Night of the Comet

Night of the Comet

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Night of the Comet
NightoftheCometPoster.jpg  absurdnoise horror movies 80s movies 80s horror night of the comet absurdnoise horror movies 80s horror cult horror night of the comet

Original 1984 theatrical poster
Directed by Thom Eberhardt
Produced by
Written by Thom Eberhardt
Starring
Music by David Richard Campbell
Cinematography Arthur Albert
Edited by Fred Stafford
Production
companies
  • Thomas Coleman and Michael Rosenblatt Productions
  • Film Development Fund
Distributed by Atlantic Releasing Corporation
Release dates
  • November 16, 1984 (1984-11-16)
Running time
95 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $700,000
Box office $14.4 million[2]

Night of the Comet is a 1984 American disastercomedy film written and directed by Thom Eberhardt and starring Catherine Mary Stewart, Robert Beltran, and Kelli Maroney.

The film was voted number 10 in Bloody Disgusting‘s Top 10 Doomsday Horror Films in 2009.[3]

The film is also noted as one of the first mainstream films to carry the PG-13 rating.

Plot[edit]

The Earth is passing through the tail of a comet, an event which has not occurred in 65 million years, the last time coinciding with the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs. On the night of the comet’s passage (which takes place eleven days before Christmas), large crowds gather outside to watch and celebrate.

18-year-old Regina “Reggie” Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart) works at a movie theater in southern California. She is annoyed to find the initials DMK have the sixth highest score on the theater’s arcade game, all the other scores being hers. She stays after the theater closes to play until DMK’s score is removed and have sex with her boyfriend Larry, the theater projectionist, in the steel-lined projection booth. Meanwhile, Reggie’s 16-year-old sister Samantha “Sam” (Kelli Maroney) argues with their stepmother Doris (Sharon Farrell), who punches her in the face.

The next morning, a reddish haze covers everything, and there are no signs of life, only piles of red dust and heaps of clothing. Unaware that anything strange has happened, Larry (Michael Bowen) goes outside and is killed by a zombie. When Reggie goes looking for Larry, she encounters the zombie. She heads home to find her sister. Because both Reggie and Sam spent the night shielded from cosmic effects by steel, they were saved from the comet’s effects.[4]

After figuring out what has happened, they hear a disc jockey and race to the radio station, only to find it was just a recording. They come across another survivor there, Hector Gomez (Robert Beltran), who spent the night in the back of his steel semi. When Sam talks into the microphone, she is heard by researchers in an underground installation out in the desert. As they listen to Reggie, Sam and Hector debate what to do, the scientists note that the zombies, though less exposed to the comet, will eventually disintegrate into dust themselves.

Hector leaves to see if any of his family survived, but promises to come back. Reggie and Sam then go shopping at a mall. After a firefight with some zombie stock boys, the girls are taken prisoner, but are saved by a rescue team sent by the scientists.

Reggie is taken back to their base. Audrey White (Mary Woronov), a disillusioned scientist, offers to dispose of Sam, who was diagnosed as having been exposed, and to wait for Hector. After she fakes euthanizing Sam by injecting her with a sedative that only put her to sleep, she kills the other remaining scientist. When Hector returns, Audrey briefs him on the situation and then gives herself a lethal injection. He and Sam set out to rescue Reggie.

The researchers had suspected and prepared for the comet’s effects, but inadvertently left their ventilation system open during the comet’s passage, allowing the deadly dust to permeate their base. Meanwhile, Reggie has become suspicious, escapes, and discovers that the dying scientists have hunted down and rendered healthy survivors brain dead. They harvest their untainted blood to keep the disease at bay while they search desperately for a cure. Reggie saves a boy and a girl before they are processed, then unplugs the other victims from their life support machines. Hector and Sam get the trio out of the base.

