Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Double Review Tuesday: THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS


The Day of the Triffids by [John Wyndham, Jeff VanderMeer]
The Day of the Triffids
by John Wyndham 
After a comet causes the majority of humanity to go blind, the survivors fight to live, but now have an unexpected enemy to contend with. 
When it was suggested that I might want to read THE CHRYSALIDS by John Wyndham (reviewed HERE) I stumbled across the fact that he had written THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS as well. If there was a book that the movie was based on, I NEEDED to read it.   
The book starts with Bill Masen in the hospital. He took an injury to the eyes from a triffid and needed some surgery. Luckily for him, that was the exact time that there was a magnificent meteor shower that was viewable all over the world. The trouble was that the light show in the sky caused every creature that beheld it to go blind. Everything immediately breaks down. Without people with sight to run the shop and utilities, everything ground to a halt immediately. People took to the street looking for help. People either formed groups for help or sought shelter. Within three days without any help from the authorities, millions started dying off. Imagine being plunged into a world of darkness without any preparation?   

The few left with sight tended to stick together or form groups to help others, but plague set in fast, almost too fast. 

The odd part was the role of the triffids. They had been some sort of a controlled nuisance, but once humanity lost that control the triffids began to take advantage. They were a type of carnivorous plant that happened to be mobile, but they were far from an apex predator. They are able to lash out and poison a person instantly, but aren't able to devour a body like the thing from Little Shop of Horrors. They would need to sit around and wait for the body to begin breaking down so they can hack off chunks to consume. 
After years have elapsed, our protagonist Bill has assembled a makeshift family on a farm out in the country in England. Survivors had adapted to the best of their ability to the new world, while the old one crumbled. Will the world become something new and better than it was, or will it descend into something much worse? 
This was a very clever and original story. It was a better survivor story than what TWD has devolved into these days. It's provocative with theories about the abuse of modern technology, and really makes you think. I would call this a very worthwhile story to read. The old sci-fi writers always seem to satisfy!
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 Day of The Triffids (1963) [DVD]
The Day of the Triffids
After humanity goes blind from the effects of an astronomical event, Triffids, a carnivorous plant becomes the apex predator. 
I must have seen this movie as a child. I remembered the ending perfectly well, but none of the rest of it. Having read the book, I figured this was as good a time to revisit this classic of horror.  

The movie starts similarly. A show in the night sky that the entire world was able to behold caused everyone who laid eyes on the spectacle to be rendered blind. After that, it's like a loose cliff  notes version of the book. Bill Masen picks up a child along the way, and they survive together. The entire fall of humanity is skipped. The love story with Josella is left out completely. The competing survivor mindset is left out. Everyone goes blind and the triffids immediately attack. In fact, the triffid solution didn't even occur in teh book at all. 

The movie is simple and crude. It's old style acting and horror. Back in the day it might have been pretty creepy, but it's mediocre at best by today's standard and doesn't hold up very well to the test of time. Still, I wouldn't call it a waste of time...
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Watch it for FREE on Youtube