The Day of the Triffids (1963)

The Day of the Triffids
Directed by Steve Stekeley
Bernard Gordon from a novel by John Wyndam
Allied Artists Pictures/Security Pictures Ltd.
First viewing/Amazon Prime

And I really got hot/ When I saw Janette Scott/ Fight a Triffid that spits poison and kills – “Science Fiction Double Feature”, lyrics by Richard O’Brien

Well, I can hardly think of anything cooler than a story about a small band of survivors that tries to battle carnivorous plants in a world gone blind.

As the story begins, the world is being treated to the most spectacular meteor showers in recorded history.  All eyes are glued on the heavens.  All, that is, except for a few lucky people.  Naval officer Bill Masen (Howard Heel) was recovering from eye surgery and blind folded.  When he wakes the next morning he cannot rouse the doctor or anyone else from the clinic.  He unwraps his own bandages and discovers a London that seems entirely populated by blind people.  Eventually he meets up with a little girl who spent the night of the meteor shower stowed away in a freight car.  The two go on to meet up with huge, and mobile, carnivorous plants that seem determined to wipe out humanity.  As they try to find help outside the city, they eventually come across a few other survivors nursing a number of blind people in a mansion.

On a separate track, marine biologists Tom (Kieron Moore) and Karen (Janette Scott) Goodwin conduct research in an isolated light house.  Tom is evidently trying to drink himself to death and has no inclination to see the light show.  Karen stands by her man, wringing her hands.  But the Triffids have found even their little island and Tom finally has to put on his big boy pants and get to work.

It’s got a certain amount of cheese and the bi-furcated solution to the problem doesn’t bear much scrutiny.  No matter, I loved this thing.  Just the idea of all these newly blind people bumping into each other while being pursued by plants caught my fancy.

The Day of the Triffids was the last movie referenced in the song “Science Fiction Double Feature” that I had left to watch.  If you would like to pursue this quest you will end up seeing:  The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951); Flash Gordon (1936); The Invisible Man (1933); King Kong (1933); It Came from Outer Space (1953); Doctor X (1932); Forbidden Planet (1956); Tarantula (1955); Day of the Triffids (1963); Night of the Demon/Curse of the Demon (1957) and When Worlds Collide (1951).  Anyone interested in seeing some really classic sci-fi could do far worse than this list.


“Science Fiction Double Feature” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show