Equinox:  proof that the Devil is reading my website.

   Lately a small number of people have been visiting this website; sending me praise, threats, and even a few suggestions.  One such email was this one:

"Equinox 1971:  You must watch this film...it's badness is it's goodness. My sisters and I still
talk about it...we saw it as a late night film in like 1984...Herb from WKRP in
Cincinnati is in it...enjoy."

It all seemed so innocent.  Little did I know what was in store for me.  When I tried to rent this film, the clerk tried to persuade me otherwise.  This is frightening in that this is the same clerk that let me rent almost all the films on the Death Toll without blinking an eye.  The Devil suggested I watch this film...you'll understand why in just a moment.  From ridiculous monsters to the goofiest rape/sex scene I've seen in a while, Equinox is just plain special.  I may focus on the plot more than I usually would...you'll have to humor me.  It's worth it, I swear.

  The film starts with a bang.  No, seriously it literally starts with an explosion.  You won't believe what just exploded...but since the film won't tell you yet, neither will I.  We have young American David running from something until he's hit by a driverless car he tries to flag down.  Equinox has begun.  We cut to a journalist reviewing the year old mystery of David's case.  The chief psychiatrist tells us that David is a "complete depressive" and all their therapy is just to get ANY kind of reaction from him.  Besides electroshock therapy, they try to get him to respond by locking him in a room with a red wall and a light switch.  The psychiatrist is positively excited about giving David the chance to "face the red wall, turn away from the red wall, or even turn the lights on or off!"  That's a quote by the way.  I wonder if being a "complete depressive" is anything like clinical depression.  I'm sure locking me in the "red room" would help me cheer up.  Anyway the point is, our hero is crazy and in an asylum.  How ever did this happen?  The rest of the story:  It's flashback time.

Four teens (their names don't matter, do they?) head for a cabin in the woods to meet up with a professor and discuss this weird book called the Necronomicon.  Evil Dead, anyone?  Unfortunately, there are much stranger things lurking in these woods than zombies and rapist trees.  After finding the professor missing and his house crushed, the weird stuff starts happening.  First off, the teens notice a freakin' castle in southern California.  The teens completely forget what they were doing and begin planning a long hike to see the castle.  They're like A.D.D. poster children.  The next thing they meet:  The park ranger, Asmodeus.  Yep, that's right.  He introduces himself with the name of a demon.  Maybe I've seen too many animes or bad movies to have spotted it but the kids take it in stride.  Anyway, the evil park ranger lurks about throughout the rest of the film. 

If the kids have the flaw of a short attention span, they make up for it by being industrious in pursing their new goals.  For example:  they hear a strange laughing voice in a nearby cave.  They stop their "to the castle" hike to build torches and explore the cave.   This cues the first of the great "blackout" scenes of this film. As the kids wander about the cave the screen is almost completely black.  Its like a Scooby doo "lost in the dark" sketch.  When the light finally comes back they find a corpse (which is completely and immediately forgotten) and a man who looks a horribly lot like Ross Perot.  Ross Perot gives the teens an evil text (the Necronomicon), before ushering them out of the cave.  Then? Its time for a picnic.

Yep.  These kids eat their KFC (literally) while browsing through the Necronomicon (after they pick the bike lock on its cover).  I love this movie.  Weird things are happening, the kids are finding dead bodies and they just trudge on like nothing is out of the ordinary.  Its awesome.  So, after learning that evil "may" be lurking in the woods, they all use their arts and crafts skills to fashion crude crosses and other "symbols of power."    Yet one of the young girls strays from the group and runs into Asmodeus, in what I like to think of as one of the strangest rape scenes ever.

Asmodeus slowly staggers up to Vicki (names don't matter, remember) and very slowly but threateningly wraps his hands around her.  After pushing her to the ground we are blessed with some of the weirdest faces aimed at a camera I've ever seen.

Now, I've never been raped but I would safely say that if I had any doubts before, I most definitely do not want whatever he's doing done to me.  I swear to god, he just makes faces and drools on her like this for a half hour.  It's completely bizarre.  This continues until the girl's crucifix makes him flee.  She just lies there, looking strangely aroused and confused.  Keeping in synch with the teen's Short Attention Span Theater, her rape is completely forgotten and ignored.  (To any would-be rapists out there:  You will never be this lucky.) 

