The Day of the Triffids (1963)

Genres - Horror, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Alien Film  |   Release Date - Jul 1, 1962 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although it takes entirely too many liberties with the excellent novel upon which it is based, The Day of the Triffids is generally an entertaining sci-fi romp. It has many of the classic (some might say clich├ęd) elements often associated with the genre -- an alien invasion, stalwart hero, rag-tag band of allies, and a race against time to save the entire planet. If Triffids doesn't offer many original variations on these elements, it still uses them to its advantage to create a Saturday afternoon-style adventure that is effective enough that most viewers will forgive it for its triteness (and for its slow pacing and episodic nature). The happy ending stretches credulity a bit far, and the triffids themselves are, it must be admitted, somewhat cheesy -- but that actually adds a bit to the fun, as does much of the standard-issue dialogue. And there are some very good moments, such as the doctor's revelation that he is now blind and a sequence in which a triffid attacks a car. Howard Keel makes a pretty good lead, using his best leading-man posturing and his authoritative voice to good effect. Janette Scott does well within the limitations of the role, and Mervyn Johns has some memorable moments. Triffids falls short of being a good sci-fi film, but it's quite entertaining.