End of the World – USA, 1977

‘There is everything to look forward to… except tomorrow’

End of the World is a 1977 American science fiction horror disaster film produced by Charles Band and directed by John Hayes (Dream No Evil; Garden of the Dead; Grave of the Vampire) from a screenplay by Frank Ray Perilli (Mansion of the Doomed; Laserblast; Zoltan, Hound of Dracula).

The movie stars Sue Lyon (Crash!; The Astral Factor), Kirk Scott (Heathers), Dean Jagger (Evil Town; So Sad About GloriaAlligator), Lew Ayres, Macdonald Carey, Liz Ross, Jon Van Ness. Christopher Lee is top-billed but appears for just a few minutes.

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Plot:

Professor Andrew Boran (Kirk Scott) is a research scientist who discovers strange radio signals in space that appear to originate from the Earth. The signals seem to predict natural disasters occurring around the globe.

When he and his wife (Sue Lyon) decide to investigate the source of the signals, they end up being held captive in a convent that’s been infiltrated by aliens. These invaders plan to destroy the world with the natural disasters. As the human, Father Pergado and alien leader Zindar (Christopher Lee) explain – the Earth is a hotbed of disease that cannot be permitted to continue polluting the galaxy…

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Reviews:

“There are some ridiculous moments, such as Lee’s true form and seeing nuns operate supercomputers. Seriously, if I just read the description of this movie, it’d sound like everything I love. But seeing the execution leaves a lot to be desired.” B & S About Movies

“There are three worthwhile moments in this film: The first scene of the movie, the sequence where the aliens are revealed, and the movie’s eerie climax where our scientist heroes watch the world come to an end on dozens of TV monitors. However, these moments are nowhere near exciting enough to warrant sitting through the boring, badly acted crap that separates them.” Steve Miller, The Charles Band Collection

“Incredibly tacky in all respects and deadly dull. Another step down for Christopher Lee…” Frank Jackson, Cinefantastique, 1978

” …not even the persistent bleeps and bloops of the tacky electronic score are enough to enliven the lethargic footage. Worst of all, End of the World isn’t so aggressively stupid that it achieves camp value. Instead, it’s just lazily stupid, raising the unanswerable question of why Band and his people bothered to waste time making this drivel.” Peter Hanson, Every 70s Movie

“If you go in expecting more of what it really is (a rather cheesy low-budget late-seventies science fiction movie), it has its moments. The opening scene pretty much steals the movie; it catches your attention and draws you in enough that you find yourself being patient with the unfocused, muddled and slow-moving script for a little while, but only for a little while.” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“Cheapjack effects, stock footage, yawns and annoying weeo-weeo electronic music score abound, although there’s a pretty great practical car explosion in the second act that clearly was done the good ol’ fashioned way of finding a junker and blowing that baby up…” Aaron Christensen, Horror 101 with Dr. AC

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“For very long stretches End of the World is merely boring, betraying the promise of that somewhat spectacular diner scene. It’s really Perilli who saves the day by taking his writing to a special level of bad. It is bad both as a concept and as dialogue. It is such science as Ed Wood would have laughed out of the room. Sir Christopher Lee is shamelessly straight-faced while uttering it all in the guise of an emotionless alien.” Mondo 70: A Wild World of Cinema

“The pacing is incredibly dull and even when the aliens are introduced, still not very much happens. To its credit, the same plot, minus the convent angle and with the addition of a whole lot more coherence, also served as the basis of the much better The Arrival (1996). Through it all, Christopher Lee plays with customary booming gravitas and gives an entirely silly role far more than it deserves.” Richard Scheib, Moria

” …the script holds up and never explains too much. Lee is good as usual, and so most of the actors. Joel Goldsmith, the son of Jerry, is credited with the weird and abstract electronic sound/music together with Andrew Belling, and is one of the best things with the movie. It ads to the quirkiness a lot.” Fred Anderson, Ninja Dixon

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Buy: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com

“What with nuns from outer space, Christopher Lee in a double role and understandably looking baffled in both characterizations, a dotty script and cut-price special effects, the end of the world looks like a more acceptable option compared to the movie.” Alan Frank, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook, Batsford, 1982

End of the World is truly forgettable and isn’t really worth it even for the most hardcore of B-Movie fans. I had hoped for a better introduction to Charles Band’s 1970s output, but this one was sorely lacking. That being said, the final ten minutes or so are pretty enjoyable, so if you must, try to only see that section. Unless you suffer from insomnia…” Silver Emulsion Film Reviews

“There could have been an exciting race against time here, with the professor and his wife rushing to prevent the aliens carrying out the threat of the title, but mostly the pace drags, the story plods, and the actors look as if they’d rather be somewhere else.” Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image

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1977 - End Of The World (VHS)

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Cast and characters:

  • Christopher Lee as Father Pergado / Zindar
  • Sue Lyon as Sylvia Boran
  • Kirk Scott as Prof. Andrew Boran
  • Dean Jagger as Ray Collins
  • Lew Ayres as Cmdr. Joseph Beckerman
  • Macdonald Carey as John Davis
  • Liz Ross as Sister Patrizia
  • Jon Van Ness as Mr. Sanchez

Release:

End of the World was released a month before Close Encounters of the Third Kind and is now in the public domain.

 

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