Movie Name: The Day of the Triffids
Studio: Security Pictures Ltd.
Release Date(s): July 1962
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
A meteor shower hits the Earth creating a spectacular lightshow for everyone who sees it. The next morning, those who saw the shower wake up blind and monstrous plants called triffid sprout from intergalactic seeds. The triffids can kill with poison and sharp tendrils, but the survivors could be just as dangerous. Bill Masen (Howard Keel) survived the blindness due to an eye surgery and meets a young girl named Susan (Janina Faye) who can also see. As they make their way across the countryside, they fight to stay alive. On a small island with a lighthouse, Tom Goodwin (Kieron Moore) and Karen Goodwin (Janette Scott) try to fight the growing multitudes of triffids that threaten to get in.
Directed by Steve Sekely, The Day of the Triffids was based on the 1951 novel by John Wyndham and was released in 1962 in United Kingdom but 1963 in the United States. It has been remade multiple times, but this often is considered the classic film version of the story (despite not really following the novel).
One of the problems with this story of The Day of the Triffids is that it seems so detached. The two different stories occurring within the story are completely independent and uneven on their presentation. Masen and Susan seem to hold the majority of the story and interest. Whenever it switches to Tom and Karen, I just get bored.Part of the reason of the detached nature of Tom and Karen’s story is that much of it was created because the film ran too short. The whole attack on the lighthouse at the end of the film was added to round out the film. The simplified “triffids don’t like salt water” ending feels so tacked on. At least unlike Signs where the aliens intentionally invaded a planet where half the world was fatal to them, the triffids just unintentionally landed on Earth.
The triffids are great creations. They are kind of confusing looking and I would have loved to have seen one of the life-size models. The creatures created for the film have made their way into popular culture and sometimes appear in other films (an example are those plants in E.T.’s ship look surprisingly triffid like).The Day of the Triffids is a fun movie. The inspiring opening scene was recreated in 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead with Masen wandering through the desolated London after waking up in an abandoned hospital. Granted the newer versions are a bit more amped up, but it is fun to see the original. Check out a fun classic sci-fi flick!