Friday night at the home drive-in: Day the World Ended (1955)

Day the World Ended (1955) by #RogerCorman

w/#RichardDenning #LoriNelson #AdeleJergens

In a world devastated by a wide-scale nuclear war, all that remains are teetering ruins and a handful of scrappy survivors.

”ATTACKED… by a creature from hell!”
“The terrifying story that COULD COME TRUE!”
“A new high in naked shrieking terror!”

#Horror #SciFi  

We’ve become used to post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows that deal with zombies. We used to see a lot of post-apocalyptic movies about people in the desert fighting over gas, or water, or the last fertile woman on the planet. Day the World Ended (1955) is a much earlier post-apocalyptic story of survivors simply trying to stay alive. They wind up stuck together in a house in valley that was somehow protected from the radiation fallout that is killing people and animals everywhere else (or something like that).

A threat of mutant monsters from outside the valley looms over the survivors, but as with many of the best movies of this kind, the real danger comes from within the group, as tension between the survivors begins to rise…

I was reminded of Night of the Living Dead (1968) as I watched Day the World Ended (1955). The disagreements between the survivors, and the fight over who is in control – and who has the gun – seem to suggest that Day the World Ended (1955) must have been an influence on George A. Romero and/or John Russo when they made their movie. I’ve heard that The Last Man on Earth (1964) was an influence (and I have no doubt that it was – or if not the movie, then the novel upon which it was based, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson). Still, I can’t help but think that Day the World Ended must also have been somewhere in the back of Romero or Russo’s mind. 

This movie is also significant because while it is the fourth film that Roger Corman directed, it is the first one he made in the Sci-Fi Horror genre. I am a huge fan of Roger Corman. I’ve even been known to call him my hero. I was once referred to as “the Roger Corman of Manitoba” and I thought that it was the greatest compliment that I could have ever received. Someday I will have to talk at length about how much I love the man and his movies. But not today…

Day the World Ended (1955) is a #NotQuiteClassicCinema favourite. Almost anything by Roger Corman is, truth be told – but that’s beside the point. Day the World Ended will always be a welcome sight for me on any #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.