The Day the Earth Stood Still (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“The Day The Earth Stood Still” was a landmark film directed by the versatile Robert Wise that was released along with the cold war, McCarthyism and the Korean conflict. Told from a tourist point of view there is a deeply ingrained sense of country that’s tied to monuments and places in downtown Washington D.C.
This film vibrates with life; The sights, the sounds of the early 1950’S. A time capsule with a message reflecting the tenor and times of a war-weary populace.
This movie scored by Bernard Herrmann uses a theremin which gives the eerie shimmering quality that holds the film up. This film is so tied up with the music it is hard to think of one without the other. Few movies have those bragging rights.
Shot in black and white it gives the shadows and shades of a deeper fear that only the best cinematography could convey.
Associated with science it awakens a deeper curiosity about what we were afraid to ask. This nightmarish quality from the deeper recesses of our being is mainly considering the continuing survival of the planet Earth and the religious overtones of a visitor named Carpenter who was brought back to life with a message to save us all that is still very relevent today.
Klaatu Barada Nikto!
Gort (The Day the Earth Stood Still) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Image via Wikipedia
This is this first terror movie in my memory that disguised itself as Science Fiction. When this film debuted in the late summer of 1979 the caption catch phrase was:
In space no one can hear you scream.
And in theatres across the country, no one could hear you shivering either. This movie is cold, ice-cold and full of lots of hardware. Very few films wake themselves up but this one does.
The movie begins with darkness in deep space and a troubling call to Mother. It’s time to wake the crew up. One switch at a time the mother ship comes to life. Its crew members are slowly emerging out of a deep sleep. There is a task to perform and they have to do it.
Soon they find themselves on a planet where once a race of giants lived. Now only the wreckage remains. It is a literal nightmare. The climate reminds me of that red spot on Jupiter where hurricane winds and hostility prevails. When they left that foresaken place they return to their ship bringing back with them a hidden menace. At this point a sense of dread begins to permeate the film. There’s trouble afoot and bad news travels fast.
This all becomes apparent when seemingly all is well and then watch out! There’s a major eruption. I may never look at Spaghetti the same way again. That’s what happens when you dine on Chef Boyardee. What a mess!
This spaceship western ticks out like High Noon only with a gruesome monster picking off each crew member one by one. Outwit, outplay and outlast in this ultimate survivor movie.
Next summer if the air conditioning breaks down watch this and chill.
Lurking in the shadows (Photo credit: Alfred Hermida)