Saturday, August 7, 2010

End of the World (1977)

"Some of the films I've been in I regret making. I got conned into making these pictures in almost every case by people who lied to me. Some years ago, I got a call from my producers saying that they were sending me a script and that five very distinguished American actors were also going to be in the film. Actors like José Ferrer, Dean Jagger and John Carradine. So I thought "Well, that's all right by me". But it turned out it was a complete lie. Appropriately the film was called End Of The World."

That’s what Christopher Lee remembers about End of the World, and even if I can understand his anger of being fooled into making a movie with old friends and none of them (except Dean Jagger) is cast, he’s a bit to harsh against this Charles Band-produced sci-fi/disaster/thriller. Hardly a fan favourite, but if you look beyond some of the silliness, it’s actually quite cool.

Kirk Scott is Andrew Boran, communication-expert. Under a period he’s been tracing signals from earth to space and back again. When he finally decrypts them, the message is creepy and points to that the earth is going to be destroyed. He traces the signals and finds that they lead to a monastery. The place is run by Father Pergado (Christopher Lee) and a staff of six nuns. At first everything seem fine, but when Andrew get back to his lab and finds out that he’s mention in the messages to space, he realize that something is very wrong with them...

It’s a simple story, but actually works fine. The budget is very low, very low and some scenes and sets is very cheesy. The control room, that we’re spending some time in later in the movie, looks like it filled of props from some old Ed Wood-movie and the disaster scenes is stock footage from (among others) Mark Robson’s Earthquake. In a low budget movie like this, it works fine and is eerie to see the disasters only on crappy monitors in the control room.

But the script holds up and never explains too much. Lee is good as usual, and so most of the actors. Joel Goldsmith, the son of Jerry, is credited with the weird and abstract electronic sound/music together with Andrew Belling, and is one of the best things with the movie. It ads to the quirkiness a lot.

Not as bad as I expected and an interesting little sci-fi movie with some deep flaws, but also a lot of highlights.

No comments: