..

THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED

Review by Chastity Campbell

Stars: Randy Quaid, Nastassja Kinski, Bobby Edner
Director: Terence Gross
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2-Channel Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen & Full Screen Presentations
Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Features: See Review
Length: 90 Minutes
Release Date: August 20,2002

ďIím sorry, would it help if I said Iím sorry?Ē

Film ***

Creature FeaturesÖwhat more does one have to say to be taken back to a time when the smell of fresh buttered popcorn and movie titles like She Creatures, Earth vs. The Spider, and Teenage Caveman were the biggest attraction in the small town you were from?  Unfortunately I grew up a bit too late to enjoy those types of movies, but thanks to Columbia Tri-Star, I get to create a few of those kinds of memories right in my own living room.

Let me say one thing right from the start: The Day The World Ended is not a ďBĒ movie!  It is a psychological thrill ride that will keep you guessing right up till the end, but donít take my word for itÖ.

Dr. Jennifer Stillman, played by the beautiful and talented Nastassia Kinski (Terminal Velocity, Town & Country) is a New York psychologist who takes a job in a small Nevada town in order to get away from city life.  Dr. Stillman arrives in town and is met with quite a bit of animosity right from the start. She befriends a young boy named Ben, played by Bobby Edner (7th Heaven, The Pretender), who seems to have a lot of secrets and some sort of kinetic ability. 

Benís father, played by Randy Quaid (Kingpin. Independence Day), is the town doctor and is doing everything he can to keep Dr. Stillman from unlocking the secrets hidden in Benís mind.  

You know, this is the kind of movie I love because your danger sense goes off and you instantly begin wondering whatís really going on in that small town.   Kinski plays the unwitting psychologist perfectly as she wanders through the maze of what is real and what is not, in the mind of her young friend Ben.  The best part of this movie, in my humble opinion, was the use of the original The Day The World Ended to add a unique twist to the plot.

I have a bad habit of telling my friends everything about a movie before they see it, and I refuse to ruin this film for anyone by detailing the story too much.    However, I will tell you to pay close attention to all the flashbacks you see, because as all fans of this genre know, they often hold the key. 

This film twists, turns, and bends itself to form three complex storylines that all converge into one by itís end.  Combine that with the amazing talents of Stan Winston behind the creature magic and youíve got a wild and exciting ride that rivals the Creature Features of old.  

Video ***

When you say Creature Design & Effects a few names come to mind, but none can compare to the man behind the creature designs for The End of the World, Mr. StanWinston.  The visual effects he helped to create for this film were absolutely wonderful.   Muted where necessary, and flawed when needed, the effects delivered on every level except for one, the lighting.   Mr. Winstonís amazing creature would have been even better if the shadows used to create an air of mystery hadnít stayed with the alien all through the movie.  When there was enough light however, the images, were crisp and clear with enough detail in them to actually make you feel like you were there.

Audio ***

Charles Bernsteinís score for this movie has a good handle on how a fright flick should feel.   The music in the beginning helps lend a hand to the creepy feel of the town, and does itís job well to create suspense when necessary.  The Dolby Surround was a very well balanced blend and had no dips or flaws that I could detect.   Over all it was pieced together very well and there was never a time when any audio felt as if it were out of place or didnít fit.

Features ***

When you pop in the disc and turn it on you are immediately offered the coolest choice, Aspect Ratio!  What is that you say? Well that my friends, means you get to choose widescreen or fullscreen for your viewing pleasure.  I watched the movie both ways and have to say that widescreen is the way to go.

The Extra Features on this DVD were a mixed bag of just okay and really great.   The creature effects commentary by Stan Winston & Shane Mahan should be turned on, and believe me, you wonít get bored listening to Mr. Winston talk about this movie and its effects.

The ďMaking OfĒ Featurette was rather short at only 3 minutes and 30 seconds long.  It didnít include very much at all.  The director Terence Gross makes a few comments and then it switches over to the creature department where you are shown a brief overview of how the creature was made. Donít worry though, in the creature effects commentary by Mr. Winston you get plenty of details.   The final part of the featurette is a few comments from the man inside the creature suit Brian Steele and then itís back to the features menu.

The Photo Gallery contained approximately 107 images for you to view.  They were broken down into four categories, Monster sketches, Building the monster, Behind the scenes, and Production stills.  This feature was nice and helped to round out a few of the comments in the featurette. 

The trailers section was jam packed with four different movie trailers and I loved every single one of them.   There was a plug for Creature Features, which showed a bit about each of the five movies that they have remade.   There were trailers for Bram Stokers Dracula, Night Of The Living Dead, and The Blob.  This was a very fitting collection of movie trailers to add onto this DVD, if I do say so myself. 

The final feature on the disc was the Filmographies.  This feature was very nice and informative.   I especially enjoyed the Stan Winston filmography, because I found other movies he has worked on that I need to purchase.

Summary:

This DVD was enjoyable in every way a DVD should be.  Plenty of features and the movie itself is very enjoyable.   I recommend to anyone who enjoys horror flicks, or movies loaded with suspense to head out and pick it up as soon as you can.