Eventually, rain washes away the red dust, leaving the world in a pristine condition. With Reggie pairing up with Hector and the other two being just kids, Sam feels left out. When she ignores Reggie’s warning and crosses a deserted street against the still-operating signal light, she is almost run over by a sports car driven by Danny Mason Keener (Marc Poppel), a teenager about her own age. After apologizing, he invites her to go for a ride. As they drive off, the car is shown sporting the initials “DMK” on the vanity plate.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

When writing the script, director Thom Eberhardt wanted to explore the idea of strong female protagonists with his love of post-apocalyptic films set in empty cities. For the women, he was inspired by Ginger Rogers. Further inspiration came from real-life teenage girls whom he met while filming PBS specials. Without telling the girls details about the script’s premise, he asked them to describe how they would react to an apocalyptic event. The girls saw the scenario as an exciting adventure and only saw a downside to the experience when Eberhardt brought up the subject of dating. Using their answers, Eberhardt wrote the script to be lighthearted and adventuresome. Eberhardt initially had trouble convincing the studio to let him direct it, but they relented when he held out, as Atlantic Releasing Corporation was looking to immediately invest $700,000. Atlantic also wanted to capitalize on the success of their 1983 hit Valley Girl and the popularity of quirky drive-in films like Repo Man. The producers, Andrew Lane and Wayne Crawford, clashed with Eberhardt during filming; Eberhardt would later say that they did not understand the film and resented being assigned to such a low-budget B movie. Early in the production, they attempted to have him replaced. Regardless, Eberhardt praised their producing skill and said the film could not have been made without their help.[5]

Release[edit]

Atlantic released Night of the Comet in the US on November 16, 1984, earning $3,580,578 in its opening weekend, coming in at third place. It stayed in theaters for six weeks and grossed $14,418,922 total in the US.[2]

Home media[edit]

Night of the Comet was released on VHS cassette and CED Videodisc on August 30, 1985, and distributed by CBS/FOX Video. A second U.S. VHS printing, distributed by Goodtimes Video, was released on August 30, 1990.[citation needed]

MGM released the film on DVD in the US on March 6, 2007.[6] The film was released in a Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory on November 19, 2013.[7]

Reception[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, gave the film an 82% based on 28 critics reviews; the average rating is 6.4/10.[8] Variety wrote that Eberhardt “creates a visually arresting B-picture in the neon-primary colors of the cult hit Liquid Sky as well as pointing similarities with Five, The Day of the Triffids, The Omega Man, Dawn of the Dead and Last Woman on Earth. They concluded “a successful pastiche of numerous science fiction films, executed with an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek flair that compensates for its absence in originality.”[9] Vincent Canby of The New York Times called it “a good-natured, end-of-the-world B-movie” whose “humor augments rather than upstages the mechanics of the melodrama”.[10]

It has since become a cult film.[11] Keith Phipps of The Dissolve wrote that the film’s cult following comes from how matter-of-factly that it treats its weird premise.[12]

Author Neil Gaiman wrote in 1985 that the film was “one of the most amusing, witty, imaginative, and thought-provoking films I’ve seen that was made with no budget and is also cheap exploitation.”[13]

Maroney’s character was an influence on Joss Whedon when he created Buffy Summers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.[14]

Soundtrack[edit]

A soundtrack for the film was released on vinyl LP record and audio cassette from Macola Records shortly after the movie was released.[citation needed] The soundtrack’s “Learn to Love Again”, a love duet performed by Amy Holland and Chris Farren, played in the final scene in the film and in the closing credits. Other songs include “The Whole World is Celebratin'” (also performed by Chris Farren), “Lady in Love” by Revolver, “Strong Heart” by John Townsend, “Trouble” by Skip Adams, “Living on the Edge” by Jocko Marcellino, “Virgin in Love” by Thom Pace, and “Hard Act to Follow” by Diana DeWitt.

