Monday, October 14, 2013

The Day of The Triffids – A Good Popcorn Movie

By Steve D. Stones

Every so once in a while when I feel in the mood for viewing “The Day of The Triffids (1963)”, I can’t help but want to pop popcorn. This end-of-the-world film has been featured a number of times on the UEN (Utah Education Network) Sci-Fi Friday program, Fridays at 9 p.m.

A lonely sailor, played by Howard Keel, wakes one morning in a London hospital bed after having eye surgery. He discovers the hospital is abandoned while yelling for the nurse and removing the bandages from his eyes. His blind doctor explains to him that a meteor shower in the sky the night before blinded the entire earth’s population. The doctor jumps out of his office window, committing suicide.

The sailor walks the streets of London looking for a train station. As he wanders the streets and later finds the station, he discovers citizens wandering around aimlessly after being blinded by the meteor shower. Complete chaos and anarchy is happening all over the world.  The meteor shower has also caused triffid plants to grow large, uproot and attack people.

At the train station, he meets a twelve year old girl named Susan who still has her sight. The two find their way to an orphanage in France. The orphanage is later overtaken by a group of drunk loiters and by giant triffid plants that have uprooted from the ground.

Eventually the sailor, Susan and a beautiful French woman make their way to Spain, and use a pied piper routine to lead the giant triffids out to sea while playing music from an ice cream truck.

A subplot has a marine biologist and his much younger wife trapped in a lighthouse. The two isolate themselves in the lighthouse to conduct experiments on marine life, but end up trapped as giant triffid plants attack them. 

The film is based on a novel by John Wyndham, and was also marketed as “Revolt of The Triffids” and “Invasion of The Triffids.” Hammer Studios director Freddie Francis also served as a co- director. Happy viewing!!

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