It’s the Bermuda Triangle, Jake … The Triangle (#SFWApro)

(Title courtesy of the classic line in Chinatown, of course)

The Bermuda Triangle was really big in pop-culture pseudoscience back in the 1970s, and BEYOND THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE (1975) spends a lot of screen time regurgitating most of the supposedly true incidents of mysterious disappearances as Fred MacMurray tries to figure out how his best friend could have vanished at sea. There’s also a great deal of dull relationship drama (will another friend finally see who the right woman is for him) so despite MacMurray’s assertion the Triangle is a time/space gateway (it’s funny that he presents this as the obviously logical choice, in contrast to preposterous ideas such as Atlantis or UFOs being responsible) there’s no actual time travel. This will probably make the appendix, but may not even that. “This cruel sea off the Florida coast was never meant for man—and possibly not for God!”

BENEATH THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE (1997) has more action but not much quality: Jeff Fahey is a sub commander who swears his ship went into the future through that time/space doorway, then got annihilated by a more powerful vessel. Fahey then leads a research team through the time warp to discover a future that hybridizes Star Wars (clone troops and a Palpatinish leader) with T2 (clone cyborgs who shapeshift like the T1000). Mindless low-budget action all around, plus an utterly gratuitous sex scene (the kind that gets thrown in for theatrical release overseas) and an equally gratuitous rape. “I have the power to change the future.”

MV5BMTU2NDg3NzIwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzU2NzkzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_AL_ WENT THE DAY WELL (1942) is an excellent British morale booster from Ealing Studios in which the British troops performing maneuvers in a small English village turn out to be Nazis laying the groundwork for the invasion (I’m not sure if I thought this was an alt.history a la It Happened Here when I put it in my Netflix queue or stuck it in as a regular movie and assumed it must be time travel). This is a very good film with a vividly depicted English village (it would double-bill well with Mrs. Miniver though I think this version of England is more down-to-Earth), and some interesting WW I imagery (a fifth columnist is show plotting while standing against a memorial to the village’s Great War dead). Highly recommended.“You ask me to bow down before the forces of evil—here, in this house of God?”

STEPHEN KING’S THE LANGOLIERS (1995)is very much in disaster-movie mode as a cast of characters including a British assassin (Mark Lindsay Chapman), a wise old man (Dean Stockwell), an insane businessman (Bronson Pinchot), an off-duty pilot (David Morse—astonishingly not suffering for PTSD or any traumas that make it impossible for him to fly the plane) and a psychic blind girl discovers everyone else on the plane has vanished. It turns out the reason is that they’ve slid through a time rift into the past. But the past is dead, and it’s about to be destroyed as well … Entertaining, which is better than a lot of Stephen King adaptations manage.“Remind him of the time I brought daisies.”

TICKING CLOCK (2011) would double-bill well with Tomorrow Man as the killer is an abused child attempting to kill all his abusers before it happens (not to mention anyone he blames for not intervening in the case), but finding himself constantly thwarted by inherent strength and reporter Cuba Gooding Jr. stumbling into the killing spree. This comes under the heading of good idea, bland execution, particularly the ending grandfather paradox—I can see it saving Gooding, but not how it can give the killer’s younger self a Happy Ending. “Even Hitler didn’t think he was evil—he thought he was saving the world.”

(All rights to image reside with current holder)

1 Comment

Filed under Movies, Now and Then We Time Travel

One response to “It’s the Bermuda Triangle, Jake … The Triangle (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Mockingjays, detectives and Japanese generals: this week on screen (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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