Air Date: Jan. 14, 1975 (ABC)
Production Companies: American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Danny Thomas Productions
Running Time: 74 min.
Available on: YouTube
Written by: William Read Woodfield
Directed by: Sutton Roley
Cast: Kim Novak, Doug McClure, Alejandro Rey, Michael Conrad
Rating: 7 vintage televisions (out of 10)
Within the last thirty years just off the east coast of the United States, more than a thousand men, women and children have vanished from the face of the earth. No one knows how. Or why. This is one explanation…
Now comes the time for another 1970s occult subject: the Bermuda Triangle. We’ve seen TV movies about devil worship and UFOs, and now we see one that might combine the two, based on different theories about the mysterious location in the Atlantic Ocean. As the opening crawl reads, Satan’s Triangle (1975) offers one explanation for the phenomenon, and it’s a fun one, pushing the envelope of the believable with a sinister twist.
On their way to answer a mayday call in a Coast Guard helicopter, we meet (and spend quite a bit of time with) Lt. Cmdr. Pagnolini (Michael Conrad) and Lt. J. Haig (Doug McClure.) They are flip sides of a coin, one a man of faith and morality, the other a playboy and disbeliever. Although it’s nice to see the character development, we’re not quite sure what it’s got to do with anything until the very end when we are rewarded for our patience.
When they arrive at the boat, the sails are torn and there are dead bodies hanging from the mast and floating in midair below deck. Haig discovers a survivor, Eva (Kim Novak), and, when the two must spend the night on the wreck waiting for help to arrive, she tells him what happened. Flashbacks relate her story to us, and director Sutton Roley (Chosen Survivors, 1974) uses some visually interesting techniques as a bridge between past and present.
Things were going swimmingly for Hal Bancroft (Jim Davis) and crew until Father Peter Martin (Alejandro Rey) floated toward the boat on the detached wing of an airplane. Then, strange storms began, turning the sky green and creating temporarily reversed x-ray images of the scene with each crash of lightning. It’s not long before bodies were hanging from the mast and floating in midair below deck.
Just as Haig provides Eva a logical explanation for the strange events, and we think we’re going to get a Scooby Doo-ending, the movie continues, and we learn something else is really happening. With incredulous twists right at home for its format, Satan’s Triangle has depth and may just stick with you after watching it. It’s silly fun with a layer that crawls under your skin and might just cause you to question your own faith. Plus, it’s often creepy and effective.
Visit the TV Terror Guide: 70's TV Movies playlist at ClassicHorrors.Club TV on YouTube to watch Satan's Triangle as well as all the great movies from this series...