|Robert Towne and Betsy Jones-Moreland|
Dubious businessman Harold Gern (Antony Carbone), his wife Evelyn (Betsy Jones-Moreland), and his lawyer Martin Joyce (Robert Towne, billed as Edward Wain) are out scuba diving off Puerto Rico when an unspecified disaster occurs that sucks oxygen out of the air and apparently kills everyone in the area -- possibly the whole world. Most sensible people would spend their time trying to find out how widespread the disaster was and if there were other survivors, but instead this trio simply gets embroiled in a rather dull domestic triangle, with Martin thinking it's perfectly okay for him to make time with Evelyn because with the supposed end of the world, the rules have changed. Huh? The pretentious and morally confused script was also written by Towne, who went on to greater fame as a screenwriter of such films as Shampoo and Chinatown. The characters aren't fully fleshed out, going through the motions as the script demands, and the actors are left with not much to work with. Unconventionally handsome, and not a bad actor, sensitive Towne could have had more of an acting career, but it wasn't in the cards. None of the actors gets across the enormity of what has occurred, but just seem to be reacting to say, infidelity on a Club Med vacation. Roger Corman's direction is typically adroit and the picture is fast-paced. But it just adds up to nothing. This was obviously influenced by the slightly superior Five, as well as The World, The Flesh, and the Devil. Ronald Stein's score helps a bit, but this could have used a few monsters. There's some talk about the unchecked growth of the insect population but nothing comes of this.
Verdict: Time-waster with an intriguing if unoriginal notion and little else. **.