Thursday, July 26, 2018

Movies That Suck - The Day of the Triffids

 Image result for day of the triffids

Movies That Suck is a feature where I watch a bad movie and share my reactions to it in real time. Sort of like live tweeting without the tweeting. I watch it so you don't have to! This will be spoilery I guess by definition, but since you probably won't want to watch these anyway it probably won't matter? But heads up anyways. So let's have a look...  

This week is Day of the Triffids. A movie I saw as a kid (and I remember it kinda freaking me out) but I hardly remember any details- and I've never read the book either. So we'll get to see what this is all about. The basic gist here is that a meteor shower blinds most of the human population, and with humanity in trouble the malevolent Triffids start taking over. I gather that the movie differs quite a bit from the book, and apparently the Triffids arrived from space in the movie, whereas in the book I'm not sure that happens? Well, whatever. We're watching the movie so we'll go with that. Alright, let's take a peek.  

What is a Triffid? Apparently a large, nasty plant that  eats humans. Because of course. So we start out with the meteor shower, like nothing ever seen before, and we're introduced to Masen, a navy officer, who has had some kind of eye surgery and is in the hospital recovering. His eyes are bandaged so he's unaffected. Oh and I love how he's smoking in the hospital! Ah, the old days. And he asks the nurse if she's as pretty as he's heard. Wow. Times were different. Also, there's a woman named Karen living in a lighthouse with her scientist (and drunk) husband Tom. He wants to get off the island so he can get some decent Scotch, and she reluctantly agrees- I gather he's on leave from his job somewhere, apparently on account of the drinking?  

The first fatality occurs in some kind of botanical garden as a rather unfortunate security guard gives us our first glimpse at the terror. The next morning Masen wakes up to an eerily quiet hospital, and when no one responds to his calls, he take off his bandages. He can see, but the hospital appears deserted- and it's been trashed too. He finds the doctor who treated him but the poor guy is now blind- as are most of the population of London, he surmises, due to the meteor shower. Meanwhile, on the island, Karen and Tom hear the news on the radio- just about everyone in England is blind, and crazy plants are on the prowl. 

Masen wanders through London as the blinded populace staggers around. At a train station he comes across a girl who can see- she's an orphan who ran away from a boarding school, and he rescues her from some asshole who wants to use her to help him get around. He also sees his first triffid when a dog pisses one off and gets killed (they don't show that). He's like let's get out of here and they head for his ship, but along the way Susan (the girl) almost gets attacked. They make it though to the ship, where they discover via radio that the phenomenon appears to be worldwide, and that ships at sea and planes in the air are flying blind, as it were.   



There's a particularly harrowing scene where the passengers aboard a plane panic, realizing that the pilot is blind, and then the plane crashes. Masen and Susan take a small boat to France and and are soon in Paris, which is eerily deserted, and after motoring into the county they come upon other survivors. A woman who can see takes them to a chateau, where a few people that can still see care for blinded people. Meanwhile on the island Karen screams a lot as a triffid gets inside the lighthouse, and Tom fights it off- if her screams were a weapon that thing would be toast. At any rate after killing it they examine it, and Tom makes this observation. 


"All plants move. They don't usually pull themselves out of the ground and chase you!"

Well said. And of course- it ain't dead. They go to bed and it... moves. As they're sleeping it starts to come upstairs- how does it know to do that?- and when Karen wakes up and sees its tendril on the stairway, she screams... and I just about fell off my chair scrambling for the speaker volume. For fucks sake. She musta scared the shit out of it too because it's gone and the downstairs is all trashed. They decide to barricade themselves in... 

Meanwhile in France things are a little more idyllic, but Masen is planning on going to Spain, hoping to find help there. Bettina, a blind woman who befriends Susan, seems to take an interest and doesn't want him to go. After a plane crash nearby and the appearance of more triffids, Masen is forced to take action when some convicts arrive at the chateau and start harassing everyone. I love the woman dancing on the table. Masen gets Susan and Miss Durant (the owner of the place) out, but triffids arrive (attracted by the music?) and it's game over for everyone inside. The convicts, sadly, are too drunk to mount a very effective defense. Bummer about Bettina though- she wanders blindly into a bunch of triffids and, um, doesn't survive.  

So Masen and crew are in Spain now, I guess? They end up finding an ice cream truck and a Spanish couple who are about to have a baby, and a radio broadcast alerts them to a pickup point for survivors. And of course triffid attacks! Lotsa triffids. Susan figures out they're attracted by sound, so they use the ice cream truck to lead 'em away. Seriously. And this part of the story has a happy ending as Susan and Miss Durant make it to the evacuation point, and Masen manages to escape as well. So what happened to Tom and Karen? 


The triffids make it into the lighthouse and all looks grim, but wait- there's more. Tom discovers that seawater dissolves triffids- there's a fire hose up in the lighthouse- and man talk about sludge. What a mess! Beats getting dead though. So just like War of the Worlds, the answer is... right there. Although I understand that is not the original ending. The book does it differently, but I'm not gonna wade through all that. I'm good with triffids now. 

So did this suck? Well, kinda yeah. I mean it's old and silly, but you know the Masen/ Susan dynamic was well done, and with the addition of Miss Durant to the mix they sort of have their "found family" now. It ends well. Just don't expect to be wowed or anything.   

23 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure I saw this donkeys years ago but don't remember much about it. Love that movie poster!

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    1. I had seen it as a kid and remembered nothing! It was better (?) than I thought...

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  2. I remember enjoying this film as a kid. I love these old science-fiction and horror movies. I read the book too, but don't remember much about it.

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    1. This movie was freaky to me as a kid!

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  3. It's been years since I saw this and read the book. I remember thinking they were both pretty silly!

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  4. Pretty convenient that Masen was such an expert sailor that he was (basically) single-handedly able to get from England to France and then France to Spain. Maybe it’s much easier that I thought. LOL

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    1. Right? I love how they just glossed over him getting from England to Paris...

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  5. What is this wondrous movie???? I must watch it one day!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  6. Old and silly - just about sums it up ha ha

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  7. Oh I remember seeing this one. I remember liking it back then.

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  8. I get scared easily but somehow plants that eat people do not sound all that scary. Great review - very entertaining!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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    1. They're actually kinda creepy!

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  9. Initial reaction: what even is this. Reaction upon reading the post: what even is this. XD Old movies are something else!

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  10. Never saw this but love your commentary! I could watch scary movies this way! I just love this post you do. I can’t wait for when you post! ♥️

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  11. I loved this when I was a kid! Admittedly, it is pretty awful and cheap and corny, but I'll always have a soft spot for it. Glad you were able to find a bit of entertainment in the shenanigans :)

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  12. I have no words, what even IS this!? It's amusing how many other people watched it as kids- I suppose I should thank my parents for never having seen this monstrosity. It just... I don't understand what the blindness and the weirdass (and totally not plausible sounding) plants have to do with each other? I suppose it's not exactly meant to be scientific though hahah. The plane bit IS terrifying though, can you imagine!?

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  14. This sounds exactly like something I'd watch, but I don't think I've ever seen it before. I think it'd be great to see on Svengoolie. :)

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  15. These are the types of movies I watched with my dad, so fond memories make them not suck. XD

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