Encounter with the Unknown

Genre: Sci-Fi - Sci-Fi
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Encounter with the Unknown is a 1973 American horror film directed by Harry Thomason and narrated by Rod Serling.The film presents three allegedly true stories of the supernatural. The first story "The Heptagon" opens on a somber note at the funeral of college student John Davis. His three friends, Dave, Frank and Randy stand by the grave. It is revealed that they played a seemingly innocent phone prank on John telling him to go to a certain address where a date was waiting. The old woman who lived at the address accidentally shoots John to death. At the funeral John's mother (who is the seventh daughter of a seventh son) says a cryptic message to the three young men she blame's for John's death. "One by land two by sky...seven times around go the three of you may your reward be just and true". Frank tells this story to a priest, Father Duane, sitting next to him on a plane. He tells that Dave was run over and killed seven days later. The priest tries to comfort Frank and assure him its all a coincidence. However, the plane crashes after Father Duane gets off and he comforts a dying Frank who tells him its seven days after Dave's death. The concerned priest talks to his superior and begins to think this may be more than coincidence. He tries to call Randy but gets his roommate instead who tells him Randy has gone skydiving. Narrator Serling mentions it is seven days later and the prophecy was two would die by sky. The second story, "The Darkness", is set in 1906 Missouri and involves a boy's dog disappears in the vicinity of a hole in the ground from which eerie vapor and frightening sounds have been emanating; the boy's father agrees to be lowered into the hole to see if he can recover the dog, and to find out what's making the noise. Suddenly a terrifying scream comes from the earth's depths and the boys father is pulled up a raving lunatic who spends the rest of his life in an asylum. The final story "The Girl on the Bridge" involves a strange, disoriented girl and the Senator and his wife who attempt to give her a ride home. She mysteriously disappears from the car as they arrive at the address she gives. The girl's elderly father answers the door and tells the Senator that his daughter had been killed in an accident many years before while she and her fiancé were going to elope. The father had disapproved of the relationship and told his daughter he would rather see her dead. According to the opening narration, the stories are based on research conducted by Dr. Jonathan Rankin, a parapsychologist, but this is evidently a fictional device as no record of the name "Jonathan Rankin" exists in parapsychological The stories themselves are narrated by Rod Serling, but the opening and closing portions of the film feature a second, uncredited narrator. The film was shot in Little Rock, Arkansas, at locations which include the Capital Hotel and Mount Holly Cemetery.

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