The Earth Dies Screaming
|The Earth Dies Screaming|
|Directed by||Terence Fisher|
|Produced by||Robert L. Lippert
Jack Parsons[disambiguation needed]
|Written by||Harry Spalding as Henry Cross|
|Music by||Elisabeth Lutyens|
|Edited by||Robert Winter|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox|
|Release dates||August 1965|
|Running time||62 min.|
The Earth Dies Screaming is a 1965 British science fiction film directed by Terence Fisher, and starring Willard Parker, Virginia Field, Dennis Price, Vanda Godsell, Thorley Walters, David Spenser, and Anna Palk.
After a mysterious gas attack which kills off most of the Earth's population, a few survivors gather at a country inn to figure out a plan for survival. However, the gas attack is only the first step in an alien invasion, in which groups of killer robots stalk the streets, able to kill anyone with the a mere touch of their hands. The group's members find additional weaponry in a nearby drill hall, but the robots continue their campaign of terror, which only increases when their victims rise from the dead as zombies, eager to kill anyone who might try to stop them. Yet despite frictions within the group -- and the birth of a baby, which further complicates matters -- most of the members survive, and head to a nearby airport, where they commandeer a plane and fly towards an unknown destination, where perhaps additional survivors await their arrival.
The film was shot in black and white at Shepperton Studios in London. Location filming was done at the village of Shere in Surrey. It was one of several 1960s British horror films to be scored by the avant-garde Elisabeth Lutyens, whose father, Edwin Lutyens, designed Manor House Lodge in Shere, a small property which features prominently at several points in the film.
One critic marveled at the film's use of silence:
"... it's remarkable to note than in a 62 minute film, the first five to six minutes have conveyed Fisher’s vision of the end of civilization entirely through a dispassionate series of images ... Much of the film, involving the pursuit of the living by the dead, is done entirely through gesture...
UB40 had a Top 10 hit in the UK in 1980 with a song with the same name as the film, but the song's subject matter was a post-nuclear holocaust.
- John Hamilton, The British Independent Horror Film 1951-70 Hemlock Books 2013 p 129-132
- Wheeler Winston Dixon, October 31st, 2014, Film International, “Turn It Off!” – Sound and Silence in 1960s British Gothic Cinema, Retrieved November 1, 2014
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