I’ll admit it. When the documentary/boring sci-fi movie The Dark Side of the Moon posited the theory that the Bermuda Triangle was actually a gateway to the moon that Satan was using to harvest souls to use in his war against God, I found myself nodding my head and thinking that that sounded pretty reasonable.
But as much as I felt that this Satanic doorway to the moon theory was on target, something about it nagged at me. For the longest time, I couldn’t quite pin down why I wasn’t totally sold on it. And then, just like that, God dumped another low budget video on me! This time with the real truth behind the Bermuda Triangle!
First of all, as I watched Beneath the Bermuda Triangle (also known as Time Under Fire), I instantly knew what my hang up was with the hypothesis laid out in The Dark Side of the Moon. It was the astronaut with a mullet!
Beneath the Bermuda Triangle corrects that fatal flaw by featuring Jeff Fahey with a sensibly short haircut, which is what you would expect of a submarine captain who cruises around the Bermuda Triangle, chugging back and forth through time rifts.
As Captain Deakins, his sturdy haircut and spiffy khakis add a pleasing authenticity to important moments in the movie when he barks things like “on my mark!” and demands SONAR readings and the status of the torpedo tubes.
Deakins is the only survivor from his submarine crew after they cross through a time portal somewhere underneath the Bermuda Triangle.
Deakins ends up confined to a mental hospital and it’s never really made clear what happened to everybody, but just as you start to think that maybe this movie doesn’t really know what the hell it’s doing, there’s a couple of special forces guys busting Deakins out of the crazy farm and hustling him away so that he can command a new mission into the time portal!
You’ll find that this is something this movie is very adept at. Just as you begin to realize that something doesn’t make any sense, the movie doses you with a gun battle, an exploding bus, or a double cross!
Was the special forces guy a traitor from the very beginning and if so how did the bad guy in the past who hired the special forces guy know that there was a microchip in the future that could help him create his cyborg army and why the heck didn’t the good guy from the future who came back to the past know that the bad guy in the past would have access to future technology in the first place and stop him as soon as he was back in the past and – oh no! Special forces guy did not just gut shoot Deakins’ pregnant wife! And the cyborgs are already here! In the past! I mean, in my present! This is a Bermuda Triangle full of awesome!
I try not waste a lot of mental energy figuring out what’s what with these time travel movies since my memory of it all will either be altered or erased depending on what impact these guys have on the time stream. My entire existence could be wiped out so I may as well just sit back and revel in the neck snapping that Deakins delivers to a future soldier who rapes one of his crew members!
Generally, I’m all for a movie explaining how we ended up with a really messed up future. A simple nuclear war, meteor collision, environmental collapse, plague, or alien invasion will suffice, even if just mentioned in passing. Beneath the Bermuda Triangle though doesn’t know when to shut up.
There’s some talk of a war with Iraq that was really a set up and allowed some guy with the State Department to seize power by controlling the world’s energy sources.
This same guy has somehow survived for more than a hundred years due to cryogenics. But it isn’t the cryogenics you or I know where a guy is frozen for years and thawed out. This cryogenic stuff involves the bad guy sitting in a room that’s set up like a big freezer and sees him in the exact same condition as the Emperor from the Star Wars movies, right down to the evil guy hooded cloak.
The bad guy is the same State Department guy who helps his friend break Deakins out of the asylum back in the past. I was never sure how a guy who works for the State Department took over the world or had a cyborg company or how he became a cyborg or why he turned into a nasty rotted old guy in the future if he was a kick ass cyborg.
But who cares when you’ve got Jeff Fahey not only playing Deakins the submarine captain, but also his own rebel leader grandson in full on Snake Plissken regalia!
The movie is short (less than 90 minutes) and serves up a variety of action to keep your interest from wandering into the Bermuda Triangle. Submarine chases, car chases, gun fights, dead cyborgs spewing up cyborg foam from their mouths, and Jeff Fahey keeping a straight face while wearing a long, greasy wig and an eye patch all add up to give us the most convincing solution yet to the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. At least until something comes along that doesn’t involve a pre-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston as the guy who takes over the world from his walk-in cooler.
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