|Index||10 reviews in total|
A well-acted drama about people surviving a food shortage due to climate fluctuations. Considering the present unnatural weather we've recently been getting, this strikes a most sombre note. The electronic music soundtrack is striking as well. Clint Walker especially shines in this, and because he put his heart into his character, I will be forever endeared to him as an actor. I'm puzzled by the negative criticism some have given this movie. Perhaps, they were expecting Terminator 3 or something with less substance and more special effects. If that's what you're looking for, it's not here. You'll find something much more worthwhile in this movie. The ultimate question this movie asks is, "How would you conduct yourself in a time of crisis?" Which really points to: How do you conduct yourself in everyday life with the people you interact with? There are two kinds of characters in this movie: Those who show other human beings kindness and those who view our fellow man as opportunities for exploitation. There are really no times that one can say are entirely free of desperation. This is a movie with a message. I like it.
"Deadly Harvest" was made at a time when the Earth's climate was thought
be cooling due to a sun-blocking shroud of pollution. The film takes this
premise to a setting in which winter begins in August! The world's food
supply is almost gone and the social order is breaking down.
Unfortunately, this film mostly comes across as just another cheap, violent 'tax shelter' ripoff. Walker is wooden (and his wood is weaker than usual) as the heroic farmer, while Persoff is inappropriately hammy as the arch-villain. Geraint Wyn-Davies of later "Forever Knight" fame had yet to show talent here.
The film does take on a haunting quality near the end as it tours a frozen, near-deserted Toronto and witnesses a family's last meal.
It's the end of the world as we know it. Cause? A massive lack of food
resources. Yes, freak weather conditions have caused starvation on a
scale, and it's not too long before neighbour turns on neighbour in the
quest for a good meal.
Clint Walker plays the heroic farmer who, in an effort to keep his family fed, fights off all sorts of unsavoury characters. People will do literally anything to get their hands on a bit of grub...including murder.
Deadly Harvest is an interesting attempt to show how quickly society can collapse when faced with crisis, and how fast man will resort to primate savageness in order to save his own skin.
The film concentrates on two families, at first the closest of friends, then embedded in a bitter feud of survival of the fittest. But it's not just his pals that Clint has to contend with. It's a world where the richest man is he who has a well stocked larder (or in Clint's case, a farm full of fodder). However, with no law and only disorder, the richest man is also target no. 1.
Released only limitedly in 1976, Deadly Harvest is a member of the popular end-of-the-World subgenre. It's all bleak here, the ending only promise that things will get worse. Is this a terrifying vision of things to come? Convincing performances, and good direction by Timothy Bond certainly give it a feel of realism that at times is unsettling.
Ultimately however, this is fairly familiar territory, the family unit facing the apocalypse has all been done before ('Panic in the Year Zero!' With Ray Milland for example), and it all seems a little tame. What surprised me more than anything was that there wasn't even one reference to cannibalism! Is this really a HSF (horror,sci-fi and fantasy) Film?
In fairness, considering that the film was produced on a very low budget, and is virtually unheard of, this is a bad effort at all. If nothing else, it serves as a stark warning to farmers; if you think things are bad now, it's only going to get far far worse!
"Interesting" Facts: Clint Walker starred in several genre made-for-TV movies, including, 'Scream of the Wolf', 'Snowbeast' and 'Killdozer'. This was Timothy Bond's directorial debut. He went on to make the 1992 version of 'The Lost World' and several TV episodes including additions of 'Friday the 13th - The Series', 'Star Trek - The Next Generation' and 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Deadly Harvest' sounds like the title of some 'Children of The Corn' type of film, with cannibals being mowed down by wheat threshers, or something else suitably gruesome. But no, it's actually a Canadian version of one of those Hollywood 70's "be forewarned" sci-fi epics (ala 'Soylent Green' or "No Blade of Grass'); this one telling the tale of a massive, global food shortage at the end of the seventies resulting in a hunger panic that reaches the good folk who live out on the farms. The film's lead farmer is played by Clint Walker who occupies the space of one acre all by himself. And his acting, as always, is about as tinny and wooden-handled as a plow, too. He plods through this film like an inoffensive sasquatch, with a landslide of oily hair that makes it appear he bathes in a bog. Kim Cattrall, a Canadian actress all of 20 years old here, gets little to do as Walker's daughter. Her face bulges with baby fat so she's almost unrecognizable as the 'Sex and The City' woman of today. Nehemiah Persoff is collecting a paycheck on this one and probably dispensed with the craft services since he provided his own ham in every scene he's in. Otherwise, it's nondescript actors doing nondescript work with nondescript dialogue. Really, this little movie held some promise with its intriguing concept, but let itself down by executing said concept so poorly. The perfect example of this is the climactic battle between Persoff's gang and Walker's that is nothing more than another wild west shootout. Walker's comment at the end that things are about to get much worse does add a chilling coda, although it is the next stage of the disaster that Walker alludes to, with city folk ravaging the countryside, that we really want to see. Oh, and the music score by somebody named John Mills-Cockell is a cheap synthesizer drag. This film could have been a dark comic masterpiece if, instead of a food shortage caused by failing crops and overpopulation, it was about obese Americans so hungry that they've eaten all the food the world can produce and, even with extinction at hand, can't stop eating. Ah well, food for thought.........
