Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beware the Equinox!

The 1970 film Equinox can best be described as one of those low-budget horror films that works a lot better when you are ten than when you are twenty -- and even then, you can't help watching it as an adult and wondering, "What was I thinking when I saw this as a kid?"

It does have a memorable last scene. But whether it is memorable in a good way is yet another matter altogether.

For that matter, the opening sequence involving a car with no driver seemed pretty memorable to me when I first saw this movie -- but that probably says more about my inexperience with horror movies back then than it does the craftsmanship of the movie's director.

If I had to pick the saddest thing about this movie, it is that it featured a brief appearance by the famous horror writer Fritz Leiber -- who was not at his best here and who really deserved a better showcase for his acting than this movie. If I had to pick the best thing about this flick, it is that it probably inspired director Sam Raimi's first horror movie The Evil Dead -- though I somehow doubt that Mr. Raimi will ever acknowledge that.

Anyway, I remember liking it when I first saw it at a very young age. But why I liked it? I have no idea. Perhaps it was the Claymation sequences that impressed me. Or all the references to demons. The movie did tend to work better when it focused on the nonhuman characters than when it focused on the human characters -- though there was one kissing sequence involving a demonic being who looked human that seemed to my adult eyes to be more laughable than scary.

I suspect that some of the animated sequences haunted my dreams for many nights after I first saw the movie but I somehow doubt that I would be affected the same way if I saw it for the first time today. And I for one would like to think that is a good thing. Right?

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