For Reel

Equinox (1970)
December 8, 2011, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Director: Jack Woods & Dennis Muren

Originally released in 1967 as The Equinox… A Journey into the Supernatural under director Dennis Muren (the special effects pioneer with nine Academy Awards to his name), Equinox was extended into a feature-length film using additional footage directed by Jack Woods in 1970. If a picture’s merit is judged solely by the competence of the actors, the script, and its narrative coherency, this is an objectively awful film. In its latter half, however, it exceeds the mere “so bad its good” appeal with genuinely inventive sequences of stop-motion animation. Famously made with a budget of $6,500 by filmmakers under twenty, the picture may be lousy, but the story of its production is fascinating and clearly had to have had an influence on the Sam Raimis of the world. The film’s biggest laugh is the deadpan way in which a forest ranger announces himself as “Asmodeus.” Later, one of the teens exclaims, “I just remembered! Asmodeus is another name for the devil!”