The Night the World Exploded (1957) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for The Night the World Exploded (1957)The Night the World Exploded (1957) by #FredFSears
#KathrynGrant #WilliamLeslie

Scientists locate the epicentre of earthquake activity and find an explosive ore is working its way up from the depths of Earth.

“Super-quake tilts the earth!”:

“I am a scientist, I guess, but I’m a woman, too.”

#Horror #SciFi

The Night the World Exploded (1957) begins with a scientist named Dr. Conway building a machine that somehow measures pressure and/or predicts things like earthquakes. He finishes it just in time to get a reading predicting a massive earthquake in the next 24 hours. He and his colleague, Dr. Morton, rush off to the capital city, where they try to warn the governor and convince him to evacuate one million people from the city. The governor doesn’t go for it because there’s no proof that these guys are right…

Of course the earthquake happens, and thousand die. But that’s not the worst of it. According to the machine, there are going to be several more earthquakes all over the world. And even THAT’s not the worst of it. Apparently the entire planet has already been knocked off of its axis by the first earthquake.

Something bad is clearly happening, but Drs Conway and Morton have no idea what it is. So they, along with beautiful scientist Laura “Hutch” Hutchinson, set out to find some answers…

Intriguing, but what happens next?

A team of scientists enter some caves in an effort to go deep into the Earth to find out what is causing the expansion that is leading to the earthquakes.

One of them discovers an interesting rock that no one can identify, so he decides to take it home and have a closer look at it. When he does, the rock suddenly expands, gets hot, and then starts to burn. And when the puzzled scientist finally realizes what is about to happen, his face becomes a mask of horror as the rock explodes destroying his entire home.

The other scientists figure out that this strange new rock – which they name Element 112 – is the cause of the earthquakes. It expands until it ultimately explodes, unless it is placed in water which neutralizes it. They also figure out that the entire world will be destroyed in 28 days if they don’t stop element 12 from continuing to expand.

Yikes, that sounds like Earth is doomed!

It would be, but the clever scientists come up with a plan. One that seems a little bit far-fetched, but it’s a plan nonetheless. All they have to do is create new rivers, and cause rain to fall by seeding the clouds with dry ice(?!)

Not being a scientist, I have no idea if this is even remotely possible, but it feels a little bit like science fiction… and what could be more appropriate for a science fiction movie like this?

So is The Night the World Exploded any good?

It reminds me a bit of The Monolith Monsters (1957), which is one of my childhood movies (and I wrote about it some time ago). The monster in The Night the World Exploded is a rock, or rather a bunch of rocks. Not quite the same as a gigantic spider, dinosaur, or man in a sarong. But I think it’s still counts.

The Night the World Exploded (1957) is a short movie, barely over one hour. It’s pretty fast-paced and entertaining. It’s somewhat far-fetched, perhaps even ridiculous at times, but that’s part of its charm. That’s what makes it #NotQuiteClassicCinema. The characters are likeable, there is a romantic subplot, and its relatively original enough to make it worth your time – if you like this kind of sci-fi madness. The Night the World Exploded would make a welcome addition to any late night marathon of apocalyptic doomsday movies on a #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.