Trivia Time!  I'd like to point out the picture above is of the director.   Yes---Asmodeus, the drooling spastic demon park ranger rapist, is none other than the director and creative force driving this film.  For those really into trivia: The writer of this film Mark McGee once played "Sir Francis Drake" on an episode of the Incredible Hulk.  The name of that episode?  Equinox.  Weird, right?  Oh, and WKRP in Cincinnati fans:  Herb (Frank Bonner) is the mascara-wearing teen that's fast with the whittling knife (all will become clear soon, sort of).  This was also his first film.  Enough trivia, let's move on.

So what could happen next?  The professor shows up, then promptly disappears in a pool of sulfuric acid (of course) before we're treated to another flashback (in a flashback) of a giant squid destroying the professor's house.  My god, this film is so random.  The kids have the book, and the demons want it back.  After finding a portal to Hell, a giant demon gorilla attacks.  Sweet Jesus, what the hell am I watching?

  Yup.  Giant Satanic gorilla.  It shows up on screen beating Ross Perot to death against a tree.  Now, how great an entrance is that?  The thing charges the kids, trapping them in a dead end.  The kids' response?  Quick!  Let's whittle a spear! Oh my god.  While the monster reaches for them, frothing at the mouth, we're blessed with the kids slowly milling about looking for a good "spear tree."  After finding the right one, they slowly carve a point on it.  These kids make religious symbols, spears, torches, and god knows what else.  I feel like I'm watching an educational Boy Scout training video. Suffice to say the extra care put into the spear does indeed allow it to slay the beast. The kids attempt to regroup, deciding that before escaping the haunted wood or getting the police, they need to bury the body of creepy book-dealer Ross Perot.  I'm not being funny.  The teens actively decide that they need to bury Perot's body before fleeing to safety.  On the way, Vicki (rape victim) becomes possessed, culminating in a weird women's wrestling moment.  By the way, you know she's possessed because she starts making Asmodeus' goofy rapist face.  Of course she snaps out of it once someone flashes a crucifix in her direction.  Afterwards, the youths decide that everyone's under some stress and they need to get out of there.  Now they decide?  I'll say it again:  I love this movie.  So now what?

  Right after Asmodeus, the park ranger, talks about how you shouldn't litter, a jolly green giant in a muumuu appears to avenge the death of the Satanic gorilla (and to get the book of evil).  The kid with the book runs into the portal of Hell to escape the green giant.  I'm sure there were smarter places to run, but, hey, you do what you can.  Anyway, the two men end up being trapped in Hell for a minute or two.  We, the audience, are graced with the second "blackout" of the film.  This time, it's all red (you see it's supposed to be hell, remember?).  I mean really red.  Sure, there are some sort of shapes moving, but the scene is  just a Magic Eye experience.  When the two men exit Hell, one of them is possessed.  You can tell because now he's wearing mascara. 

Anyway, the men fight until Asmodeus shows up in all his glory.  Or not.  Asmodeus the park ranger transforms into Asmodeus the flying demon.  He kills a couple of the kids and ends up chasing the remaining two (one of them being David the "complete depressive" teller of the flashback) into a nearby graveyard.  Yep. Flee the demon by running into a graveyard.  I love it.  Now remember that anything "demonic" has been successfully repelled with the aid of a small crucifix.  Hence when Asmodeus crashes into a cross-topped tombstone, it makes perfect sense that he explodes like a hijacked 747. 

   At this point the film pretty much repeats the opening sequence, revealing that the explosion at the beginning of the film was a demon-park ranger detonating on impact.  We see a demon (represented by a man with a black sheet over his head) curse the lone survivor David to die in "one year and a day."  Of course the flashback ends and we learn that that day is today.  As the journalist leaves the asylum (don't feel bad, I forgot about him too) we see a zombie Vicki sneaking into the hospital with bad intentions on her mind.  Of course we get the classic:  The End?  Confusing and bizarre, at least it's over.

More an experiment in no-moral theatre, this film was a lot of fun to watch....mainly because it was never boring.  The plot is pure madness but there was a lot of effort to get a lot of crap into one horror film.  A giant squid?  Demonic rape/possession? A flying park ranger?  Ross Perot living in a haunted cave?  What more do you want? 

I'd like to thank the Devil for suggesting I watch this horrible rancid wonderful beast of a film.

-Jared

 

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copyright 2004 Jared unless stolen or whatever.