A strange new virus has appeared, which only attacks strains of grasses such as wheat and rice, and the world is descending into famine and chaos. Architect John, along with his family and friends, is making his way from London to his brother's farm in northern England where there will hopefully be food and safety for all of them. Along the way, they encounter hostile soldiers, biker gangs, and all manner of people who are all too willing to take advantage of travelers for a mouthful of food. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A bleak and uncompromising straight-laced minor b-grade apocalyptic sci-fi survival tale that's crudely made, but is grippingly constructed (despite a heavy-handed script and typically projected characters) and with committed acting led by the likes of a hardened Nigel Davenport, exuberant Jean Wallace and an unforgettably concentrated Anthony May.
John Custance, his family and friend decide to leave London to stay at his brother's farm in the Lake District, as just like the rest of the world Britain is plagued by a destructive virus caused by pollution that's destroying earth's crops and causing unstoppable panic. On their journey they pick up another couple Pirrie and Clara, but also come across a lot of obstacles and anarchy that would change the way they see things.
I wouldn't call it great, as it's an interestingly uneven production and somewhat cautionary tale that has its moments, but there are some problems evident that stop it being better than what it could have been. The two things that do stand out is the use of quick, fragmented flash forward sequences that take away any real sense of building upon surprises and suspense, to only confuse. Secondly it could have been a little more powerful in it theories of civilised society falling apart, as no one is better than anyone else in their primitive state to keep alive. What it feels like is over-the-top melodramatics and struggles, which aren't boring or emotionally forced but could have used a bit more weight. However what director Cornel Wilde develops is an effective apocalyptic vision of a dying world of dreary images (dead corpses --- humans and animals, decaying plant life and destruction of civilisation) covering brooding forlorn landscapes. Even what should be a peacefully desolated countryside, still provides looming threats outside the chaotic cities. Strangely moments had me thinking of M. Night Shyamalan's 2008 eco-thriller "The Happening". The violence has that exploitative, gritty touch with moments of relentless surges and unsettling intensity. It's not graphic, but it doesn't hold out. Wilde does use some odd, if static filming techniques that show its low budget but add to the moodiness, so does the haunting title song. The score can be harrowing when complementing the visuals, but could find it clunky and overdone. The performances are reasonably brought across, even with the black and white shadings.
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