Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Overlooked Movies: Day of the Triffids

Howard Keel in a horror movie?  Yes, the lead in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (and a number of other musicals) made movies with no music at all, including a few westerns and this one, which is based on a novel by John Wyndham.  I'd read the novel a few years before the movie appeared, so I remembered enough about it to know that there are some significant differences between the two, most notably the ending.  But I'll get to that later.

In the movie, the triffids are a plant that's been brought to earth by a meteor shower. They're sinister, they make a funny noise, and they kill.  Keel is in the hospital recovering from an eye injury caused by a triffid when second meteor shower comes along and blinds everyone who looks at it.  Most people on earth look at it, and with most of the population now blind, civilization starts to crumble.  Keel and a few others who can see begin to make their way to Spain (I'm not quite sure why) and have to evade the triffids all the way.  A second plot involves a young couple in a lighthouse, trying to survive.

There are some good scenes of civilization crumbling and of narrow escapes from the triffids, who are having a fine time feeding on a bunch of blind people who can't escape them.  Who will save the world from these horrible creatures?  [HUGE SPOILER ALERT It turns out that they can be easily killed.  It's not quite a rip-off of War of the Worlds, but it's in the same ballpark.  The young couple in the lighthouse figure it out.  In the novel, there's no such happy ending.  There's some hope that humanity will survive, but no easy way of killing triffids. END OF HUGE SPOILER ALERT]   

This isn't a great movie, by any means.  It's not terrible, though, and might be fun if you're in the right frame of mind.


Tom Johnson said...

It gets better each viewing.

George said...

DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS freaked me out when I first saw it as a kid.

Rick Robinson said...

I remember it being a very dark (as in filmed in low light) film, but watchable.

Cap'n Bob said...

We saw it at Tankon a few years ago an enjoyed it. I think they went to Spain because they heard a radio broadcast from there.

Stark House said...

I think they went to Spain because the financial backers for the film were located there. Loved the film when I saw it as a kid, and am way overdue for another viewing.