Thursday, December 3, 2009

'End of the World' shouldn't be seen until
after the end of the world

End of the World (1977)
Starring: Kirk Scott, Sue Lyon, Christopher Lee, Liz Ross, and Dean Jagger
Director: John Hayes
Rating: One of Ten Stars

Take my advice: If you fully expect the world to end on 12/21/2012, then you want to wait to see this movie until 12/22/2012. You wouldn't want to waste your precious few remaining moments on this Earth with a film as awful as this.

In "End of the World", a young scientist (Scott) receives transmissions from space that warn of impending doom. He and his very gorgeous wife (Lyon) start to investigate... um... something. They eventually run into some aliens who want to return to their utopian homeworld, but who want to destroy the Earth before they do. And what does this have to do with the priest who causes coffeemakers to explode (Lee) and the nun he lives with at an isolated hacienda? Sit through all the padding and you'll find out.

The film unfolds as if someone took what was a script for a 30-minute "Outer Limits" episode and stretched it to 88 minutes with with establishing shots that go on forever, and scene after scene after scene of the main characters wandering about, driving around, or sitting around not doing much of anything. The end result is so mindnumblingly boring that if there even is a point to the film, you'll be in too deep a stupor to care.

There are three worthwhile moments in this film: The first scene of the movie, the sequence where the aliens are revealed, and the movie's eerie climax where our scientist heroes watch the world come to an end on dozens of TV monitors. However, these moments are nowhere near exciting enough to warrant sitting through the boring, badly acted crap that separates them.

Unless you've dedicated yourself to seeing every movie Christopher Lee has appeared in, or you want to see what Lolita looked like 15 years later and without a lollipop, you'll do yourself a favor by skipping "End of the World". Even if you decide you MUST see this misbegotten excuse for a movie, make sure you get it in the 50-movie collection "Nightmare Worlds." At least that way, you'll get your money's worth via the other films the set.

Oh the other hand, maybe this is THE film to watch as the world ends. If you time it just right, when the exact moment the world ends rolls around--12:21 (AM? PM?) or 20:12 (if the genius Mayans operated on Zulu time)--you will be bored into a coma when the end comes so you won't suffer. Although... there are 24 time zones. Which ones did the genius Mayans use? And did they take Daylight Savings Time into account? How is a body to prepare when these questions remain unanswered?!

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