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03.29.2017
Horror At 37,000 Feet, The (1973)
Movie Review by The Mortician
04.24.16

Horror At 37,000 Feet, The (1973) Oh man, not sure why stuff like this gets re-released on DVD, but...I'm a big 70's made-for-TV fan, having grown up in that era, and I thought this would be good. At least...watchable from a nostalgia viewpoint? Unfortunately, when you didn't grow up with this one, it just doesn't seem to work! Talk about a no-budget, lousy effects, dumb story, poorly acted flick! An architect and his wife are flying across the country in a jumbo jet along with some kind of "ancient abbey" they are moving to their new digs. The wife is rich, of course. And what the hell is an abbey, you ask? Well, I guess it's some kind of religious altar of some sort, like where the Catholics take communion at the front of the church? I dunno, but it's definitely something too big for Indiana Jones to go after. Anyway, there's a handful of other passengers on the plane, including Captain Kirk (William Shatner) hamming it up as a PRIEST that has lost his faith, Barnaby Jones hisself (Buddy Ebsen) playing a...grumpy old man rich dude? Chuck Connors and THE PROFESSOR himself from GILLIGAN'S ISLAND are driving the plane, er, flying it, I guess, but again...budget is so low that you never get the feeling the plane is more than an unused set they raided for a weekend at ABC Studios in the '70's. I don't know what happens in this movie, but the "abbey" doesn't want to be moved, so during the flight, it gets cold...lights flash...the architect's wife seems to get possessed (or is she faking it?). William Shatner battles the lure of women, booze, and bad dialogue, totally playing Captain Kirk of the cloth. Will he redeem himself and get God back in his life to battle the "alta"? The stewardesses on the flight wear little cheerleader style outfits, so that kept me watching this movie, a little eye candy...but clocking in at 70 minutes, this beast of a movie felt like it ran 700 minutes and took me several nights to actually get through! Yes, it's that boring. The Professor goes to see what's up with the altar and ends up FREEZING to death, along with a dog they are transporting...The plane goes on autopilot and won't stop going in circles...Shatner is all over the place as the priest...Barnaby Bones complains about everything and tries to sacrifice the architect's wife to the unseen forces that are causing the commotion...And no, NONE it makes any kind of sense in any way. I'm amazed anyone even wrote this...or approved it for even bad TV...I mean, even the worst Sy Fy movie blows this turkey away! Shatner battles the abbey at the end and gets sucked out of the plane somehow in one of the worst blue-screen effects I've ever witnessed and I don't know...The Professor froze, he was so much smarter than that on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND and Barnaby was never a grumpy old man like this, so this flick has it ALL wrong, man. I just don't get it. Beyond camera equipment and 70's star power salaries, I can't imagine the budget for this turkey exceeding a few bucks, even a shot-on-video movie in your backyard has more production value. And to think there were epic cool flicks like DUEL and TRILOGY OF TERROR made in this era...turn around and look at this HORROR and wonder why it was even dredged up for re-release! Stay far away from this one, it's a maddening loss that will assault your senses and waste your time. I mean...what were they thinking? EXORCIST ON A PLANE...made for television?!?!

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