5.1/10
282
20 user 9 critic

Encounter with the Unknown (1973)

Three eerie tales based on actual events are enacted in this film. First, three college students play a prank on a geeky classmate, who is accidentally shot and killed. His vengeful mother ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator (voice)
Robert Ginnaven ...
Father Duane (as Bob Ginnaven)
Gary Brockette ...
Frank Cameron
John Leslie ...
Randy Powell
Tom Haywood ...
Dave Terrell
Fran Franklin ...
Mrs. Davis
James N. Harrell ...
Brother Taylor (as Jim Harrell)
John Cissne ...
Johnny Davis
Mary Jane Wilson ...
Mrs. Wilson
Lyle Armstrong ...
Second Priest
Charles Rumph ...
Student
Kevin Bieberly ...
Jess
Annabelle Weenick ...
Mother
Robert Holton ...
Joe
Frank Schaefer ...
Barber
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Storyline

Three eerie tales based on actual events are enacted in this film. First, three college students play a prank on a geeky classmate, who is accidentally shot and killed. His vengeful mother forecasts the deaths of the three young men she holds responsible, on 7, 14, and 21 days hence. And, one by one, her grim predictions come true. Next, a ghoulish sound emanates from a mist-shrouded hole in the Earth near where a Missouri boy has lost his dog. The boy's father is lowered into the hole and lets out an agonizing scream! Finally, a senator returning home from a party finds a lost girl on a bridge and learns from her father that she died years earlier! Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An incredible journey into the supernatural.

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

PG
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1975 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The graveyard scenes were shot on location at the Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas. See more »

Goofs

The opening of the film has a roll up of text on screen, like Star Wars and many films do. A narrator, not Rod Serling, is reading the words you see on screen, but about halfway through the roll what the narrator is reading and what is on screen are totally different. One or the other must be from a wrong draft of the script. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Davis: Listen you well to my word. One by land, two by sky. Look to the heptagon for it is there. Seven times around go the three of you and may your reward be just and true.
See more »

Soundtracks

Sleepy Shores
(uncredited)
Composed and Performed by Johnny Pearson
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User Reviews

 
Padded, hokey, but with a certain 70s charm.
24 January 2011 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

As another reviewer noted, the hyped "Rankin cluster phenomenon" appears to be total BS. The movie overall has a bit of interest and a few memorable moments.

The first story involves a prank that goes horribly wrong and costs a young man his life, so his witchy mother (in the film's most memorable scene) lays a curse on them at the funeral, although she's never seen to curse the person truly responsible for her son's death. And the guys responsible all die in "accidents" on schedule...

The second story involves a mysterious hole in the ground that appears on a rural farm in the early 20th century. It's just suddenly there one morning. Smoke roils out of it and weird sounds are heard. A local farmer is lowered into it....

The third is the weakest, a rehash of the tired "Phantom Hitchhiker" story that was already a cliché decades before this film was made.

The biggest weakness is that there's so little substance to these stories. Scenes are played over and over and over in obvious attempts to pad it out to feature length. Every story is supposedly based on a "true story" although it seems to either be urban legends or made up from whole cloth. Another amusing bit is in the third story, which has flashbacks to the 20s, and in those scenes were shown a wealthy stylish girl who has long flowing hair...something totally out of whack, as stylish girls of the 20s had bobbed hair! (Of course, by the 70s, long flowing hair was stylish again...) I saw this on a local station back in the 70s or early 80s, and finally came across it again on YouTube. It's cheap hokum, never particularly scary or disturbing, sloppily written and badly edited. Watching it again I can't help but wonder if it was meant to be the pilot for a TV series. It's amusing when one is nostalgic for cheap 70s horror, but ultimately it fails because of the clichéd nature of the stories (except the second one) and the obvious padding. Something with a bit more imagination and more willing to have fun with the material, and even take some liberties with the urban legends, would have been much more enjoyable. The music over the opening credits is memorable, though.


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