The Hidden (film)

The Hidden (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Hidden
Hiddenposter1987.jpg  

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jack Sholder
Produced by
Written by Bob Hunt (pen name of Jim Kouf)
Starring
Music by Michael Convertino
Cinematography Jacques Haitkin
Edited by
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • October 20, 1987 (1987-10-20)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $9.7 million[1]

The Hidden is an American science fiction action film produced and released in 1987 by New Line Cinema. The film was written by Bob Hunt (pen name of writer/producer/director Jim Kouf) and directed by Jack Sholder. The cast features Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri and includes supporting roles by Clu Gulager, Chris Mulkey, Ed O’Ross, Clarence Felder, Claudia Christian and Larry Cedar. A sequel, The Hidden II, directed by Seth Pinsker was released in 1993.

Plot[edit]

Jack DeVries (Chris Mulkey), a quiet citizen with no criminal past, robs a Los Angeles Wells Fargo bank, kills all of the security guards inside, and leads the Los Angeles Police Department on a high-speed chase. The chase ends when DeVries encounters a police blockade overseen by detective Thomas Beck (Michael Nouri). DeVries is shot several times, smashes through the blockade and crashes the Ferrari he is driving. DeVries is taken to a hospital, where a doctor informs Beck and his partner, Det. Cliff Willis (Ed O’Ross) that DeVries is not expected to survive the night.

Upon his return to LAPD headquarters, Beck and his supervisor, Lt. John Masterson (Clarence Felder), meet FBI Special Agent Lloyd Gallagher (Kyle MacLachlan), who informs them that Beck has been assigned to work with Gallagher to track down DeVries. When told of DeVries’s condition, Gallagher rushes off to the hospital.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, DeVries suddenly awakens. Disconnecting his life-support equipment, he approaches the comatose man in the next bed, Jonathan P. Miller (William Boyett). After DeVries forces Miller’s mouth open, a slug-like alien emerges from DeVries’ mouth and transfers itself into Miller’s body. Gallagher arrives to find DeVries dead on the floor and Miller’s bed abandoned. Gallagher tells Beck to put out an alert on Miller, who refuses, because of Miller’s lack of a criminal history.

Miller goes to a record store where he beats the store’s owner to death. He then goes to a car dealership, where he kills three men and steals a red Ferrari. He then visits a strip club, where the alien leaves Miller’s body and takes over the body of a stripper named Brenda (Claudia Christian).Gallagher asks police to track Brenda when he sees her picture next to Miller’s body. Brenda is then propositioned by a cat-caller, she accepts and follows him to his car. They proceed to have vehicular sex in a parking lot which results in his death. She then takes his car. Gallagher and Beck pursue her to a rooftop, where they mortally wound her in a gun battle. As Brenda dies, Gallagher points a strangely-shaped, alien weapon at her; however, she leaps from the roof. As Masterson arrives from his house to take charge of the scene, the alien transfers itself from Brenda’s dying body to Masterson’s dog.

Frustrated by Gallagher’s continuing refusal to explain the strange phenomenon of ordinary citizens turning into crazed killers, Beck arrests him and puts him in a jail cell. Beck soon learns that “Gallagher” is an imposter, impersonating the real agent Gallagher, who is dead. When Beck confronts “Gallagher” with this information, “Gallagher” tells him that he (“Gallagher”) is an extraterrestrial lawman and that they are in fact pursuing an alien thrill killer who has the ability to take over human bodies. Beck dismisses the story as insane and leaves “Gallager” incarcerated in a jail cell at the police station.

Back at Masterson’s house, the alien leaves the dog’s body and takes over the lieutenant’s body. In the morning Masterson goes to the police station and seizes a number of weapons, sparking a shootout between himself and the station’s police officers as he attempts to track down “Gallagher”. Convinced of “Gallagher”‘s story due to Masterson’s immunity to excessive bullet wounds, Beck releases him from his cell, and the two confront Masterson. During the resulting shootout, Masterson confirms that “Gallagher” is an alien law enforcer named Alhague who has been pursuing the alien ever since it murdered his family and his partner on another planet. Though Beck manages to stop Masterson, Alhague/Gallagher reveals that his weapon can’t kill the alien when it’s inside a Human body as the weapon doesn’t work on Human skin, thus requiring him to be present when it is transferring hosts. They are unable to stop the alien from abandoning Masterson’s body for that of Beck’s partner Willis, who then escapes the station.

