Directed by Terence Fisher [Other horror films: Three’s Company (1953, episodes ‘The Surgeon’ & ‘ Take a Number’), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959), The Mummy (1959), The Stranglers of Bombay (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960), The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), The Phantom of the Opera (1962), The Horror of It All (1964), The Gorgon (1964), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), Island of Terror (1966), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), Night of the Big Heat (1967), The Devil Rides Out (1968), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)]
In many ways, The Earth Dies Screaming is a decent movie, and reminiscent of later films (such as Night of the Living Dead). It’s a short film, running at just over an hour, and as such, quite digestible. I don’t think The Earth Dies Screaming is a movie I’d watch too often, and I don’t have a lot to say about it, but the movie is perfectly solid.
The film moves quite quickly – it has to, given how short it is. Most of civilization dies in a matter of a couple of minutes due to a gas attack, aside from a handful of people (reminding me of Corman’s Last Woman on Earth) who survived, such as a pilot. They then fight off zombie-esque controlled human beings and giant space robots.
It’s a quick, fun movie, with not really that much to it – there’s some conflict in the group of survivors (there always tends to be), and there’s naturally conflict against the alien menace. They discover a way to defeat, at least partially, the alien menace, and they make an attempt to do so. It’s simple and effective, just as you’d expect from the British.
Willard Parker, is his second-to-last film, made for a good and strong lead. He had that typical strong man feel to him, and I enjoyed him here. Dennis Price (The Haunted House of Horror and The Horror of It All) made for a fine human antagonist, though he got on my nerves quick. No other performances really stood out, aside from Thorley Walters (Frankenstein Created Woman), who had strong scene near the end.
The director of this one was Terence Fisher (and as you can see above, he has quite the filmography), which is partially why this film works as well as it does for so simple a story. There were some suspenseful scenes, and utilizing corpses as something that can be controlled by the soon-to-be robot overlords was a nice touch.
All-in-all, I don’t think The Earth Dies Screaming is an amazing movie, but it does what it needs to and does it quickly, and while it’s not one I think I’d watch too often in the future, I did think it was decent, and at least worth seeing once.