For a television movie and a horror at that, The Horror at 37,000 Feet is not all that bad. It featured quite a bit of talent which made it worth seeing alone including Buddy Ebsen, Chuck Connors, Paul Winfield and William Shatner. With Shatner in the picture, you can guarantee that it is going to be a somewhat good watch and while it was a little silly at times, the movie was for the most part, pretty enjoyable.
Whether you love him or hate him, William Shatner resonates with viewers and it always makes his performances utterly compelling. As former priest Paul Kovalik there are times when he seems to play the role fairly understated with thought and meaning though when you look back on it, you wonder if he was actually overacting the whole thing, the entire time. Sometimes when you watch the man on screen, it is hard to tell which as he can never just play it straight and so it makes it a little tough to take him seriously sometimes except perhaps when he played Captain Kirk on Star Trek. As Kovalik, he is a man that has been shaken to the core of his belief system and there is little he cares about in this world anymore. Even when things start to go awry on the plane and people are getting killed, he still sits around, lost in his misery.
Silly or not, the story at least was fairly original as an architect and his wife decide to save the ancestral chapel from her home by moving it on a plane to another property they own. Said chapel is haunted by the ghosts of druids past and they are none too happy with the latest turn of events. Finally, after the crew has tried everything that they possibly can, Kovalik decides to take a look and see if there is anything he can do and while he loses his life in the doing of it, which was pointless as you will see if you watch this movie, the druids are put to rest.
The special effects are all right and you do have to keep in mind that this was a television movie from 1973 as you watch it. That final shot of Shatner is utterly ridiculous, but as there was probably very little budget, they made do with what they had. It would have been nice to see a few ghosts or more druids or what have you and maybe just a little blood here and there, but for the most part and while there was little to be frightened about except perhaps Lynn Loring’s hair, the film turned out to be a fairly decent affair. All in all, The Horror at 37,000 Feet is not to be taken seriously in any way, shape or form, but it is a lot of fun.
2.5 out of 5