Using Willis’ credentials, the alien tries to gain access to Senator Holt, a likely presidential candidate, at the hotel where the senator is staying. Alhague/Gallagher and Beck follow Willis, and a shootout ensues between Beck and Willis, during which Beck is severely wounded. As Willis, the alien corners Senator Holt and enters his body before Alhague/Gallagher can stop him. “Holt” then calls a press conference and announces his candidacy for the presidency. Alhague/Gallagher is forced to attack Holt in the middle of the press conference; though shot several times by the police and the senator’s bodyguards, Alhague/Gallagher is able to get close enough to use a flamethrower on Holt. As the alien emerges from Holt’s charred body shocking everybody, Alhague/Gallagher kills it with his weapon before himself collapsing.

Taken to the hospital where Beck is being treated, Alhague/Gallagher discovers that Beck is close to death. Witnessing the emotional suffering of Beck’s wife and daughter, Alhague/Gallagher transfers his life force from Gallagher to Beck as Beck dies. When she sees her miraculously “recovered” father, Beck’s daughter initially hesitates when he reaches out to her, but then smiles and takes his hand.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Director Jack Sholder was drawn to the film because of the script.[2] Writer Jim Kouf has originally expressed interest in directing, but when the studios refused, he lost interest in the script. Sholder, who saw the potential to turn it into more than an action film, did a rewrite to heighten the themes of what it means to be human.[3] Casting for the film was difficult; they used auditions and could not cast Agent Gallagher until several days before shooting began. Sholder later called MacLachlan “an inspired choice”, though he clashed with Nouri.[2] Nouri and McLauchlan both liked the script, and, during auditions, agreed to do the film if the other was involved.[4]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack was released on Varese Sarabande Records, Cassettes and CDs with the score by Michael Convertino. The end credits states a soundtrack was released on I.R.S. Records.

Songs:

Release[edit]

The film was released theatrically in the United States by New Line Cinema in October 1987. It turned out to be a modest hit for the company, grossing $9,747,988 at the box office.[5]

The film was released on VHS and laserdisc by Media Home Entertainment in 1988. In August 1997, New Line Home Video re-released the film on VHS.

In 2000, New Line Home Entertainment released the film on special edition DVD.[6] The film was re-released in a set including the sequel The Hidden II in 2005.

Reception[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 77% of 22 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 6.9/10.[7] Variety wrote, “The Hidden is a well-constructed thriller, directed with swift assurance by Jack Sholder, brought down by an utterly conventional sci-fi ending.”[8] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated it 3/4 stars and called it “a surprisingly effective film”.[9] Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote, “The movie is mostly a series of automobile chases through Los Angeles, but there is also some humor.”[10] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times, called it “as unstintingly violent as it is crudely ingenious”.[11] Hal Hinson of The Washington Post wrote, “The Hidden is one of the most satisfying genre movies to hit the streets in a while.”[12]

In a 1992 retrospective, James M. Silver of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film did not have a long enough release to attract a proper audience but is “outstanding”.[13] It has since become a cult film.[14]

Awards[edit]

  • Jack Sholder won the Grand Prize at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival in 1988.
  • Jack Sholder won Best Director at Fantasporto in 1988. It was also nominated for Best Film at that festival.
  • Michael Nouri won Best Actor at the Catalonian International Film Festival in 1987. Jack Sholder took Prize of the International Critics’ Jury at the same festival.
  • At the 1988 Saturn Awards, Michael Nouri was nominated for Best Actor, Jack Sholder was nominated for Best Director, Jim Kouf was nominated for best writing, and The Hidden was nominated for Best Science Fiction Film.

