HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 

Manor On Movies - The Last Days Of Planet Earth

  Some junkfilms deserve special attention for remarkable performances or dialogue obviously conceived by a maniac. Others do so for gross storyline inanity, bizarre directorial decisions or not even remotely approaching what the title and ads promise. (Total number of vampires in Atom-Age Vampire: zero.)

But besides the qualities listed above, there are those magical features that merit praise for holding Best/Most/Biggest honors, going to the extreme primarily to proudly showcase the lunacy of those at the helm. Gotta love anyone who will so cheerfully shout, "Screw convention!"

And that brings us to this issue's selection, The Last Days Of Planet Earth (1981), holder of the coveted intergalactic record for Most Human Casualties By An Assortment Of Methods. Ah, the wholesale slaughter of useless beings by every means under (and including) the sun: Is there any more rewarding viewing experience...besides my reflection?

The Last Days of Planet EarthSure, we've all seen flicks where a couple of three towns get totaled by natural disasters, alien attacks, man-made viruses, supernatural armies and 50-foot amphibians. Then there are the Fail-Safe variants whereby military chowderheads trade weapons barrages. These are virtually all a variation on one of two themes: Hour-plus build-up until the big whattzit hits in an F/X extravaganza, or intermittent attacks by an impervious man-mulcher until "the authorities" devise a cockamamie cure.

Note that, in every case, the spoilsport defenders of humankind marshaled their forces against what was essentially a single enemy. One good brainstorm and the killer robot, Martian mothership or bee swarm was licked. Not so in Last Days. Not so a tool.

Framed by sequences babbling on about Nostradamus – no doubt tacked on to lure in round-eyes fascinated by the original Psychic Friend – The Last Days Of Planet Earth tosses so much fatal mayhem on the screen, it's actually surprising someone doesn't get killed by a kitchen sink. And this is a worldwide ass-whuppin', too, not merely domestic dismay.

As is traditional in Toho Studio productions, the standard A-type Japanese scientist is feverishly preaching ecological fire and brimstone as bureaucrats ignore his hyperactive pleas to heed the cryptic clap-trap of an often-wrong honky who's been dead for centuries.

The Last Days of Planet EarthHate to break it to you, Doc, but fat-cat island natives unconcerned they're stuffing themselves with endangered sea species are hardly the most receptive audience to an "It is written we'll all spontaneously combust if even one of us flicks a French fry out a car window" sermon--especially when your "scientific proof" is "This crazy cracker wrote an entire book of vague predictions and, eventually, something resembling a handful of them came to pass."

Professor Panic's speech provides a framework for what's yet to come in Last Days, an exhilarating montage of the glorious systematic extermination of all Earth-bound life forms. Director Toshio Mashuda periodically brings us back to the scaredy-cat scientist – something akin to a cinematic cigarette break – and then we're once again whisked off to a ride with the Grim Reaper.

Mother Earth is initially violated by gigantic slugs; monstrous plants; frozen oceans; a chronic drought causing mass starvation; carnivorous trees; daylight attacks by huge vampire bats as well as by enlarged leeches whose bites induce insanity; and, deformed jungle tribes. But this is just the warm-up act.

After kids temporarily turn bionic then croak and the sun begins frying folks alive, we're treated to the heartwarming sight of forest fires, tidal waves setting off urban refinery explosions, the ozone shield collapsing, flooding, landslides and fatal respiratory diseases. Yahoo, tens of millions are being erased internationally! But, wait, there's more.

We've got anarchy, road rage, immorality among youths, young Ziggy Stardust-resembling sailboaters in a "regatta of death" suicide cruise, meticulously clean bikers intentionally riding their rice-burners off cliffs (with one stunt man missing the lake and actually nailing the rocks!) and rioting in the streets for food.

It just doesn't get any better than this. Hang on a minute; yes, it does. Just when you thought it was safe to loot the 7-11, the sky turns into a "reflex mirror," touching off volcanoes, earthquakes, stuff blowing up for no apparent reason and global nuke war, its missile strikes leveling virtually everything, but leaving a few post-apocalyptic mutants alive to attack each other. Now that's what I call (nuclear) family entertainment!!!

Turns out the wipeout is just a projection of what might happen if the Prof's anti-pollution whining goes ignored. Damn, it wasn't a documentary after all. Nonetheless, there's always hope. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go torch a stack of old Firestones.

There's a boatload of junkfilm reviews--most illustrated in the crazy new COLOR medium!--at ManorOnMovies.com. You are invited.
Author: Stately Wayne Manor.

 

< Back to Article list

Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: 31 March, 2018