Welcome to the taupe movie. Everything in the film is taupe.....the actors' skin and hair, their clothes, the ground, the sky.... My God! How bleak can it get?! The movie details the plight of North America when global weather patterns shift causing crops to freeze and harvests to be lost. The government realizes that there is no food left and before long, it's every man for himself. Walker (one time Greek God who now looks rather haggard and is desperately trying to give this poor film some heart) plays a farmer who becomes a target of vigilantes because he has things like chickens, vegetables and a cow. Brown is a desperate city dweller whose daughter is in dire need of proper nutrition and whose money now does him no good at all. Persoff is a heartless entrepreneur who's been hoarding food all along in order to be a player during the shortage. All the elements converge during a wedding ceremony when some men try to steal the bounty of food that's been offered as a present. Then a string of violent events continues until the fade out. The idea of the film is somewhat ambitious (though not entirely original.) The execution of it (mostly due to the severely low budget and the amateurism of the acting) is agonizing. The opening of the film is horrendous. Anonymous businessmen talk (and talk) about the situation with camera setups and sound that's probably worse than most underground pornography of the time. The rough lighting and photography continue throughout the film which, as stated earlier, exists in a bleak pallet of tan, taupe and brown with occasional splashes of navy blue. Some really lame actors attempt to portray despair and emotion in the face of the situation, but mostly they come off as laughable. Whelan, as Brown's elderly father and Greenhalgh as Walker's wife are chief offenders here. Cattrall has an early role here as Walker's daughter. The part has little to it, but she performs adequately for the most part. The thing is, the film wants to be serious and foreboding, but it's so melodramatic and trite and done with such little style that it doesn't stand much of a chance. If one were to remove the shots of cars/trucks driving down desolate roads, the film would likely run 40 minutes!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the wake of global cooling the harvests are a thing of the past. A
farmer tries to keep his family alive in the wake of the growing
Remember 30 years ago when the world was getting cooler and not hotter? This was a story born out the concern of the 1970's. Playing more like a somber TV movie than a feature film this is a film that is a bit too earnest to really be taken seriously. Well acted the script never really pulls it together and the sequence of events just never rings true.
I didn't care for it and in all honesty the best thing that I can say was I paid a dollar for the DVD which had a second film on it as well. I'd take a pass and save your dollar
Deadly Harvest is about global environmental breakdown that could have been prevented if people would have listened. Sound's familiar. Multiple harvests are lost causing a dip into the non-existent food reserves. Brother, people should have been eating the oil reserves instead. It causes the government to lie about food and people to degenerate to killing mobs. The city folk are pitted against the country folk because the country folk have farms and can produce food while the city folk rely on the lying government. There is an odd prim and proper ethical side to the degeneration as the city folk steal the country folk's food. But things get pretty bad and the country folk come to take revenge. I'll agree that city folk would be in dire straights if there should be food shortages, but then there's always soylent green.
Just watched Deadly Harvest, then noticed a distinct lack - and recent
vintage - of IMDb comments about it. But I ain't even gonna TRY to sway ya:
You're gonna hafta make up your OWN mind about this one. You probably
won't regard your time and/or money to have been wasted if you view this.
But, neither do I believe that it's one of the greatest movies ever made,
although a considerable percentage of IMDb voters apparently feel that way.
It's got an uncomplicated premise: because of global COOLING, the food
supply has become inadequate - nothing new in some parts of the world; but,
in THIS film, in North America, as well. That's as much SCIENCE fiction as
there is, however. The rest of the picture focuses on character behavior
resultant from this circumstance. Therefore, the heavy reliance on acting,
and not much else. I'll leave it up to you to decide who, if any of, and
how, the thespians might imperfectly execute their craft. My impression is
that it's done well enough to take seriously, but just average.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A farm family and a city family struggle to stay alive in a future
world rapidly running out of food due to climate change. Food is
rationed and martial law has been declared. The farm family, with
barely enough food to see them through the winter, is visited by a rich
industrialist and his son, who beg for food for their family,
especially the sick granddaughter. The farmer's youngest daughter
persuades the farmer and his wife to give them a little food. The
grateful industrialist, a widower, gives his wedding ring to the farmer
for the upcoming marriage of his eldest daughter.
The farmer's son, jealous of his sister's fiancé who is a former city dweller, joins a vigilante group of rural residents who take the food away from the city folk on their way home with the prized groceries. The industrialist has a heart attack and dies. His son declares vengeance and asks a criminal to send his gang to rob the church of the food offerings at the wedding.
In the gunfight, the farmer's wife and new son-in-law are killed. The farmer goes to the city to seek vengeance, and finds out that the thugs are going back to the countryside to rob and kill. The city family sit down for their last meal, as the farmer races back through roadblocks to save his family and neighbors.
The farmer's son keeps the thugs at bay until his father and vigilantes arrive to finish them off. They are safe--for now.
"To most of us, it came as a surprise. Not many understood. Too few
cared enough to stop it. Then, it no longer mattered how many
understood or cared. It was too late.
The beginning of the end came in the late '70s. The climate changes... the energy crisis, the shortages, the high costs of growing and transporting grain, the lack of government support for research programs. The disappearance of arable land beneath the monoliths of reinforced concrete and steel as the urban centers continued their unchecked sprawl into the countryside. The industrial pollution that poisoned the earth, the water, and the air. And the continuing growth of population out of all bounds of reason. More and more people, less and less food.
By the end of the '70s, the fabric of society was breaking down in most parts of he world... And then, the bubble burst."
So begins a cautionary tale from the sages in Hollywood, who even thirty years ago were desperately trying to warn us unwashed masses about the dangers of climate change facing us. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
So what is "The World's Scourge" as described in the movie's tagline? GLOBAL COOLING!
Draw your own conclusions.
P.S. - This would make a great double feature with "An Inconvenient Truth".
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