The Bermuda Triangle (1979)

Charles Berlitz’s 1974 best-seller — 20 million copies! — The Bermuda Triangle codified the belief that this area in the North Atlantic used to be Atlantis and is now the cause of so many ship and airplane disappearances.

In 1978, Rene Cardonna Jr. used this book to inspire his ridiculous and amazing epic Bermuda Triangle. And somewhere in Utah, the folks at Sunn Classics were ready.

With good old Brad Crandall in his steady role as narrator, this film follows the blueprint of the best of the Sunn Classics docs. And by that, I mean that they throw a neverending torrent of increasingly ridiculous nontruths your way until you say, “Well, yeah, Atlantis is in the bottom of the Bermuda Triangle and oh look, there’s a spaceship flying through the streets.”

Seriously, the TV commercial for this movie — with said UFO floating down a major metropolitan street — caused me to run screaming in absolute fear, hiding in my grandparent’s house in utter years until The Car came on*.

There’s a line here that Crandall reads, “The lucky ones were the ones that died.” He’s talking about the Philadelphia Experiment, which won over low budget filmmakers enough that it shows up here and in The Final Countdown and, yes, The Philadelphia Experiment.

Somewhere in this house, we have a copy of the British Man, Myth and Magic that has smelly old pages but every single one of them is filled with increasingly weirder ideas. This movie is just like that, made by producers who used a computer to try and figure out what movies that low-income families wanted to see. Well, they get me every single time.

As for Berlitz, 1975 saw the publication of Larry Kusche’s The Bermuda Triangle Mystery — Solved, which takes Kusche to such task for errors in his reporting of missing ships that this phrase appears: “If Berlitz were to report that a boat were red, the chance of it being some other color is almost a certainty.”

*In 1979, I estimate that I watched that movie 400 times.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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