Director – John Hayes (Grave of the Vampire, Garden of the Dead)
Starring – Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, The Wicker Man), Sue Lyon (Alligator, Crash!), and Kirk Scott (Quantum Leap, Heathers)
Release Date – 1977
Rating – 2/5
Blu Release – 2.5/5
I’ve been a fan of Full Moon Entertainment for a couple decades now. It’s weird to say that but as I get older I find myself now referring to things in regards to years and decades. I was born in ’86 and lived through the video store age which was how I discovered Full Moon. Now, it’s been an easy 25 years or so since I first found the movies Side Show, Subspecies, Puppet Master, and so on. I absolutely love Full Moon’s original films and a good chunk of their distributed films but sometimes they get their hands on something that looks cool but isn’t.
I’ve owned their DVD release of 1977’s The End of the World starring the late Christopher Lee for years now but never got around to checking it out. Lee is a fucking legend so a film he is in that never gets mentioned by genre fans is a huge red flag for me. However, when I saw that Full Moon was putting it out on blu I decided it was time to finally check it out. I reached out to them and they were kind enough to send over a copy for review. Like always, I want to thank Full Moon and MVD for hooking me up!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a scientist that researching sound waves from space when he receives a repeating message that he translates into “Large Earth Disruptions” that seems to coincide with natural disasters spanning the entire globe. They eventually cross paths with an odd preacher and soon uncover he is from another world with a sinister plan in mind. **Spoiler Alert**
I was quick to see why this film is never mentioned by genre fans and those passionate about Christopher Lee’s body of work. The movie has some promise but looses sight of the film’s endgame fairly on. I really wanted to like it, and I found myself enjoying some of it, but the overall film is a huge waste of time.
The acting in this one is one of the few highlights of the film. Christopher Lee is not in the film as much as you would expect considering his name is plastered all over the marketing material. It’s also said that he was not a fan of this film and only signed on as a favor for a friend. With that being said, I really enjoyed Kirk Scott and Sue Lyon’s performances. They carry the film and most of the film that I did enjoy was centered around them. They were so natural together that I had to look up if they were a real couple when the cameras were off. The supporting cast is decent at times but it’s these two that carry the film.
The story for this one is fairly generic with that 70s flare. Most of the films featuring a similar story typically take place in the 50s and 60s. However, this one being centered in the late 70s has its own style that I really liked. The aesthetics are cheesy but I’m a big fan, but this could not save the film. At least 90% of the film follows the scientist as he suspects something bigger is at play but is grounded by his wife. It’s a decent set up but not for as long as the film runs. I’m fully convinced that most of the film’s story was left on the cutting room floor.
Finally, we get a little blood and some extremely dated and corny visual effects but that is the extent of it. If you are expecting some fun practical effects and props that would fit a story centered around an alien invasion in the late 70s then you will be very disappointed. Overall, End of the World is a big missed opportunity for all involved. We get the wasted use of Christopher Lee and a story that goes nowhere fast. I would love to know what really happened behind the scenes with this one because this cannot be the film they set out to make.
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