The Day of the Triffids (film)

The Day of the Triffids (film)

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The Day of the Triffids
Dayofthetriffids.jpg 

 

US film poster by Joseph Smith
Directed by Steve Sekely
Produced by George Pitcher
Philip Yordan
Bernard Glasser (uncredited)
Written by Bernard Gordon
Philip Yordan
Starring Howard Keel
Nicole Maurey
Janette Scott
Kieron Moore
Mervyn Johns
Music by Ron Goodwin
Cinematography Ted Moore
Edited by Spencer Reeve
Production
company
Security Pictures Ltd
Distributed by Rank Organisation (UK)
Allied Artists (US)
Release dates
  • July 1962 (1962-07) (UK)
  • 27 April 1963 (1963-04-27) (U.S.)
Running time
93 min.
Country United Kingdom

The Day of the Triffids is a 1962 British film based on the 1951 science fiction novel of the same name by John Wyndham. The picture was directed by Steve Sekely, and Howard Keel played the central character, Bill Masen.[1] The movie’s leading lady was Nicole Maurey and it was filmed in colour with monaural sound.

Plot[edit]

Triffids are tall plants capable of aggressive and seemingly intelligent behaviour. They are able to move about by “walking” on their roots, appear to communicate with each other, and possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting that enables them to kill their victims and feed on their rotting carcasses. Their appearance is vaguely similar to gigantic asparagus shoots topped with a flower-like ‘head’ that somewhat resemble a Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid and houses their deadly stinger.

Bill Masen (Howard Keel), a merchant navy officer, is lying in a hospital bed with his eyes bandaged. He discovers that while he has been waiting for his accident-damaged eyes to heal, an unusual meteor shower has blinded most people on Earth. Once he leaves the hospital, Masen finds people all over London struggling to stay alive in the face of their new affliction. Some survive by cooperating while others simply fight, but it is apparent that after just a few days society is collapsing.

He rescues a school girl, Susan (Janina Faye), from a crashed train. They leave London and head for France. They find refuge at a chateau, but when it is attacked by sighted prisoners they are again forced to escape. The Triffid population continues to grow, feeding on people and animals. Meanwhile, on a coastal island, Tom Goodwin (Kieron Moore), a flawed but gifted scientist, and his wife Karen (Janette Scott), battle the plants as he searches for a way to conquer them.

Reception[edit]

Although the film retained some basic plot elements from Wyndham’s novel, it was not a particularly faithful adaptation. “It strays significantly and unnecessarily from the book and is less well regarded than the BBC’s intelligent (if dated) 1981 TV serial.”[2] Unlike the novel, the Triffids arrive as spores in an earlier meteor shower, and some of the action is moved to Spain; also, the character of Josella Playton Masen, significant in the novel, never appears in the film. Most seriously, it supplies a simplistic solution to the Triffid problem: salt water dissolves them, and “the world was saved”. This different ending appears to be closer to the ending of The War of the Worlds than Wyndham’s novel, as the invading aliens succumb to a common product of Earth (as the Martians died of bacteria) and both end with a religious tone. This ending was also used to similar effect in M. Night Shyamalan‘s Signs.

Simon Clark, author of The Night of the Triffids stated on interview: “The film version is enjoyable, luring the effective looking Triffids away with music from an ice-cream van and some other good action scenes. The Triffids’ death-by-seawater climax is weak and contrived though. But it would still rank in my all-time top 100 films.”[3]

Halliwell’s Film Guide claimed the film was a “rough and ready adaptation of a famous sci-fi novel, sometimes blunderingly effective and with moments of good trick work.”[4]

References in popular culture[edit]

It is this version of the film to which the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature” (from the 1973 play The Rocky Horror Show) refers, in the lyric: “And I really got hot when I saw Janette Scott fight a triffid that spits poison and kills…”

A triffid appears aboard the spacecraft as one of the plants harvested by the aliens in the 1982 film E.T.[5]

A triffid also appears as one of the aliens in Area 52 in the 2003 film Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

Remake[edit]

In January 2014 it was announced that a remake is in the works and will be directed by Mike Newell.[6]

The Darkest Hour (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Darkest Hour
The Darkest Hour Theatrical Poster.jpg 

