Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Bermuda Triangle|
Actors: John Huston, Andrés García, Hugo Stiglitz, Gloria Guida, Marina Vlady
Director: René Cardona Jr.
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Director Rene Cardona Jr. has managed to make a very convincing horror tale set square in the Bermuda Triangle - still one of the greatest mysteries on Earth. This place; which has reportedly swallowed up hundreds of sh... more »
"I tell you boy, leave the sea and its secrets in peace."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 04/30/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Little did I know what dangerous cinematic waters I was venturing into when I popped the Bermuda Triangle (1978) aka Il Triangolo delle Bermude into my DVD player, but any anticipatory thrills I may have been entertaining quickly went down the drain when I saw the name René Cardona Jr. appear as director, the man responsible for Tintorera:Tiger Shark (1977). The film features, much to my delight, two of the stars of that Tiger Shark movie in Andrés `Uni-Brow' García and Hugo Stiglitz, whose bio on this DVD claims he `lighted up the screen' in the mid 80's in various English language films like Under the Volcano (1984)...whatever...also starring is former Miss Teenage Italy (1974) Gloria Guida whose bio states `she's especially popular on internet babe-watch sites, many of which focus on various states of undress'...seriously, that's what it says, and then let's not forget the big name star in this film, legendary director/writer/actor John Huston (okay, maybe he wasn't a legendary actor, but I still don't understand how he got involved in this mess...I think this mystery actually overshadows that of the Bermuda Triangle itself). As far as the rest of the cast, the only one I recognize even remotely is Miguel Ángel Fuentes (he looks like the Hispanic version of Lurch, from the Addams Family) as he's appear in a handful of American films like Caveman (1981), Triumphs of a Man Called Horse (1982), and The Mexican (2001).
The first twenty minutes or so of the film are intercut with scenes of a family and crew aboard a steamer/luxury ship called the Black Whale III and various sequences of small aircraft and ships meeting an undetermined fate as they encounter El Triángulo diabólico de las Bermudas aka The Devil's Triangle of Bermuda...oooh, scary...anyway, aboard the Whale, a little girl spots a doll floating in the water and they retrieve it...it's an ugly doll to be sure...then we meet the family and crew. Apparently Martin (Houston) has brought his entire family with him, including his four children (one of the older ones played by Guida and another played by the director's son...ah, nepotism, it's a lovely thing), his wife, and his half brother and his wife, who spend most of the time fighting, directing especially snide remarks at each other, much to everyone else's amusement, as Martin is some sort of explorer and wants to take underwater photographs of the lost city of Atlantis. We also get to meet the stout crew of the Black Whale III...there's the heavily bearded, pipe smoking Captain Mark Briggs (Stiglitz), the bohunk navigator Allen (García), and the superstitious engine man Gordo (Fuentes), among others (oh, and don't forget the token black cook who, at times, appears to have stepped out of the 1946 Disney film The Song of the South...which I heard may be released in a DVD set sometime in 2006). Soon strange things begin to happen...a mystery ship appears in the middle of the night, a weird attack by kamikaze birds, and some unseen force attacking the Black Whale from beneath the surface. Oh yeah, the little girl with the doll (the one found in the sea) starts acting creepy, claiming she knows when people on the ship are going to die and such, some in the not so distant future (yeah, if I were on this boat, I think this girl might have ended up overboard with talk like that)...well, some other things happen and people do get killed in a series of deadly accidents (or are they?), as the curse of the Bermuda Triangle lives up to its reputation...
For a film that has so much going on, I was amazed at how utterly boring the whole thing was...perhaps this was because it runs an hour and 51 minutes...which is about 40 minutes longer than it should have been. At the very least I could reasonably follow what was going on within the story, which is more than I could say for Cardoza's previous film Tintorera. The film seems to dredge up any number of possibilities for the cause of so many ships and aircraft to disappear over the years in the area triangulated by Puerto Rico, Miami, and the Bermuda Islands including aliens, sea monsters, ghosts, etc. but never takes one specific direction instead presenting a clumsy, unintelligible mish mash hodge-podge. The acting is pretty poor, and completely exacerbated by the awful dialog (full of odd statements and a continual stating of the obvious) along with atrocious dubbing...the dubbing was the oddest aspect as it was clear the actors were originally speaking English, but then dubbed over in what seemed like their own voices. They must have been all standing around the microphone because there's no sense of space with relation to the actors on screen. A scene might have two people talking to each other from a great distance apart, yet the dubbing would appear to have them next to each other...good job audio guy...there were some really well done underwater scenes, but, as I expected, these were marred by the very real killing by spear gun of a few sharks...nice bloody close ups and all...I got no great love for sharks, but it seemed kind of pointless to kill them for the sake of this lousy film. I loved how, on the ship, there were all these lithograph pictures of mysterious giant sea creatures of yore attacking schooners and such...just the kind of thing you want decorating a sea going vessel...despite all the clichés, there were some very creepy elements in the film, specifically involving the doll (hint, it's evil), which I'm still unsure how it fit in with the story as presented, but given the craptacular nature of the film, I was willing to take what I could get. And then there's the shock ending...a lame effort to tie the story to the beginning, but at least it's an ending...followed by, before the actual credits, of a listing of all known ships and aircraft lost over the years in the area of the Bermuda Triangle, along with the year and number of people lost and a final, ominous question `Who will be next?'. Was this last bit meant to add credibility to the film? If so, it didn't work...
