of checking out this weirdo who paints alien sex scenes. Still others show up because they’ve had similar experiences.
Whether or not you’re a believer won’t diminish your enjoyment—Mulders and Scullys should both find much to enjoy. Love and Saucers presents a straightforward story without any twists or turns—save the obvious one—that allows Huggins to tell his own tale. It’s a hypnotic, engrossing slice-of-oddball-life, not one that will shatter your world view, but one that’s worth a look for anyone interested in a different point of view. There’s no judgment or pressure from the filmmaker, just one man recounting the unbelievable narrative of his life. [Grade: B]