Thursday, 30 October 2014

End of the World (1977)

A haggard-looking priest (Christopher Lee) enters a diner and asks to use the phone - it's an emergency, and he needs to call the authorities.  The cook says of course he can, but when they venture to make the call, everything starts exploding.  The cook dies, and Father Lee, looking defeated, trudges into the night.  He comes to a small church, where he is greeted by ... Christopher Lee!  Dun dun dun.

I've just described everything interesting that happens in this movie.  Well, unless you consider it interesting that Sue Lyon, who played Lolita in the 1962 film of the same name, is in this tedious little bit of nihilism.

The basic plot hereafter: a scientist has two things going on in his life: messages from outer space, and a renewed sexual passion for his wife.  What the latter has to do with anything is frankly unclear, since it never really comes up again, but the messages actually matter for the plot.  The scientists tries to work out who is the intended recipient of the messages, and after a false start, he locates the small church from the start of the film.

The above takes about half the movie's run time, and I've frankly made it sound more interesting than it actually was.

Anyway, the aliens who have taken over the church capture the scientist and his wife (since she has accompanied him on his investigation).  They kill the priest - who they've kept alive thus far for reasons that aren't explained - and threaten dire things to the wife if the scientist does not steal something for them.  This is all explained as part of a dense wall of technobabble not even Star Trek would dare offer up.

After attempts to escape fail, the scientist agrees to help the aliens.  After he does, they reveal that this has allowed them to complete their plan: which is to blow up the Earth.  Why? To prevent our horrid diseases wiping out the galaxy.  They then bug out through their interstellar travel device.

(No, I don't know how Earth diseases are getting to other planets.  The movie certainly isn't going to tell us.)

Now, in another film, this would be when the scientist unveiled his clever plan to thwart the aliens and save the day.  In this one, however, he watches the world start being destroyed and then persuades his wife that they may as well follow the aliens and hope they'll be given refugee status on the other side, or something.  Because, you know, it's not like they'll be carrying those horrid Earth diseases with them.

So it's a stupid, nonsensical film.  I could forgive that if it wasn't boring, but it is.  Give it a miss.

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