I was pretty much blown away by how good this is. For it’s time the ‘horror’ aspect of the whole thing is very subtle which leads to some genuinely chilling moments - for example when a corpse suddenly opens its eyes in one scene – but my favourite is the shot of the deserted town square at quarter to eight in the morning when suddenly throngs of people appear from all directions walking slowly towards it (probably have to watch it to see what I mean). The acting is uniformly good, Kevin McCarthy in particular puts in an amazing performance as the ‘last man standing’ - and doesn’t stop running for most of the film which I take my hat off to. I actually lost a couple of pounds just watching him. The extras on my DVD were confined to a mere 6 minute interview with the great man McCarthy, which nevertheless revealed some interesting snippets – Sam Peckinpah actually appears in a very small role (and was the dialogue director for the movie) and also that the original ending changed – it was originally going to end at what is undoubtedly the movies stand out scene, where McCarthy is stood in traffic shouting “THEY’RE HERE ALREADY” and we get a close-up shot of him looking into the camera. I can imagine that watching that particular moment in a cinema in the 50s must have had some effect – especially with the threat of the cold war and communism that the film obviously (or does it?) refer to – and I just wish that the studio had the guts to go with that orginal ending – unfortunately we get the tagged on standard happy ending that just diminishes this great film ever so slightly.Wouldn’t those pods be a great bit of movie memorabilia to have?
Femme Fatale Friday: Lisa Blount -
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