Before STAR WARS and JURASSIC PARK, ILMs Dennis Muren, the nine-time Oscar-winning vfx artist, joined forces with a group of talented young filmmakers to create an homage to creature features in the eerie monster mash EQUINOX, which recently arrived on DVD (The Criterion Collection, $39.95).
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 was picked up for distribution by producer Jack H. Harris (THE BLOB), who shot new footage with writer-director Jack Woods and released it in 1970. Since then, the film has gained a passionate cult following and inspired succeeding generations of horror/fantasy filmmakers. In fact, EVIL DEAD owes a great deal to EQUINOX.
Bonus features include:
* For the first time on DVD, the original 1967 version of the film, THE EQUINOXA JOURNEY INTO THE SUPERNATURAL.
* Two audio commentaries: One by writer/director Woods and producer Harris, on the 1970 release. And one by effects photographer, producer and director Muren; writer-co-director Mark McGee; and matte artist, cel animator and effects technician Jim Danforth, on the 1967 version.* Video introduction by Forrest J Ackerman* Interviews with Muren and actors Frank Bonner, Barbara Hewitt and James Duron* Deleted scenes and outtakes from the 1967 version* Archival stop-motion test footage* THE MAGIC TREASURE, a rare animated fairy tale by EQUINOX effects master David Allen* Acclaimed KONG Volkswagen commercial by Allen, including test footage* ZORGON: THE H-BOMB BEAST FROM HELL (1972), a short film featuring EQUINOX crew* Extensive gallery featuring rare stills, promotional material, and more* Booklet featuring tributes from George Lucas and Ray Harryhausen and a new essay by Brock DeShane