Directed by Chris Gorak
Produced by Tom Jacobson
Timur Bekmambetov
Screenplay by Jon Spaihts
Story by Leslie Bohem
M.T. Ahern
Jon Spaihts
Starring Emile Hirsch
Olivia Thirlby
Max Minghella
Rachael Taylor
Music by Tyler Bates
Cinematography Scott Kevan
Edited by Priscilla Nedd-Friendly
Fernando Villena
Production
company
Distributed by Summit Entertainment (US)
Twentieth Century Fox (international)
Release dates
  • December 22, 2011 (2011-12-22) (Russia)
  • December 25, 2011 (2011-12-25) (United States)
  • January 13, 2012 (2012-01-13) (United Kingdom)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
Country United States
Russia[2]
Language English
Russian
Budget $30 million[3]
Box office $64,626,786[4]

The Darkest Hour is a 2011 Russian-American science fiction thriller[5] film directed by Chris Gorak and produced by Timur Bekmambetov. The American-based production depicts an alien invasion and stars Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella, Olivia Thirlby, Joel Kinnaman, and Rachael Taylor as a group of people caught in the invasion. The film was released on December 25, 2011 in the United States.

Plot[edit]

Americans Ben and Sean (Max Minghella and Emile Hirsch) travel to Moscow to sell their social networking/party locating software. As they approach the airport the plane short circuits due to an electrical storm but regains power. They find their Swedish business partner, Skyler (Joel Kinnaman), has betrayed them and already made a deal with the Russians, using a knockoff application. They go to a nightclub and meet Natalie (Olivia Thirlby), an American, and her Australian friend Anne (Rachel Taylor). The lights go out in the club and everyone heads outside. There, they witness what appears to be an aurora. Balls of light fall from the sky and then fade away. When a policeman investigates he is disintegrated. The invisible entities begin hunting and disintegrating people, sending them into a panic.

Ben, Sean, Natalie, Anne, and now Skyler hide in the club’s storeroom for seven days. With most of their food gone, the group plans to go to the American Embassy. They find the city full of scorched cars and cinders, but empty of people, except for a wary old woman who warns them of “the ghosts”. Ben and Sean search for supplies in a police car near Red Square while the others hide in the nearby GUM department store shopping mall. While they are searching the car, a barking dog discovers and fatally confronts an alien, but the dog is disintegrated. Ben and Sean successfully hide under the car as the alien moves closer, causing the car’s lights and siren to turn on. The alien moves on and the men run to the mall. Sean realizes that metal give the aliens away. The group takes shelter in one of the mall stores. Sean and Natalie go to look for clothes and almost run into an alien who can’t see them through a glass wall. Sean theorizes that the aliens can only see their electrical charge, but not through glass.

The group finds the American Embassy gutted and lifeless. All except Skyler go to the roof to get an aerial view. They find a logbook telling them that the invasion is worldwide. They also find a radio broadcasting a message in Russian. They hear gunfire. Ben and Sean go to help Skylar, but he is killed. When the others go outside they see a light in a nearby apartment tower and go to investigate, bringing the radio they found. They find a young woman named Vika and a man named Sergei, an electrical engineer. Sergei has made his apartment into a giant Faraday cage that hides everyone from the aliens. He has also developed a microwave gun that weakens an alien’s force field, so that it can actually be seen and killed. Vika and Sergei translate the message, which says that a nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa is waiting in the Moscow River to take survivors to safety.

As Sergei shows the men the microwave device, Vika, Natalie, and Anne go to other apartments to gather supplies for the submarine journey. An alien senses them outside the Faraday cage and gives chase; Anne hesitates following Vika and goes another way, causing Natalie to follow her back inside. When they get to the apartment, Natalie is unable to close the door and the alien gets inside. Sergei shoots the alien with his gun and finds that it is only stunned. The alien disintegrates Sergei while the others get out by the fire escape. Anne hesitates again and is disintegrated while trying to escape. Natalie sets the apartment on fire as they climb down and meet up with Vika.

