This Is Not a Test (1962)

Article 3711 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-27-2011
Posting Date: 10-12-2011
Directed by Fredric Gadette
Featuring Seamon Glass, Thayer Roberts, Aubrey Martin
Country: USA
What it is: End of the world movie

A policeman sets up a roadblock in the middle of the night and imposes martial law on the small group of people who are stopped. The reason – World War III has broken out, and it’s his job to keep the roads from being blocked and to find a plan of survival.

This low-budget end of the world flick is unevenly acted and written, but the basic premise is interesting, and it’s interesting to see how some of the characters react to the pressure of the situation. I like the canny old man who eventually finds his own destiny (as well as hitting upon a chance of survival that seems more practical than the policeman’s), the not entirely sane criminal on the run, and the policeman himself, whose mental deterioration is most striking because, for the most part, he’s not allowed to show how he’s feeling. For the most part, the other characters are not developed well or are caught in cliche situations; the slang-talking hipster is the most annoying and least convincing. There’s some nice attention to detail at points, but the movie has a number of dull sequences in the middle. All in all, it’s not quite successful, but it has moments that are truly effective.

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