The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) -

The Conspirators

David Herdeg: Michael Paré
Allison Hayes: Nancy Allen
Dr. James Longstreet: Eric Christmas
Jim Parker: Bobby Di Cicco
Pamela: Louise Latham
Major Clark: Kene Holliday
Sheriff Bates: Joe Dorsey

The Mastermind

Directed By: Stewart Raffill.
Written By: Wallace C. Bennett, William Gray, Michael Janover

Running Time: 102 Minutes. Rated PG.

See the movie trailer


None that I can really recall. There was a lot of "Don't do that" repartee.

Bad Lines

Nearly all of them. Rating: 1 UFO

Matt DeReno Staff Writer

(January 3, 2007)

The 1984 film The Philadelphia Experiment is a pretty bad movie with a no-name cast, dreadful special effects and otherwise dated and laughable cinematic production values even by the standards of its time. It is hard to believe the movie was predated by 3 years with a film done so well as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Even the Terminator with now California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger blew this movie out of the space-time continuum.

Mind you I watched this film on HDTV, which perhaps magnified the poor viewing experience even more. But still, I am trying to judge the movie in light of its contemporaries as well as from the perspective of a government engineered cover-up of a magnificent experiment gone awfully wrong. On all accounts The Philadelphia Experiment is fantastically awful. It should be called a Movie Experiment.

The film's biggest transgressions are really, really bad special effects.

As the film rolls along painfully, it is like everybody is suddenly Andy Warhol's multi-colored Marilyn Monroe. This is the effect as the main characters, both wholly forgettable, travel through space to the present time when the movie was filmed. The lightening bolts and weird colors indicate a very small budget and unimaginative look at the conspiracy. An opportunity was lost here.

Worse, from the standpoint of actual cover-ups, the film will not hold your interest. The movie is primarily focused on the what-ifs of traveling to the future some five decades later and meeting all your aged friends. Yes, that's interesting – to a point. Many of mine lead predictable lives and I'll take a gander at what they'll be doing five decades from now: not a whole lot different than now (This is to say, watching a lot of football) and living in an old folks home.

Consider how much more interesting The Philadelphia Experiment could be if all the alleged problems of the sailors on the boat were shown to full effect. They supposedly suffered mental and other physiological trauma from undergoing time travel. There was a report that some sailors were fused to the boat when it reappeared in the harbor. Moreover, the government then used mind control to erase the memories of the experiment itself.

Man, I would love to see that in a movie. Too bad, we get this cheesy and campy fodder. I wish the Government would zap my mind so I don't remember watching it. I wish I could travel in the future and warn my friends decades from now: don't ever watch this move - it sucks!

I will not bog you down with all the available information relating to the hypothetical actual Philadelphia Experiment, other than to recommend you read our overview on our Great CoverUps Section.

The shame of the matter is that the real Philadelphia Experiment is an endlessly fascinating story despite the fact it comes mostly from the recollection of one person, which means it is likely false. Still, it is fertile ground for a wonderful movie, if someone should decide to do it again using the latest in today's CGI technology. I would like to see what Spielberg could do with this story line.

Oh, well, I guess they all can't be winners. But, this movie begs to be done right one day.

Now a quick search will show you that it was done again, with a parallel story in The Philadelphia Experiment II. Apparently, the people that put this shoddy film together must have traveled to the future and advised them on the second installment. It is apparent: their friends from the future didn't listen and learn from the past mistakes. Our advice is if you had the unfortunate luck to have seen The Philadelphia Experiment, immediately contact up your State Representative and ask him where your local mind-control station is located. Then have your brain wiped clean!












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