Equinox: A Journey into the Supernatural is a low-budget Cult Classic B-Movie from 1968, which is featured in The Criterion Collection. It is largely notable because its director, Dennis Muren, later went on to do special effects for Star Wars and was a founding member of Industrial Light & Magic.
Recut in 1970 by Jack Harris (the man who also produced The Blob) and retitled simply Equinox, it enjoyed a long run on late night TV and in the midnight/drive-in circuit. More footage was shot by a different director, who saw fit to put himself in the movie as the new main antagonist, Asmodeus.
Told in flashback as a reporter follows up on an interview with a man in a psychiatric ward he did a year prior. A young man named David is called by his geology professor to visit him to discuss something important at the professor's mountain cabin. He diverts a double date with his friends up to the mountain to meet the professor, only to find the professor's house crushed and no sign of him. Trying to find the professor they chance upon a crazy old man in a cave who forces an ancient book on them, but soon they find themselves pursued by giant creatures sent to recover the book for themselves.
Tropes present in Equinox include...
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The various creatures, especially the blue-skinned ogre and the creature that kills the old man.
- Cassandra Truth: No one believes Dave's story.
- Character Filibuster: Dave really wants you to know about the mythology behind the book.
- Curiosity Killed the Cast
- Daylight Horror: The entire movie takes place during the day.
- Deal with the Devil: Asmodeus tries to make one to Jim.
- Deranged Park Ranger: Asmodeous, the vicious demon lord summoned by Dr. Arthur Watermann, initially takes the form of a park ranger.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Literally. Come on, the guy seriously introduced himself to the kids as Asmodeus.
- Downer Ending: Everyone gets killed by monsters except for one guy, and one year and one day later, well, read the rest of the page.
- Eldritch Abomination: The tome summons two of them, one, a squid and the other, an ape. There's also an ogre, but it's less eldritch and more fantasy based.
- Framing Device: The movie is being told in flashback by Dave in a mental hospital.
- Horny Devils: Asmodeus.
- How We Got Here: While in the hospital, Dave tells the story of what had happened.
- In One Year And One Day: YOU WILL BE DEAD!
- Kill 'Em All: It's implied Dave will die at the end, like all his friends.
- Louis Cypher: Park ranger Asmodeus? Subtle.
- Magitek: Believe it or not. The magic in this movie relies on symbols and is described as:... Manipulation of these symbols is treated exactly like the science of chemistry. This element changes that one, one symbol is a catalyst, another is an agent or a counteractant.
- Meaningful Name: Park Ranger ASMODEUS!
- Neutral Female: Susan and Vicky.
- Obviously Evil: Did anyone really believe for a second that Asmodeus was a real park ranger?
- Screaming Woman: Vicky.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The book they find which is the crux of the plot.
- Too Dumb to Live: "I just remembered! 'Asmodeus' is Greek for 'Devil'!"
- Not to mention the whole exploring a dark cave after they heard maniacal laughter from within and the sounds of something gigantic and unseen flying away.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After Dr. Waterman dies and disappears from reality, the movie (and characters) seem to completely forget he ever existed at all. Which makes sense, if he disappears from reality.