HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Day of the Triffids, The Leaf Us Alone
Year: 1962
Director: Steve Sekely, Freddie Francis
Stars: Howard Keel, Nicole Maurey, Janette Scott, Kieron Moore, Mervyn Johns, Ewan Roberts, Alison Leggatt, Geoffrey Matthews, Janina Faye, Gilgi Hauser, John Tate, Carol Ann Ford, Arthur Gross, Colette Wilde, Ian Wilson, Victor Brooks
Genre: Horror, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Triffids are carnivorous plants widely believed to have been brought to Planet Earth by a meteorite, but until now have not been cause for much concern. That is until another meteor shower occurs in the atmosphere, creating a spectacular light show in the sky which the world's population watch with awe - well, not all the world as some, like sailor Bill Masen (Howard Keel) have an excuse not to see what is going on. He has his eyes bandaged after an accident and will soon be cured, so the doctors say, except he wakes up the next morning and there's nobody about...

John Wyndham's classic science fiction novel Day of the Triffids has many fans, but you'll likely find adherents to what was done with his novel here to be fewer in number, indeed not reading the book is a benefit for those settling down with this. Although it stuck lightly to the plot, there were enough changes to rankle with the purists that this was simply not faithful when the source was so fertile in its possibilities for thrills and horror, not to mention the more philosophical tone of the writer as he contemplated what the breakdown of society would bring about. However, such was the stength of the original that the production did not quite mess it up.

Although they had a damn good try, most notoriously finding their version ran too short and hiring Freddie Francis a good few months afterwards to shoot new footage to bulk out what they already had to more of a feature length. These scenes, needless to say, were not in the book as husband and wife scientists Kieron Moore and Janette Scott (earning herself a mention in The Rocky Horror Picture Show) battle the now man-eating plants in their lighthouse home, entirely superfluously in comparison to the rest of the action until they make a breakthrough at the finale, one which seems more than a little daft. Mainly, though, it was Masen who we followed, first around the streets of London.

There are others present, of course, but they have been struck blind by the meteors which made the Triffids evolve and grow to monstrous size. However, as Masen heads for the sea, he meets a young girl, Susan (Janina Faye), who can see as well as he can and they begin a father-daughter relationship as he looks out for her, something different from the text when she was older and became Masen's romantic partner, as if to appeal more to the younger members of the potential audience. That did not stop them from including some surprisingly savage scenes, not exactly shocking, but providing unsettling food for thought: the airliner running out of fuel thanks to the blind pilots not being able to land was a powerful concept.

Unlike Wyndham's story, Masen doesn't stick around in Britain and as soon as he can he escorts Susan from the country, across the Channel and into France, where he meets his other co-star, Nicole Maurey as Christine who can also see and is running an informal safe haven for the blind, one of whom is Carol Ann Ford who was about to earn television fame as granddaughter Susan in Doctor Who. Nevertheless, the Triffids are still about and spreading across the world, represented by a selection of ambitious but rickety puppets and costumes with visible wires, though they have a kind of makeshift charm and are impressively numerous when it counts. Imported star Keel made a dependable hero even if you half-expected him to break out singing, but aside from the more nightmarish scenes which captured some of the mood of the page this felt compromised overall. The BBC television series from 1981 was a far better adaptation; the 2009 miniseries was on a par with this.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3098 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Freddie Francis  (1917 - 2007)

A much respected cinematographer for decades, British Francis made his way up from camera operator on films like The Small Back Room, Outcast of the Islands and Beat the Devil to fully fledged cinematographer on such films as Room at the Top, Sons and Lovers (for which he won his first Oscar), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and The Innocents (a masterpiece of his art).

He then turned to direction, mostly in the horror genre, with familiar titles like Paranoiac, Nightmare, The Evil of Frankenstein, Dr Terror's House of Horrors (the first recognisable Amicus chiller anthology), The Skull, The Psychopath, Torture Garden, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, camp favourite Trog, Tales from the Crypt, The Creeping Flesh, Tales that Witness Madness, Legend of the Werewolf and The Ghoul.

Late in his career, he returned to cinematography with David Lynch's The Elephant Man, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Dune, Glory (winning his second Oscar), the Cape Fear remake and The Straight Story, his final work and one of his greatest.

 
Review Comments (0)


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
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: