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Watch: Blink-182's Tom DeLonge makes directorial debut with E.T.-esque 'Monsters of California'

E.T. and Close Encounters seem to be the major influences at play here.

By Josh Weiss

Tom DeLonge, a co-founder of Blink-182 and UFO enthusiast, makes the cosmic jump to feature films with the first trailer for his directorial debut, Monsters of California. First announced back in late 2020, the Spielbergian project is officially described as "a coming-of-age adventure with a sci-fi twist."

The story follows teenager Dallas Edwards and his band of misfit friends as they investigate a number of strange and seemingly paranormal occurrences in Southern California (production took place in the skate and surf utopia that is Encinitas — a town in San Diego). What they end up discovering goes beyond their wildest dreams: Earth-shattering secrets reaching into the deepest levels of government.

Richard Kind (Big Mouth), Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), Arianne Zucker (Days of Our Lives), Sports Illustrated model Camille Kostek, Gabrielle Haugh (Jeepers Creepers 3) and newcomers Jack Samson, Jared Scott, and Jack Lancaster co-star.

With its young protagonists digging up alien conspiracies in direct defiance of angry grown-ups; a mention of absent parents; characters looking up to the sky in wonder; flashlight beams waving to and fro in the foggy night air; and, of course, blinking UFOs, Monsters has all the cinematic hallmarks of classic Spielberg storytelling. It brings to mind Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., The Goonies, and even J.J. Abrams' Super 8 — all of which seem to be the major creative influences at play here.

Watch the trailer below:

“Anyone who knows me, or follows me on social media, knows I’m no stranger to the paranormal, which is why directing Monsters of California was a no-brainer,” DeLonge, who co-wrote the screenplay with Ian Miller, said in a statement. “The film takes my fascination with the unexplained, combines it with the skate culture I grew up a part of, and tosses in my ridiculous sense of humor that millions got to witness during my Blink-182 days. In recent years, I’ve had the good fortune of helping the Government remember how much they care about UFOs through the work we do at To The Stars, and it’s that experience which helped inspire this movie. I can’t wait for audiences to see the f**ked up fun adventure these kids go on.”

DeLonge, who produced the movie under his To The Stars Media banner, also wrote and performed the original music. Stan Spry and Eric Woods of serve as producers via Cartel Pictures. Anthony Fankhauser (Cartel) and Russell Binder (Striker Entertainment) are co-producers.

“I’ve been a fan of Tom as an artist since I was in college. Blink-182, Boxcar Racer, and Angels & Airwaves are parts of the soundtrack of my life,” added Spry. “Working with him on Monsters of California has been the most fun, and creatively fulfilling project I’ve had the good fortune to be involved in. I’m beyond excited for the world to get to see what he has created."

Monsters of California will start screening for distributors and as such, does not yet have a firm release date.

In the meantime, you can check out other horror treats like ChuckyFirestarter and Halloween II now streaming on Peacock.