After the death of his Nobel Prize-winning father, billionaire physicist Jerry Cornelius becomes embroiled in the search for the mysterious "Final Programme", developed by his father. The ... See full summary »
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After the death of his Nobel Prize-winning father, billionaire physicist Jerry Cornelius becomes embroiled in the search for the mysterious "Final Programme", developed by his father. The programme, a design for a perfect, self-replicating human being, is contained on microfilm. A group of scientists, led by the formidable Miss Brunner (who consumes her lovers), has sought Cornelius's help in obtaining it. After a chase across a war-torn Europe on the verge of anarchy, Brunner and Cornelius obtain the microfilm from Jerry's loathsome brother Frank. They proceed to an abandoned underground Nazi fortress in the Arctic to run the programme, with Jerry and Miss Brunner as the subjects. Written by
Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>
I saw the ads for "The Last Days Of Man On Earth" well before I could watch "R" films, but I was always wanting to see it. It dropped into a bit of obscurity stateside, and it was years before I found a copy. Shortly after I saw it, Anchor Bay issued the uncut original in limited quantities, and I managed to grab one.
well, the book is better. But Jon Finch is the perfect Jerry Cornelius, and this may be his best work. Jenny Runacre is every bit as good as "Miss Brunner", though her character doesn't quite embody the written character to the degree of Finch. Ron Lacey also shines, in a brief turn as the sun glassed assassin, "Shades", walking straight out of the books pages.
The low budget is disguised well, but the film needed a bit more for effects, relying on a lot of color tinting, sound effects, and old style inflatable "sculptures", to fill the screen.
Moorcock hates it, but this embodies the spirit that fueled "New Worlds", the science fiction magazine that brought Moorcock to the worlds attention, rather well, invoking much classic British entertainment of the recent past. The original cut is preferable, but "The Last Days Of Man On Earth" is a completely different edit of the film, not just a retitling. The differences aren't major, but the US removes everything that even borders on superfluous, with much minor trimming being done to almost every scene. In an odd parallel with "A Boy And His Dog", it follows the overall story arc acceptably, but adds a joke in poor taste to the conclusion, and many have found that alone, was enough to sour their perceptions.
It comes close to bringing Moorcocks world to the cinema, but isn't quite there. Here's hoping that someone might make another attempt.
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