Equinox

"Weak"

Equinox Review


Talk to enough people and you can find someone willing to call just about anything a classic. In the case of Equinox, that someone is Criterion, which dredged up Jack Woods' God-awful 1970 monster movie and turned it into a two-disc DVD.

Who is Jack Woods? Nobody of consequence. He directed all of two movies. But Dennis Muren helped him out here by shooting a prior version of the movie (as a student film) that eventually got turned into this 1970 release. Muren would put Equinox behind him, but in short order he'd go on to do effects work for Star Wars, E.T., The Abyss, and War of the Worlds.

The story of Equinox is pretty silly, about four sweater-vest types who take a picnic into the mountains and encounter unspeakable evil. (It's unspeakable because it's so laughably bad in its production, not because it's so evil.) The kids encounter a ranger named Asmodeus (giveaway, anyone?) who tries to run them off, but not before they blunder into a cave, where a giggling man in a pressed plaid shirt gives them a book of ultimate evil. Asmodeus wants the book, and soon he's summoning claymation demons and contorting his face -- which apparently gives him amazing seduction powers.

Of course, Criterion didn't put this out so you could marvel at its intricate plot. Rather, they want you to see how a special effects master got his start. Frankly, there's not much to see. Every major film director has a movie like this in his past. Muren's special effects are unremarkable, even for 1970, though he does good work with clay and has some impressive camera tricks to make the man in green body paint and a fur coat look like a real ogre instead of just a big fat guy.

Purportedly a cult classic (though I'd never heard of it before now), Equinox is filled with poor acting, bad editing, and a tale of supernatural terror that is completely without thrills. If that's what it takes to become a cult classic, well, we're going to have a ton of them coming out of the horror flicks of the early 2000s.

The two-disc set includes both the 1970 cut and Muren's 1967 original, two commentary tracks (one from Woods, one from Muren), interviews with the cast and crew, deleted scenes and outtakes, and additional ephemera from David Allen, who worked on the film as an animator. Hope you like cheese!

Aka The Equinox: Journey into the Supernatural.



Equinox

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 1st October 1970

Distributed by: Criterion Collection

Production compaines: RainCity Productions, SC Entertainment International

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jack Woods, Dennis Muren

Producer: Jack H. Harris

Starring: as Henry Petosa / Freddy Ace, as Beverly Franks, as Mr. Paris, as Rosie Rivers, Tyra Ferrell as Sonya Kirk, as Sharon Ace, as Russell Franks

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