Time for a little change of pace as I pulled out the second disc of the Midnight Movies set Chosen Survivors / The Earth Dies Screaming. I had no idea what the film was, I loved the title and it had a creepy looking alien on the poster. Sold. I found a very interesting, though short and one with the barest bones of a plot, bottom of the bill science fiction thriller directed by Terence Fisher. SCORE!
After a mysterious attack causes trains to crash and nearly everyone to fall down dead, a disparate group of people find themselves thrust into a little group out to survive. The opening is probably the best part really-with a show like Flash Forward on I bet this would be a curiosity for some, but after that we get a lot of talking with the occasion bit of alien strolling and skullduggery between the survivors. After the survivors start turning up as zombies themselves it becomes a scramble to see who can get out of the small British town-and where exactly they may go.
There are some upsides, the cast is quite good. Willard Parker is a standard hero, but Dennis Price steals the show as a shifty clown that has no idea how to properly handle a gun from what I could ascertain. Whenever I think of Price I can only recall his face and appearance from Jess Franco’s Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein, where he looks positively awful. It was a treat to see him hamming it up and taking his barely sketched out character for a spin as a groovy ghoulie idiot that is easy to dislike.
Also nice is the monster design, while they have goofy back packs you have to love the work that went in to the monstrous faces beneath the glass bubbles!
I’m sure it has been raised by far more studied horror critics, but this film had to have been a minor influence on Night of the Living Dead. Not only do the zombies act similarly, but the theme of a zombie ratting out it’s one time compatriots to the others, or in this case 2 aliens, is incredibly similar.
For 60 minutes this is a fair bit of entertainment that doesn’t really have a payoff in the end, but I was intrigued through out. If you need a Black and White Fright that you may not have seen, this could fill out the bottom of your Halloween quadruple bill easily.