(aka 'The Beast')
Jack Woods and Dennis Muren (uncredited)
Before he took you to a galaxy far, far away, before he brought you face-to-face with living, breathing prehistoric beasts, Dennis Muren, the future nine-time Oscar-winning visual-effects artist (Star Wars, Jurassic Park), joined forces with a group of talented young filmmakers to create an homage to the creature features of yore in the eerie monster mash Equinox. Deep within the woods and canyons of California, four teenagers happen upon an ancient book containing the secrets of a strange, malevolent world that coexists with that of mankind. This $6,500-budget wonder (originally called The Equinox . . . A Journey into the Supernatural) was picked up for distribution by producer Jack H. Harris (The Blob), who shot new footage for the film with writer-director Jack Woods and released it in 1970 as Equinox. Since then, the film has gained a passionate cult following and inspired succeeding generations of horror/fantasy filmmakers...
Posters + Promotional Material
Theatrical Release: October 1970
DVD Review: Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Criterion Collection - Spine # 338 - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.37 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
audio commentaries: One by writer-director Jack Woods and producer Jack
H. Harris, on the 1970 release. And one by effects photographer,
producer, and director Dennis Muren; writer-codirector Mark McGee; and
matte artist, cel animator, and effects technician Jim Danforth, on the
NOTE: This release is not pictureboxed - I repeat - NOT pictureboxed. We can assume that Criterion have abandoned this DVD production practice - hopefully for good. More on this as it surfaces.
Well, everything you always wanted to know about Equinox... and then some. Criterion have done such a thorough job in commentaries, supplements and detailed factoids revolving around the creation of this film (s), that it's almost impossible not to fully embrace it. The longer version (Equinox) has had the Criterion magic put to it, where the predecessor, the 1967 version of the film, The Equinox . . . A Journey into the Supernatural, sharing the same disc, looks a little rough around the edges bearing the earmarks of the original independent production (see comparison captures below). Actually I don't know that I can add too much more to the screen captures - it looks possibly better than it ever has - digital noise as faux-grain on a very clean image. The post-dubbing is quite poor, but that, of course, has nothing to do with Criterion, I didn't hear a pop or hiss through the entire film - once again - clean and consistent.
The extras - they are so encompassing I'll simply relate the ones I enjoyed the most - the commentaries are not the best I've heard but they are true and honest with loads of extraneous details. I might even have preferred The Equinox . . . A Journey into the Supernatural one the best - I kind of enjoyed Dennis Muren's manner. I also was entertained by the interviews with Frank Bonner, of WKRP in Cincinnati fame, and Barbara Hewitt (et all). Nothing overly special about them, they just added good flavor to the post film explorations. More decent fodder is the video introduction by crusty old Forrest J. Ackerman - this guy has been there forever and has a mitt-ful to say.
Although I wouldn't compare Equinox to the superior film productions like The Blob or Carnival of Souls - Criterion have duplicated the appeal by burrowing under the surface of a frugal venture to tell the hidden stories, which are rife with anecdotal fun and curiosities. Once you get into Equinox, you will remain a fan for life.