|The Sentinel (1977)|
The Sentinel (1977) is cut from the same cloth as films like Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Exorcist (1973), and The Omen (1976), but it possesses a quality its predecessor's lack. It's skeevy. Universal was clearly aiming to get some of that supernatural box office mojo for itself, but The Sentinel simply couldn't generate the same level of prestige and box office success enjoyed by its forebears. Based on a popular novel of the same name by Jeffrey Konvitz, blessed with a then huge production budget of $3.7 million dollars, and loaded with more famous faces past and future than you can shake a crucifix at, The Sentinel somehow still manages to play out like a copycat Italian exploitation picture with a more anglicized cast and better production values. That exploitative quality is simultaneously the movie's curse as well as its saving grace.
|Beverly D'Angelo paying her dues in The Sentinel.|
If none of these admittedly dubious charms does it for you, though, you can always just marvel at how many recognizable faces The Sentinel serves up. The jaw-dropping cast - from the leads all the way down to the supporting players - make The Sentinel a cinematic who's who of fading names and rising stars. In addition to the previously mentioned actors and actresses, you'll also see Chris Sarandon, Jose Ferrer, Martin Balsam, Ava Gardner, Arthur Kennedy, Sylvia Miles, Deborah Raffin, Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken, Jerry Orbach, Jeff Goldblum, and Tom Berenger. How's that for a star studded cast?
|Burgess Meredith and the deformed minions of Hell.|