Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


THE NIGHT THE WORLD EXPLODED (1957). Director Fred F. Sears.

"I wanted to pray but I didn't want to be by myself; I wanted to be with other people. There was rioting at the church -- people fighting to get in."

Dr. Conway (William Leslie) has invented an earthquake-predicting machine, but he and his colleagues also discover a new element that represents a deadly threat to the world. Element 112 is perfectly safe when wet, but when it's dry it becomes hot, expands, and ultimately explodes. Huge reserves of this element are pushing their way to the surface and causing devastating earthquakes. The axis of the earth has shifted three degrees. The world itself will explode in only 28 days and 4 hours! Conway and his assistant (Kathryn Grant, who is rather good) try to find a solution from a base deep in the Carlsbad Caverns. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Unfortunately this has the budget of the average episode of Science Fiction Theater, and while only 63 minutes in length seems at least twice as long. It isn't terrible, just a bit dull, like a monster movie without a monster. Tristram Coffin (King of the Rocket Men) plays Conway's boss. Sears also directed Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. Produced by Sam Katzman.

Verdict: Watch The Monolith Monsters or Unknown World instead. **.

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