A Monster With Sideburns


Equinox, a below-grade 1970 horror-sci-fi drive-in flick, is at least entertaining on a baked potato chip level. You kinda like it, but it still feels weird in your mouth. But Equinox is not without its charms; when you force yourself to sit all the way through it, there’s something vaguely familiar about the stop-motion monsters and SATANIC BOOK that summons them. According to Hollywood, due to the similarities in their plots, Equinox is believed to have inspired Evil Dead (1981). Need more proof? Both movies start with the letter “E”. Coincidence? I think not.


Two swingin’ early ’70s guys and two willing chicks go into the Southern California hills to have a Kentucky Fried Chick™ picnic and do battle with a mythical creature that looks like a clay gorilla with Motorhead sideburns.

The park ranger, named Asmodeus (why is it most park rangers have that very same name?), is after a Necronomicon-type book that allows him and his magic ring to call forth more creatures from Hell. Oh, crap – the early ’70s guys have the book. The professor who had it first, is probably under the rubble of his crushed house just outside of the Celtic castle in the middle of the woods that no one’s ever noticed before. And still the delicious skin-on chicken goes unfinished.


Three people go into the woods, one comes out – and gets run over twice by a car driven by an invisible entity. (They show it at the beginning and end.) He and his blow-dried hair survives, only to get locked up in a loony bin where no Motorhead gorillas, giant cavemen in purple leotards or winged demons can get to him.


Besides special effects that were clearly made by grade-schoolers or people just starting out in pottery, the entire movie is little more than Park Ranger Asmodeus trying to recover the book. Then again, Equinox does feature a monster with sideburns. Surely, there’s points for that.

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