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The Day of the Triffids

Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 94 mins . PG . PAL


I so wanted to like this film; hell, I wanted to love this film. I read the book five or six times in high school and so Iíve a pretty clear memory of how the story goes. Upon viewing this for the very first time for this review, I was mortified that they could change the original storyline so much and get away with it. Itís barely the same story at all.

Our story, here, sees our hero Bill Mason (Howard Keel) being nursed to health in an eye hospital after an unknown operation. Whilst here, he misses a great meteor shower that ends up blinding everyone who looks at it. He leaves the hospital to find the world is blind and society has crumbled overnight into a chaotic city of stumbling and shambling souls wandering the streets. He soon meets up with a young girl who can also see and together they start to witness the rise of the Triffids, a bizarre walking plant that kills and eats people. The story then basically follows a plot where they wander about a great many places seeing destruction everywhere until a chance of rescue comes to rebuild civilisation somewhere safe.

"Blind? Man-killing plants? Iím not drunk, am I?"

Originally, if memory serves, Bill Mason works with Triffids, those creepy plants that can pull up their roots and walk around. He manages to get himself stung in the eyes and is therefore blind when the meteor shower that blinds the world occurs. The following morning, with sight restored, he witnesses the fall of civilisation and tries to regroup with other visual survivors as the Triffids, a plant from Russia, begin to take over. He has all manner of weapons against them, most notably a blade throwing gun that cuts off their stinging lash, rendering them pretty much useless. Then of course, civilisation is reclaimed by nature and the survivors live on.

I am so disappointed in this version. Hollywood could no doubt make a killer version today, what with all the microchips and such, and it would have to be better than this feeble travesty. For anyone whoís loved the book, I cannot recommend this film; in fact, itís so weak I canít really recommend it to anyone.


Forget it. This film stock looks like itís gone through a digestive system (possibly that of a Triffid). Itís soft edged, grainy and littered with billions of film artefacts. The colours are washed out and the edges bleed, shadow detail isnít good and although blacks are true, the rest of the palette is very distorted. Thereís plenty of clunking and jittering and camera shaking, with some of the reel changes being quite evident. Fades are also shithouse, as they turn the film blue temporarily.

Presented in 4:3, unfortunately this transfer is a piece of crap. Perhaps we can laugh and say, Ďwell, it adds to the authenticity of the filmí and if you're that keen on this film, I guess thatíll work for you, but for my money, nup. At least thereís no layer change, thank goodness.


Dolby Digital stereo is what weíre given, and while it does a fairly suitable job, it still isnít the best. God knows what the transfer stock must have looked and sounded like, but Iím guessing itís spent the last 30 years or so at the bottom of the sea. Dialogue is all mostly okay, but sometimes things get a little mashed up. Some of the screams are just too much, also. Honestly, if youíre a woman and you see a Triffid at the bottom of the stairs, are you really just gonna stand there and scream again and again until a big burly man comes to help you? Pathetic.

The sound effects are reused so many times youíll get fed up with them (the Triffidsí chittering for example), plus there are the usual dubbed in gunshots and automatic gunfire. Lastly, the music is typically í50s in origin (although this was made in 1962) and is too loud over the other tracks. In particular, youíll notice this when something scary happens and the music kicks in, youíll turn down the volume, the music will subside and the dialogue will now be too low to understand. Very frustrating.


Well, at least they tried to give us something here instead of just banging out the film alone. However, it isnít much. Thereís a four page biography of author John Wyndham which is interesting, although Iím sure heís rolling over in his grave right now. Following that thereís a photo gallery that holds but nine images. This includes the original film poster, which is cool, but thatís also on the back cover of the disc anyhow.

And thatís all folks. Apart from the foolish mistake of misspelling two chapter titles that is. These are Chapter 15: Triffid Assult (sic) and Chapter 10: Disection (sic). Shameful.


I think they gave this one to the work experience kid and said Ďgo nutsí and he enthusiastically did. This is a pretty worthless transfer and only die hard fans of the film might like it. Itís not much like the original story and the picture quality is disgraceful. The extras arenít really much to boost the packageís value and, as much as it breaks my heart, I canít recommend this DVD to anyone for any reason.

At all.

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      And I quote...
    "Hollywood pleeease! Somebody remake this film. Donít let this be the only version we will ever get!"
    - Jules Faber
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