DEADLY HARVEST (1977)
Article 2031 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-6-2006
Posting Date: 3-5-2007
Directed by Timothy Bond
Featuring Clint Walker, Nehemiah Persoff, Geraint Wyn Davies
When changing weather patterns and poor governmental management result in a worldwide famine, the government covers up the crisis by instituting deceptive rationing and martial law. Farmers soon find themselves under siege from desperate men who want their food.
There are plenty of flaws in this Canadian science fiction doomsday feature; the acting is highly variable, though Nehemiah Persoff comes off best as a black market food dealer. The score is also uneven; it will be movingly sublime one moment and annoyingly intrusive the next. It’s also a little on the obvious side and given to blatant manipulation on occasion. However, the basic premise is interesting, and the story (which weaves together four basic groups of people; a farm family trying to feed and protect themselves, and a city family trying to acquire food, a group of black market food rustlers, and a protection group which offers their services to local farmers for food) is sturdy enough. It’s also interesting to consider thematically how it compares with other survivalist/end-of-the-world scenarios; there are certain similarities here with PANIC IN YEAR ZERO and ON THE BEACH. The underlying theme is a common one to these types of movies; just where does a conventional morality fit in these violent and brutal times? As a result, the movie holds the interest despite the flaws. The movie also features an early performance by Kim Cattrall.