The widescreen anamorphic (1.78:1) picture on the VCI Entertainment DVD release looks surprisingly good, and the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is exceptionally clear. Special features include some unintentionally entertaining bios of the cast and crew, along with trailers for various films including Chariots of the Gods (1970), The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1954), and Hannibal (1960), starring Victor Mature.
My final assessment? Thar she blows...the film that is...
Not as bad as you might expect it to be.
Christopher A. Richards | Somewhere Over The Rainbow | 05/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, let's get a few facts out of the way first: yeah, there's lots of plot holes in this film (some large enough to drive an 18 wheeler through), there some bad acting and the ending is kind lame (though that's par for the course for these "paranormal speculative fiction" type films), and the last reel or two drag quite a bit.
But it's still an incredibly creepy movie. A family of scuba divers journey into The Bermuda Triangle to investigate some u/w ruins that may or may not be the remains of Atlantis. The team is headed up by Ed Marvin, played here by John Huston (yes, the same one who directed The Maltese Falcon). I'm not sure how Rene Cardona Jr blackmailed Huston into agreeing to be in this movie, but I'm guessing he must have gotten the schmutz from Ovidio Assontis (director of the Jaws rip off Tentacles, which Huston had appeared in, along with the likes of Shelly Winters, Claud Akins and Henry Fonda...yes THAT Henry Fonda, a year earlier).
Anyway, so John Huston and family (which includes his wife Kim, their four children Michelle, David-played by Rene Cardona III, though he uses the pseudonym Al Coster in the credits, Billy and Diane) go off on this scuba expedition. For reasons not clearly explained, they've decided to bring along Ed's half brother Peter, a surgeon who spends virtually the entire movie drowning his sorrow and guilt of having someone die on his operating table in a bottle of whiskey. Peter's wife is along for the ride, played by Claudine Auger. Some of you may remember Claudine as Domino DuVal in Thunderball, my personal favorite James Bond movie.
Also along for the ride is the ship's crew: Captian Briggs (played by Hugo Stigletz, who also appeared in the awful Tintorerra, another Cardona epic), first mate Alan (played by the hunky Andres Garcia, also a veteran of the Tintorerra fiasco), engineer Gordon, ship's cook Simon (who, as has been mentioned in other reviews on this and other websites, appears to have stepped out of a KKK manual on African Americans) and Tony (not sure what Tony's actual title is, but he seems to be a general purpose gopher on board).
When Diane spots a doll floating in the water, the doll is brought on board the ship. Why the doll is wearing the same dress as a little girl seen briefly on a Victorian era ship in the film's prologue (or why that girl is played by the same actress who plays Diane), we're never told.
Anyway, this is where the trouble begins. Diane begins acting very creepy at this point. She claims the doll talks to her (she also briefly mentions a man that nobody else sees, who tells her that everyone on the ship is going to die), and even asks Simon to give her a piece of raw meat to feed to the doll (Simon, adhering to the stereotype that Jorge Zamora seems to be basing his performance, thinks nothing the matter, and gives the girl the raw meat). After a flock of birds attack Diane and her doll (out in the open sea?!), it's noted that not only do the birds have their throats ripped open, but the doll has blood smeared on her lips.
Finally, we reach the site where the u/w ruins, and we're treated the film's highlight, a 20 minute long scuba scene, which is actually very beautifully filmed. There's the occasional cut away to the ship, so that we can see Diane locking Simon in a walk in refridgerator and Peter complaining about how he wants to get off "This floating tub", but there's a good long stretch where we're mostly treated to Ed, Michelle, David, Alan, and Capt Briggs floating around some rather exotic underwater seascape. Eventually, a earthquake hits, and Michelle becomes trapped under a giant pillar.
Once she's brought back onto the ship, things get weirder still, as various cast members either mysteriously disappear, get washed over the side of the boat, or just die under rather mysterious circumstances (Simon falls on a bottle and somehow slits his throat in the process).
The ending DOES have one minor twist that's kind of clever, but otherwise, it's a very stereotypical ending for movies that deal with "The Bermuda Triangle" (oh, you thought this was the only one?! Not hardly!).
So, is it worth buying? Well, I thought it was relatively well executed. There's never really an explanation of what's causing all the craziness aboard the ship. Is it the doll? Is it "sea creatures"? Is it extraterrestrials? We're never told, but all these things are vaguely referenced, without any satisfactory explanation of exactly WHAT is happening or WHY. But did you really expect any kind of LOGIC in this film?! You're obviously a neophyte B-movie viewer! :-)
Seriously, it had a good creepy atmosphere, the electronic music score during the "supernatural" bits (one website refers to it as "cues from the Forbidden Planet soundtrack") is quite effective, and the scuba scene is very well filmed. And to tell you the truth, the scuba scene was the main reason I checked this film out. What have you got to lose? Besides $14 and 2 hours of your life, I mean? Heck, if you don't like it, sell it on E-bay!"
