Synopsis by Cavett Binion
Incorporating themes from horror films of both the '50s and the '70s, this suspenseful TV movie stars Cornel Wilde and Jennifer Salt as an archaeologist and his daughter, who discover a strange skull on display at a roadside tourist trap. After the museum owner is killed during an attack from an unseen foe, the pair are subsequently pursued across the American Southwest by a tribe of humanoid creatures that bear a striking resemblance to the gargoyles of myth, leading to a manic game of cat-and-mouse across the desert. This enjoyably spooky film essentially riffs on this one-note premise for over 70 minutes -- sort of an inversion of Night of the Living Dead's claustrophobic scenario -- and fortunately comes off quite well thanks to superb use of the desert locations, an eerie score, uniformly good performances, and Emmy award-winning monster costumes from Stan Winston. A young Scott Glenn appears as a roguish biker who throws in with the good guys after taking a shine to the professor's daughter.
gargoyle, creature, monster, archaeology, cat-and-mouse, curio-shop, daughter, on-the-road, on-the-run, skull, trip, encounter, investigator, wilderness, Mexico, terror, skeleton