5.3/10
2,795
82 user 65 critic

Equinox (1970)

Four friends are attacked by a demon while on a picnic, due to possession of a tome of mystic information. Told in flashbacks by the sole survivor.

Directors:

Jack Woods, Dennis Muren (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Mark Thomas McGee (based on story by), Jack Woods
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward Connell Edward Connell ... David Fielding
Barbara Hewitt ... Susan Turner
Frank Bonner ... Jim Hudson (as Frank Boers Jr.)
Robin Christopher Robin Christopher ... Vicki
Jack Woods Jack Woods ... Asmodeus
James Phillips James Phillips ... Reporter Sloan (as Jim Phillips)
Fritz Leiber Jr. Fritz Leiber Jr. ... Dr. Arthur Waterman (as Fritz Leiber)
Patrick Burke Patrick Burke ... Branson
Jim Duron Jim Duron ... Orderly
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Storyline

Four teenagers go on a woods hike and encounter a creepy forest ranger and a crazy old man. The old man is a scientist who had found a mysterious book bound in human skin, the Necronomicon, and when he had read its cryptic symbols it conjured monsters into existence. The teenagers keep the book, and are then persued by monsters, a demonic cult, and the ranger. The ranger turns out to be a red flying devil in human disguise. Written by io

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

SEE THE RING THAT ENSLVES AND DESTROYS (original posters-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Disc jockey Chuck Niles did the voice of Sloan the reporter for the theatrical version. See more »

Goofs

David's shirt alternates between being buttoned and unbuttoned. His undershirt disappears and reappears. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
David Fielding: Susan? Susan! Su - !
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Crazy Credits

Over close ups of time piece mechanisms clicking along the credits run from the producer all the way down to Ed Begley Jr (!!) as a camera assistant. Finally, after they have all run through, the title card "EQUINOX" appears thus reversing the normal sequence. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original version of this film is entitled "The Equinox: A Journey Into the Supernatural" (1967) directed by Dennis Muren. This version used the same cast, but includes stop-motion animation not seen in the release version, a totally different storyline, doesn't include the character Asmodeus, has a completely different music score, differently filmed versions of scenes which were in the released film and other differences. Jack Woods is credited as writer and director of the 1970 release version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Equinox: Cast Interview (2006) See more »

User Reviews

 
THE EQUINOX…A JOURNEY INTO THE SUPERNATURAL (Dennis Muren and Marc McGee, 1967) **1/2
12 August 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

{This review includes comments on EQUINOX (Jack Woods, 1970) **1/2}

When this was first announced as a Criterion release, I was only vaguely familiar with it; I purchased the 2-Disc Set recently (as it was on sale) without really knowing what to expect; the result is certainly interesting – especially having two versions of the film to compare…even if it doesn't quite belong in the "Collection".

Originally made in 1967, THE EQUINOX…A JOURNEY INTO THE SUPERNATURAL is basically a 70-minute home movie – amateurish if clearly made by fanatics of the horror genre, talented enough to create their own monsters (which aren't too bad into the bargain)! When the film was eventually picked up for release by Jack H. Harris, he ordered several reshoots, changed the order of scenes around, tightened some others, replaced a lot of the dialogue, etc. – this didn't necessarily make for a better film (in fact, I think that the original is still the superior effort) but, at least, it now felt like a proper movie!

What the theatrical version did, primarily and ultimately to its detriment, was to eliminate a lot of the surprise which the original held – for instance, the figure of the demon towering over the hero at the very start of the 1967 version is missing from the theatrical-release print; similarly, we're shown the driverless car which mows him down prior to the accident. Also, the revelation that the demon is taking possession of the characters (having already established that this is what caused the Professor and the hero's blind date to go crazy momentarily in the re-edited version) takes away from the scene in which his best friend is likewise 'afflicted'; and, again, the impact of the twist ending is lessened when we already know that Susan is capable of evil.

The teenage leads are likable enough to overcome their essential inexperience; popular horror writer Fritz Leiber appears as the obsessive Professor who unwittingly unleashes the Forces of Darkness in the wilderness; in the 1967 version, we also get to hear the voice of horror/sci-fi authority Forrest J. Ackerman (who, then, appears on the DVD for a special introduction). The one major addition to the cast list for the 1970 version is, ironically, the character played by the re-shoots director himself – a creepy-looking Ranger with the equally strange name of Asmodeus (as it turns out, one of the devil's various monikers!). While he was, perhaps, intended to beef up the picture's scare factor (even attempting to rape the two girls), it's really a pointless role and basically represents a distraction from the central narrative (which deals naively with the eternal struggle between Good and Evil, as shown in an ancient tome kept by a crazy old man living inside a cave – and which involves much religious symbolism and an invisible barrier leading into the netherworld)!

Finally, we get to the special effects: they're very primitively done and a couple of the creatures (the squid and the giant native) aren't very effective but the ape-like monster and the demon are quite marvelously designed and one isn't overly bothered by the essential lack of refinement in the stop-motion animation involved. Unfortunately, the print utilized for the transfer of the 1967 version is very poor – with a number of shots being several generations removed from the already substandard master and lip-synch problems during a fair chunk of the duration (attributable certainly to its rarity, but which also adds to the inherent charm of its rough-and-ready quality)!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Equinox... A Journey Into the Supernatural See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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