Another Cardona abomination
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 05/20/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I knew when I started reviewing crud cinema again that I'd revisit the Rene Cardona, Jr Fun Park. Although it's been a long time, I vividly remember struggling through "Tintorera" and "Guyana: Crime of the Century". How could I forget those two experiences? A frontal lobotomy performed with a sledgehammer wouldn't rid my mind of the images those two "classics" inflicted upon me. If you're not familiar with Senor Cardona's work, he's the sort of director who somehow managed to raise enough funds to populate his films with fairly well known actors and actresses. He convinced Susan George to appear in "Tintorera," and staffed "Guyana" with folks like Joseph Cotton and Stuart Whitman. I know what you're going to say, and you're right. Susan George was never a huge star, and Joseph Cotton's career trajectory was approaching its nadir in the 1970s. True. But it's still surprising to see the number of known faces Cardona put in his films. For proof of this assertion, check out the 1978 Cardona classic "The Bermuda Triangle". No less a personage than John Huston appears in this clunker. Claudine Auger turns up, too. Consider Cardona as a sort of past tense version of Uwe Boll.
"The Bermuda Triangle" made me wish I could disappear, never to be seen again, preferably while carrying every copy of this film in existence in my hands. The movie revolves around the misfortunes of an expedition sailing into the Bermuda Triangle in search of the lost island of Atlantis. The boat in question contains a number of major and minor cast members so huge that to describe them all fully would tax what meager patience I already have in writing this review. It's sufficient to say that John Huston plays Martin, the head of the family on the boat, and Cardona regular Hugo Stiglitz plays Mark Briggs, the captain of the vessel. Claudine Auger plays a really saucy, mouthy tart called Sybil. Everyone else, from a weird little kid to a black cook whose racist depiction invokes memories of a minstrel show, merely stands in front of the scenery contributing what he or she can to this mess. Anyway, our cast encounters all sorts of supernatural weirdness in their quest for Atlantis. The strangeness starts when the little girl finds a doll floating in the waters, a doll that allows her to make grim predictions about the future of certain people on the boat. Already I'm feeling a headache coming on.
What follows feels like Cardona made a list of weird goings on and is merely checking them off one by one. Typical Bermuda Triangle behavior like planes losing their bearings? Check. A ghost ship sailing by our vessel? Check. Atlantis? Check. Equipment suddenly breaking down at inopportune times? Check. Weird lights in the sky? Check. Increasing paranoia aboard the ship? Check. Shark attack? Check. Odd radio messages that hint at prior disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle? Check. The result? A bad movie loaded with cliches that runs for nearly two hours. That's TWO HOURS! The viewer quickly tires of the bickering aboard ship, the weird child's endless, ominous predictions, and seeing Hugo Stiglitz wearing a captain's hat. I admit I thought the scene involving a bunch of birds and the doll elicited a chuckle or two, but most of what we see here just doesn't work. Oh, I almost forgot--there's a twist ending that makes the viewer reanalyze everything they've seen up to that point. Even this fairly well done conclusion can't save "The Bermuda Triangle" from its own inherent banality. I never thought I'd see a Cardona film that made me nostalgic for other, equally poor, Cardona films.
What's wrong with "The Bermuda Triangle"? Pretty much everything, my friends. I suspect Cardona made this movie with an eye toward cashing in on the then current Bermuda Triangle craze. I was just a little kid in 1978, but even I remember how much coverage the spooky disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle received in the public eye. Lots of shows, specials, and books emerged in the late 1970s outlining the vast numbers of planes, trains, and automobiles that disappeared in the Triangle. The problem with Cardona's film is that he takes every possible explanation for these disappearances and throws them into one movie. There's no subtlety here as the movie beats you over the head with one spooky incident after another. The other problem is that the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon is a lot of bunk, but we won't get into that here. A further difficulty is the cast. Cardona gives us no one to root for here, as everyone in the movie comes off as petty jerk, a shrill wench, or a raving alcoholic. Who cares if these people make it to shore? All I care about is making it to the conclusion! Throw in the leaden performances, the cringe inducing dubbing, the cheesy special effects, and you've got all the makings of a classic clunker.
Supplements on the VCI disc release of "The Bermuda Triangle" include bios on Cardona, Huston, and a few other cast members. We also get trailers for "Chariots of the Gods," "The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe," and Edgar G. Ulmer's "Hannibal". Picture and audio quality are surprisingly good for such a cheap chunk of garbage. I see that VCI has released all of the Cardona films I've watched on DVD. I predict a bankruptcy and subsequent reorganization in their future. I can't in good conscience recommend "The Bermuda Triangle". It's pedestrian, shabbily paced, and poorly made junk that does nothing to elevate the public perception of Mexican cinema. Its only interest is as a sort of time capsule of late 1970s pop culture, and it's a pretty weak time capsule at that. Two stars. Avoid at all costs."