The Earth Dies Screaming (1965)

Article #1503 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-26-2005
Posting Date: 9-23-2005
Directed by Terence Fisher
Featuring Willard Parker, Virginia Field, Dennis Price

An American test pilot arrives in England to find almost everyone dead. He joins forces with a handful of survivors to survive an attack of robot creatures who also resurrect the corpses of the dead to do their bidding.

During the short sixty-two minute running time of this movie, I found myself being constantly reminded of other movies, such as VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (the people dropping in their tracks), THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (survivors just happened to be in the right circumstances to survive), TARGET EARTH (residents in an empty city battling slow-moving robots), and PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (the newly risen dead with blank eyeballs). In feel, it mostly reminds me of THE SLIME PEOPLE, though I do think it’s a little better than that movie. Terence Fisher does what he can; he generally keeps the pace up, and this goes a long way to keeping the movie from buckling under its rushed, underdeveloped script. The latter is written by Harry Spalding under the name Henry Cross, and I find his scripts terribly uneven; he gave us THE DAY MARS INVADED EARTH, HOUSE OF THE DAMNED, WITCHCRAFT (1964) and contributed to THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS; though these movies have their supporters, I myself feel that for the most part, they fall short of being effective. Also, don’t hold your breath waiting for an explanation of what’s going on; there’s none forthcoming. All in all, it’s better than it could have been, but still it’s all rather dreary.

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