They meet up with a Russian police team with improvised armor led by Boris who manage to wound an alien with conventional weapons. Sean collects a piece of the alien’s body. The small police band were also able to build another Faraday cage at the local library. Boris and his men eventually agree to help the remaining four to get to the submarine. The policemen believe that the aliens are strip mining for conductive metals since giant light columns can be seen drilling all over Moscow.

As they move through the subway, an alien discovers them and they escape on the tracks. Vika hides behind a pillar, unable to join the others without being seen. Ben helps her climb down to the tracks, but gets disintegrated.

The survivors make it to a powerless patrol boat on the river and drift downstream to the waiting submarine. The boat nears the submarine but runs aground. As they attempt to push free, a new light beam destroys a large apartment building right next to the river, causing the boat to capsize. Sean and the policemen swims towards the submarine but upon reaching it discover Natalie is missing. They see a flare fired from Natalie’s flare gun in a railway and bus yard near the river. Sean is determined to get her, possibly missing his chance to escape. The policemen agree to help him rescue her. The Russian submarine crew, after expressing doubt about the rescue, assist by building another microwave gun with stronger batteries.

After the team manages to destroy an alien, Sean finds Natalie on a bus while the policemen and Vika destroy three more aliens using the microwave guns and water. As Sean is about to get off the bus with Natalie, an alien climbs on board, locks the door, and sends the bus speeding around the bus yard. It grabs onto Natalie’s leg, but Sean blasts the alien’s shield with the microwave gun. He then discovers the alien’s weakness when he throws a piece of the wounded alien he had collected earlier, and it destroys the unshielded alien. The two stop the bus and narrowly avoid a collision.

After returning to the submarine, the police team decides to stay and fight for the city, and Boris tells them that now the war has begun. Sean, Natalie, and Vika plan to spread what they learned about the aliens – the microwave guns and their vulnerability to pieces of other dead aliens – to the rest of the world. Sean and Natalie nearly share a kiss on the submarine. They soon learn that survivors in Paris managed to destroy an alien mining tower, and the film ends on a hopeful note.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The Darkest Hour was directed by Chris Gorak and produced by Timur Bekmambetov. While most films about alien invasions are centered in the United States or have an international scale, Bekmambetov’s involvement ensured the premise to be an alien invasion from Russia’s perspective.[6]

With a production budget of US$30 million,[7] filming with 3D cameras began in Moscow on July 18, 2010. Production used resources from the Russian-based company Bazelevs, owned by Bekmambetov.

Filming was temporarily suspended three weeks later due to the 2010 Russian wildfires affecting the city and its vicinity with their smog. By September 2010, filming had resumed. In April 2011 the release date was changed to December 25 due to filming conflicts in Russia.[8]

Release[edit]

The Darkest Hour was released on December 25, 2011 in the US in 2D, 3D and RealD 3D. The DVD release date was April 10, 2012 by Summit Entertainment. It was released January 13 in the UK with the DVD release on May 21.

Reception[edit]

The Darkest Hour was not screened for critics, and received mostly negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives a score of 12% based on reviews from 57 critics.[9]

The film was criticized for having a “flatlining screenplay and the absence of even a single compelling character”[10] as well as for being “a depressing failure of imagination”.[11]

Budd Wilkins writing for Slant Magazine called it “a dimwitted 3D sci-fi travesty” and complained, “Indifferently structured, Jon Spaihts’s lame-brained script knows no narrative contrivance it doesn’t love and, what’s worse, blows its expositional load in the first 10 minutes, bringing together a quintet of cardboard cutout leads.”[12]

At the box office the film was a moderate success, making just over twice its budget.

Invisible Invaders

Invisible Invaders

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Invisible Invaders
Directed by Edward L. Cahn
Produced by Robert E. Kent
Written by Samuel Newman
Starring
Music by Paul Dunlap
Cinematography Maury Gertsman
Production
company
Premium Pictures
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • May 15, 1959 (1959-05-15) (US)
Running time
67 min.
Country United States
Language English

Invisible Invaders is a 1959 science fiction film starring John Agar and John Carradine.[1] It was produced by Robert E. Kent, directed by Edward L. Cahn and written by Samuel Newman.

