Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Earth Dies Yawning!

We've been having some snow days lately and to fill the hours I chanced upon some cheapo double bill "Midnite Movies" at a local Family Dollar Store and thought I'd give them a screening. I'll be reviewing these sometimes quite diverting time-killers throughout the week.

The first one I unwrapped and viewed was a vintage British effort title The Earth Dies Screaming. Despite being directed by the respected Terence Fischer this one dawdles, though it does so with no small amount of inept charm.

The premise is a pretty good one. We see lots of people collapse, seemingly die and we watch the requisite disasters which follow as trains wreck, planes crash, and cars careen into walls. Then we see an eerie quiet English village littered with inert human bodies, the victims we are to assume of some sort of gas attack. Among this comes a stranger who stalks through the town and gets himself a radio and heads to the local inn where he begins to test it out but gets no reception. He is joined swiftly by a man and woman who themselves know little of what is going on but seem a bit suspicious. Within minutes two more couples arrive, two headed back from a party and a young married couple who are expecting a child any moment.

This collection of humanity then proceeds to talk. Then they talk some more, but the talking is stopped when mysterious figures in space suits wander down the street. One of the women in the group who panics runs out to the figures but is struck down when one turns and reveals itself to be an alien perhaps even a robot.
The men shoot and shoot at the figures but they are unharmed and wander away. Then more talking as the group shacks up for the night keeping watch in some rather illogical ways. During the night the freshly dead woman awakes and wanders down and is killed again for her trouble.

The introduction of potential zombies gives this story a real shot in the arm as suddenly all the bodies which still litter the streets have become potential threats, but alas the movie makes no use of this possibility, though a few more "zombies" do show up from inside the inn. The threat of slow-moving zombies is in numbers and this movie never gets enough up and ambling to offer any significant threat.

The Earth Dies Screaming clocks in at just over an hour and frankly that's a good thing. The movie does outstay its welcome and the characters despite doing all sorts of stupid things remain sufficiently entertaining to get you through to the end. The finale is pretty contrived but that's to be expected.

This movie isn't really good, but it is diverting. And sometimes that's sufficient.

I watched The Earth Dies Screaming on this Midnite Movies Double Feature dvd. The second feature on it is a dreadful 1980's effort titled Chosen Survivors. It's a huge waste of time about a bunch of hapless losers trapped in an underground bunker during a supposed atomic attack who share their sanctuary with vampire bats. Just awful and not worth a full review.

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