The Horror At 37,000 Feet (1973)
There is no intent gravity this TV movie that stars William Shatner, Buddy Ebsen and Roy Thinnes. I enjoyed it though, I’m glad I choose to watch this and not ‘Killdozer’. There are posh UK accents as a handful of people fly off a Flight 19X. The plane is 4/5 empty. A singer has a corn pone accent and there are 11,000 pounds of an ancient abbey in the cargo bay. There is an exposition dump and a doomed dog named Damon.
A couple with unrelenting distain for each other argue. There is flat acting and this was not wittily acerbic. Shatner plays a failed priest and drinks and shows off his bouffant toupee. There is a bad child actress, causal sexism and the flight is curiously turbulent. This was thoroughly odd and cheesy. There are odd noises. This was okay and better than ‘Turbulence’ and the ‘Airport’ movies. The stewardesses dress like anime hookers.
Ebsen plays a rich man. Shatner babbles vicariously about the solstice. Life is negative for those on the plane. There is shrieking, very LOUD and ANNOYING shrieking. There is HYSTERIA and this is so bad it’s enjoyable. There is a homage to Shatner’s classic ‘The Twilight Zone’ episode ‘Nightmare At 20,000 Feet’, which I’ve never actually seen. There are many many logical reasons why this wouldn’t happen. There is no narrative efficiency and this is far from subtle.
There is wild eyed fervour and there is no infinite variety, This doesn’t move briskly and has no ruthless efficiencies. What is their appointed destination? The obviously agitated passengers are not subtle or thought provoking or endearing. Creativity is constrained. Imperious condescending men sneer. Brown ooze comes out of the cargo hold and there is ranting about druids. Cold and disrespectful people storm in and out in the flight deck. Nobody has complete sincerity.
This was not an unrelentingly grim premise. There is planned human sacrifice and women are just vagina shacks. Shatner’s toupee is hilarious, there is fake mould, fog, fire and we don’t see the demons in the hold. There is screaming and gurning and someone gets sucked out of the plane in a hilariously bad effect. Despite all that this was oddly watchable.
“Not a human female.”
“He’ll enjoy it.”
“Do you know her?”
“Just been hit in the face by some of the North Pole!”
“Yes it would be, wouldn’t it?”
“Until you are advised it is not necessary.”
“Your ancestral chapel.”
“You really want to quarrel.”
“I though we had all this out in English court.”
“A cause for ever crank these days.”
“Something wrong man?”
“Like a lady bicycle rider.”
“No such wind.”
“Are you a very good model?”
“Merely a hysterical episode of some sort.”
“I’m just sick from watching you bleed.”
“Gives me something else to do besides get drunk.”
“There’s a wind howling?”
“Speak to my dog.”
“It’s safe to breathe.”
“Why did he do it for those people?”
“What good are you anyway?”
“Moss on the bulkhead.”
“Jim, he’s dead!”
“The flight engineer has been killed.”
“Regulations don’t count now!”
“Idiot things to believe in.”
“Worrying about your lives, as though they were of some importance.”
“Don’t you laugh at me.”
“Stay out of it, or you’ll get hurt.”
“Charming bunch of people.”
Death Ship (1980)