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The Bermuda Triangle (1978)

August 21st, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments


If you’re feeling spiritually under the weather or generally hopeless about human existence don’t make the mistake of watching 1978’s THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE (currently FREE on TubiTV). You may think that its sloppy ineptness, super lame dubbing and terrible acting will bring you laughter and joy (and maybe it will for a while) but eventually you’ll realize that this is a bad mojo movie and it’ll be too late to turn it off and you’ll be trapped into riding it out to its disheartening conclusion. Maybe I just have to finally realize that ALL Bermuda Triangle movies are cursed in some way and I should have learned this when, as a child, the made-for-TV movie SATAN’S TRIANGLE ran away with my sanity and soul. I guess all Bermuda Triangle flicks lure you in with the promise of fantastic answers to the mysteries of life only to dump a cold bucket of dejection and futility upon your innocent, baffled head. RENE CARDONA JR.’s take on the legendary enigmatic location dares to place the brunt of the blame on a malignant doll that demands to eat raw meat and impolitely reveals to stressed-out people how and when they are going to die and by rights, it should be hilarious. But no, instead it’s as depressing as a funeral dirge. Everybody puts up a good fight only to suffer helplessly and be lost to infinite time-mocking insanity and ricocheted transmissions of their own pathetic cries for help.

Your head is sure to ache aboard the boat BLACK WHALE III as you try to decipher the relationships between all aboard. JOHN HUSTON is apparently the father and not the grandfather of the Marvin clan who are searching for the lost city of Atlantis but stumble upon the infernal triangle instead. I can’t tell who is a mom and who is a daughter but there is a hell of a lot of drinking and bickering going on. Early on, a horrifying doll with a face only slightly younger than HUSTON’s is retrieved from the water and given to the youngest daughter and I’m guessing it’s definitely connected to the pissed off, old-timey kid who was lost at sea in the epilogue. I should be rooting for this kid and this raggedy doll to team up and kill everybody but when they show the doll’s face in close-up, they switch it to a real live child with dark circles under her eyes who looks miserable as hell and is (shoddy as it may be presented) genuinely disturbing to behold. There’s a black cook that the two immediately set their sights on because he knows off the bat that the two are of the devil and I don’t appreciate the racist way his voice is dubbed and how his being smart enough to know that evil is afoot is presented as comedy relief.

Everybody goes scuba diving and there’s some beautiful underwater photography and just as I was beginning to enjoy things, they obviously really kill two sharks that were only minding their own business. That’s not cool (what did I expect from the director of NIGHT OF 1,000 CATS?) I don’t see how this movie is worth the life of one shark, let alone two. Some giant pillars representing Atlantis (I think) begin to (endlessly) topple thanks to an undersea earthquake and crushes one of the daughters underneath. They’re able to get her back on the boat but her legs are royally mangled and they don’t get better and she mostly just wilts on a bed for the remainder of the movie while a drunken doctor wrestles with the benefits of amputation. From here things just get worse and worse as terrible storms pound away, people fall overboard, get chopped up in the propeller, randomly disappear or just fall down on shards of glass and die. All attempts to escape are absolute failures and it’s all ultimately profoundly frustrating. There’s one last moment of hope when some guys on the mainland finally receive their distress signal (spoiler alert) but that is crushed too when the person who receives the message explains that the BLACK WHALE III and the entire Marvin family were lost at sea ten years ago!!! Do you know who survives this nightmare? The doll. It’s sad, really. I almost like this movie for its relentlessly gloomy vibe. Almost.

Tags: General Horror




5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 21, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Also, I need to shout out some respect to this crazy movie for delivering some classic KT traumafessions…

    https://www.kindertrauma.com/name-that-trauma-reader-jose-on-a-haunted-bermuda-triangle-doll/

    https://www.kindertrauma.com/traumafessions-reader-francisco-on-living-dolls-killer-pigs-and-a-mummy-found-in-the-sea/

    btw TUBITV also offers Rene Cardona Jr’s CYCLONE (1978) which is about plane crash survivors cannibalizing each other on a lifeboat but I understand they eat a dog in that movie and so I’m not going anywhere near it. I’m very much done with this director but will give him props for often casting Andres Garcia (and Priscilla Barnes in the shark flick Tintorera).

  • 2 SmallDarkCloudNo Gravatar // Aug 21, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    It’s amazing, and a bit strange, how much the Bermuda Triangle myth infiltrated popular culture in the 70s. My cousins even owned a Bermuda Triangle board game from Milton Bradley (though the movie I remember best from childhood is The Bermuda Depths television film).

    It was a pseudo-scientific story from American pulp magazines and cheap paperbacks that somehow traveled the world.

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 21, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    SDC,

    We actually have the game! I had it when I was little and always wanted to play it again and John found it in his mother’s basement!

    I really love THE BERMUDA DEPTHS. It’s got to be the most poetic Made-for-TV movies ever made.

  • 4 TreecatNo Gravatar // Aug 21, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Whoa, Unk, you hit the nail right on the head with your description! I, too, felt compelled to watch this endless, depressing thing until the bitter end when I knew I just should have gone to bed. Then the shark thing really pissed me off! It didn’t even make sense in the context of the story–weren’t the characters supposed to be peaceful explorers of the ocean’s wonders or some such?? Just awful!

  • 5 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 22, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Treecat,
    Right? Those sharks were not bothering anybody. Maybe it was just one shark and they showed it twice? I dunno. The movie is seriously padded with repetitious shots. That underwater Earthquake lasted about a half hour! They showed the pilar landing on that woman about five times!

    I do like the BLACK WHALE III T-shirts that the crew wear though. I want one of those.

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