Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Equinox….a movie so great in its badness that it’s part of the Criterion Collection. Which also means it’s stupidly expensive. So rent it.

It’s about a crazy group of kids that decide to picnic in the woods, find an ancient book that is all kinds of evil ‘n stuff, and fight off stop motion monsters.  Oh yeah, and there’s a castle and Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Neat!

Our movie begins with some dude yelling and running through the woods and almost getting run over by a car with no driver. Then some other dude finds him and takes him to the hospital.

I agree, it's always faster to run THROUGH the trees than around them.

So, cut to a year later, and our tree jumper, David, has been hanging out in the psych ward. Apparently nobody really knows the story, so it's time to get it out of him, don't you think?

So one day David, his friend Jim, and their be-scarfed dates, Susan and Vicki get their Colonel on and head out for a picnic in the woods. Oh yeah, it also has something to do with some geology thing and a professor.

But when they get there, the professor, Dr Waterman, is nowhere to be found - and his cabin is all kinds of crazy messed up. Wonder how that happened?

But these kids aren't all alone in these woods - they have a ranger who likes to magically appear every once in a while:

Don't let my eyebrows scare you. Oh wait, on second thought, they probably should.

Not only does this forest have a ranger, it has a castle!
When forced perspective goes horribly wrong.

There's also this cackling bastard who lives in a cave:

He also gives the kids a BIG Book O EEEvil to read at their picnic.

Rockin' the KFC:

The kids learn all kinds of groovy things from this book. Including finding out what happened to the professor's cabin:

Yes, you guessed it. A freaking sea serpent destroyed it. Because, as we all well know, one of the many dangers of being out in the wilderness is the potential to run into SEA CREATURES.  Oh well. In my book, that's what you get for CAMPING. 

So the kids decide that this forest is just one freaking EVIL ass place, so they better make some totems to protect themselves. You know, as opposed to JUST GOING THE F**K HOME. They consult the book and get their Blair Witch on with sticks and string:

Good for keeping Rangers and Sea Serpents at bay.

So - we have A Ranger, Sea Serpents, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Blair Witchy totems. What else could this movie use?


Forced perspective is just NOT this movie's strong suit.

So at some point, we figure out that Ranger Rick is really a bad guy, and also turning himself into these crazy ass monsters....I think. 
One thing I know he can do is open up some kind of crazy portal and suck people into it:

David can't pull Jim and the book out, so he ends up jumping in the vortex himself:

And it turns out that the inside of the vortex is pretty much the same as the OUTSIDE of the vortex.....only redder.

Then they both escape but it's soon clear that Jim is not really Jim after all. 

That crazy Ranger!

Well, you know that this whole evil possession thing just ain't gonna end good, and it doesn't. Which brings us back around to the beginning of the story, with Jim flailing about on the side of the road and ending up in the nut house.  Oh yeah, and Jim says something about being told that day that he would die in one year and one day.  And guess what today is? Derp.

I thought I had a screen shot of Susan walking up to the hospital - with some consipicuous dark circles under her eyes. But I don't. Trust me, it's not that exciting.  As almost as soon as we see her, we get this:

And that's it. 
I almost feel bad for Equinox because i want to like it more than I do. Of course I mean like it in the way that I love bad movies, like I want to tuck them under my pillow and protect them from the cold, cruel world. And while there are times that Equinox veers towards Awesome Badness ( A Freaking Sea Serpent in the Forest? Be still my beating heart!), at times it's just, well, boring.
Yeah, that's pretty much how I felt by the end of this movie.
But it's fun for a one time viewing - which is why Mama would never pay Criterion Collection price for this mess. Maybe five dollar bargain bin. But I do think it's very cool that a movie like this got the Criterion treatment. So, Criterion, where's my Abby? Vampire Hookers? Death Bed: The Bed that Eats?

Oh well. We can always hope. 
Till next time, friends.....go get yerselves some KFC and for god's sake, stay out of the woods.
-Mother Firefly


Lazarus Lupin said...

This is sort of schizo film. The special effects are delightful in their good/badness but actual film not so much.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

Mandy Ann said...

This is exactly why I don't camp. Shit... Sea Serpents... no can do. However, I MAY consider camping if I could get me some KFC.

Mother Firefly said...

LL: I agree, the film itself is kind of boring. The special effects save it.

Mandy: I say skip the damn tent and other crap and let's just hit the drive thru.
PS, I saw Cate tonight and she was making a CAKE. Not your cake, but a cake nonetheless.

Erich Kuersten said...

As Michael Weldon points out in Psychotronic (I think) you can actually see the cast age... this film was first a short, then padded to feature length years later thanks to an interested producer. Figuring it was all just shot on weekends and you have your aging process right there.

This film was the super scary s--t back when as kids we used to catch it on UHF TV - between all the vortexes and devil rangers and winged demons, it was almost too much for us to handle! I saw it recently and yeah, if I had spent $40 on the Criterion, I'd be nonplussed, but worth a rental, thanks for the memories, Mama Wagstaff!

Mother Firefly said...

Oh my Erich, UHF!!!! Talk about bringing back the memories! Two dials on the TV and having to tweak the antenna to that PERFECT spot and then holding your breath praying the wind wouldn't blow the wrong way....... Unfortunately i did not see this as a kid, but I know I would have LOVED it. It would have scared the crap out of me too. But I still appreciate the low budget Land of the Lost type feel (As if Land of the Lost wasn't low budget enough already!)

harleygirl13 said...

I will rent this!!! It sounds to interesting not too!!! I really don't like to camp although I have done it a few times in my younger days but I feel now I have a very good excuse to never do it again!!!