THE SUNS OF EASTER ISLAND, d. Pierre Kast (1974)
One by one, six people across the globe experience hallucinations of social unrest and glimpses of ancient stone heads, before waking up to realise that they now have a small disc permanently grafted to the palm of their right hand.
Driven my forces they don’t really understand, the six people (and a spare boyfriend) all make their way their way to Santiago (it means ‘whales vagina’ in Spanish) in Chile, the embarkation point for Easter Island, their ultimate destination.
Easter Island is probably the most amazing film location on Earth: small (62 square miles) remote (2,000 miles from the next inhabited land mass), with three volcanoes (inactive), hundreds of caves, thousands of petroglyphs, very few buildings, hardly any trees and, of course, 887 moai, ornamental statuary between 900 and 300 years old.
When they arrive, now firmly and rather smugly established as a group, they wander around taking in the scenery, before convening in a cave where an ancient, almost unseen presence tells them their mission: every five hundred years, aliens come to Easter Island to commune with the chosen with a view to setting up a permanent bridge between themselves and humanity. The travellers make their way out and align themselves with a row of moai. The aliens arrive as dazzling balls of light and make contact, searching the human’s minds for a picture of life on Earth.
Sadly, the alien visitors are not impressed by the long stream of images of death, destruction and horror, and promptly go back home. They will return in another half millennia and, maybe next time, we might pass the test.