OOM #30 – Five (1951)


Only one day before Halloween! What an incredible and joyous month it has been, at least for me, I’ve seen films that I always wanted to see, and I’ve been able to experience what may seem for the last time, the last full blown Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness. Today they tackled ‘House on Haunted Hill’ (1959), with Vincent Price, a quintessential William Castle film that I like quite a bit, and you can watch the video here. Since yesterday’s film was from 1940, and continuing my list, the next one comes up in 1951 with this science fiction romp about a post-apocalyptic future, what will I think? Let’s see.

A weird film, as it starts with explosions from nuclear bombs and its (off-screen) effects all over the world. We are left with a wandering woman that in between verses from the bible (from Revelations, duh) tries to find living people among the debris and the empty streets. There is a harrowing image here and there about a lone woman going around screaming for help and trying desperately to find someone alive, yet when she finally does, she faints! Well, obvious reaction coming from a woman, at least that’s the image that the movie makes of this character, that only serves to put the other characters in tension and danger, whenever they appear, and she is also just the recipient of the seed of the men that will make her pregnant and the birther of the new civilization. So, when does the horror strike? Well, the horror of the empty spectacle that is the mankind suddenly disappearing and the unnerving idea that maybe these five survivors aren’t going to survive either by their own hand or due to the thousands of misfortunes that happen in daily post-apocalyptic life. There are a couple of frightful sequences, specially when one of the survivors tries to rape the woman and she screams so loudly that he takes into consideration that and stops doing it. There’s also a scene in which you can see a skeleton in the background, spoopy. In fact, this movie mostly works as an exercise in character and science fiction, and while interesting and keeping you on your toes seeing the aftermath of these varying archetypes in that context, there’s not much else to write about, though a harrowing and strong ending saves it from complete forgetfulness, even though the final line and moment are sappy and kinda sugary for my taste. Still, a movie that is worth watching if you’re into the nuclear movies of the 50’s, this one is essential.




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