Plot[edit]

Dr. Karol Noymann, an atomic scientist, is killed in a laboratory explosion. His colleague, Dr. Adam Penner, is disturbed by the accident and resigns his position and calls for changes.

At Dr. Noymann’s funeral, an invisible alien takes over Noymann’s dead body. The alien, in Noymann’s body, visits Dr. Penner and tells him the earth must surrender or an alien force will invade and take over the earth by inhabiting the dead and causing chaos. The alien demonstrates to Penner that they are able to make things invisible. Penner tells his daughter Phyllis and Dr. John Lamont about the experience and asks Dr. Lamont to relay the message to the government in Washington, D.C.. The government ignores the warning and Dr. Penner is labeled a crank by the media.

Dr. Penner takes his daughter and Dr. Lamont to Dr. Noymann’s grave, where they are visited by an invisible alien. Later, at the site of a plane crash, another alien takes over a dead pilot’s body, goes to a hockey game, chokes the announcer and issues an ultimatum for the earth to surrender. Another alien take over a dead body from a car crash and issues the same ultimatum at a different sporting event. The media announces the threat and the governments of the world decide to resist the invasion. Aliens takes over more dead bodies and blow up dams, cause fires, flooding and destroy buildings.

Maj. Bruce Jay arrives to take Dr. Penner, Phyllis and Dr. Lamont to a secret bunker. On the way, they are confronted by a scared farmer who tries to take their vehicle. Maj. Jay kills the farmer and they proceed to the bunker while an alien takes over the dead farmer’s body.

At the bunker, they are contacted by the government and tasked with stopping the alien invasion. They determine that the aliens are radioactive, and decide to capture an alien to conduct tests on. They attempt to spray an alien with acrylic to seal it in plastic, but this fails. They fill a hole with the acrylic liquid and lure an alien into it. Once captured, the alien is taken back to the bunker.

Back at the bunker, they confine the alien in a room and break the acrylic to set it free. They try several experiments, but nothing effects the alien. Frustrated and hopeless, Dr. Lamont wants to surrender, but Maj. Jay does not. The two men fight and damage some equipment that sets off a loud alarm. They notice that the alien reacted violently to the noise.

They make a sound gun and test it on the alien, causing it to become visible and killing it in the process. They try to inform the government, but their broadcast is jammed by the aliens. They follow the jamming signal to the alien ship, killing several aliens along the way. Maj. Jay walks through the woods to get to the ship and is confronted by several aliens. He kills them with the sound gun but is shot. He finds the alien ship, shoots it with the sound gun and destroys it. Dr. Penner is then able to contact the government and tell them how to stop the aliens while Phyllis tends to Maj. Jay’s wound.

Later, at the United Nations, Dr. Penner, Dr. Lamont, Phyllis and Maj. Jay receive thanks for saving the world from the alien invasion.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Production of Invisible Invaders began in December 1958.[2] The film was made as part of a package deal with The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake. It was the fourth science fiction film made by Premium Pictures.[3]

Release[edit]

Invisible Invaders was released to theaters in June 1959.[2]

Reception[edit]

The movie only had a short run but became a minor cult film on television.[4]

Critical response[edit]

Film critic Emanuel Levy rated the film 3 out of 5 stars.[5] Writing in The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, academic Peter Dendle said, “Though clearly a product of its own time and a low budget, Invisible Invaders is engaging and fast-paced, riddled with genuinely inspired twists alongside breathtaking implausibilities.”[6]

Home media[edit]

Invisible Invaders was first released to the home video market on VHS videotape in 1996 by MGM/UA Home Video.[7] The film was released on DVD by MGM Home Entertainment in 2003, packaged with Journey to the Seventh Planet as part of their Midnite Movies series.[8]

Soundtrack[edit]

Paul Dunlap composed the music for Invisible Invaders. Dunlap would later use much of the same music in three other science fiction movies: The Angry Red Planet later in 1959, The Three Stooges in Orbit in 1962 and Destination Inner Space in 1966.