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The Day the World Ended
Die letzten Sieben

USA 1955
produced by
Roger Corman, Alex Gordon (executive) for Golden State/American Releasing Corporation (later AIP)
directed by Roger Corman
starring Richard Denning, Lori Nelson, Paul Birch, Touch Connors (= Mike Connors), Adele Jergens, Raymond Hatton, Paul Dubov, Jonathan Haze, Paul Blaisdell
screenplay by Lou Russoff, music by Ronald Stein, creature design by Paul Blaisdell

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Finally, earth is destroyed by nulear missiles, & one of the few safe havens is Jim Maddison's (Paul Birch) house in a remote valley, which was built there exactly to survive a nuclear blast, & where he & his daughter Louise (Lori Nelson) soon have to (reluctantly) welcome an assortment of strangers who have just happened to be in the valley when the bombas went boom: gangster Tony (Touch Connors) & his sleazy but good-natured moll Ruby (Adele Jergens), oldtimer & golddigger Pete (Raymond Hatton) with his beloved mule Diablo & geologist Rick (Richard Denning), who has also rought a heavily contaminated man, Radek (Paul Dubov) out of pity.

Things of course get off with a bad start, when Tony wants to take control of the procedeedings with his gun but is overpowered by good guy Rick, but from here on wants revenge on Rick, which is of course not made any better when he falls for Louise, who has become enamoured with Nick though. So Tony makes up a plan to get back his gun & kill them all safe for himself (of course) & Ruby (or Louise), to stretch the meager provisions Maddison has to offer.

But as if that alone wasn't bad enough, contaminated Radek starts to behave ever stranger, & Rick & Jim soon find out he goes prowling the woods at night o hunt for raw meat ... & that there are mutants outside that are even hungrier for raw meat ... & who is saying they won't find out humans are made of raw meat, too ?

Soon, Radek even kills Pete's mule Diablo, & his behaviour has taken a turn to the violent side, so Rick & Jim have to shoot him.

Pete, learning about the fate of his mule, heads for the hills out of sadness, despite the fact that the radioactive fog that enshrouds them will prove lethal to humans (or even because of it), & he soon dies. Jim, who was trying to stop him, has been getting enough of the fog too to leave him bedridden & slowly dieing from ontamination ... at the worst possible time though, as Tony has just killed Ruby in a fit of rage, Louise has been abducted by a mutated monster (Paul Blaisdell), & while Rick has gone after her to save her, Tony has gotten his hands on Jim's gone & has turned the tables to his favour.

But while Rick, with his rifle, proves unable to stop the monster, a simple - uncontaminated - rain kills it in no time, & so Louise is saved, & Jim, having wisely hidden a second gun under his pillow, is able to stop Tony just before he can shoot Rick. Then though Jim dies of both exhaustion & contamination, & the last survivors Rick & Louise decide to follow some radio signals they have received not long ago ...

 

The Day the World Ended, Roger Corman's first foray into the post-nuclear end-of-the-world-genre (a genre Corman would later return to with Last Woman on Earth), could possibly be seen as a statement against the nuclear arms race, or even against the Cold War as such - however it is doubtful (at best) that Corman intended to make a thesis-film for the newly emerged American Releasing Corporation (later called AIP), which started specialising in drive-in double features back then. & of course, this film has all the usual ingredients of a drive in (sci-fi-)movie: a monster, fist fights, a bit of gunplay, easily recognizable heroes & villains, & script & direction which are more determined to thrill audiences than to make them think ... & as such, The Day the World Ended is of course completely charming.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD