Thursday, February 07, 2008

Panic in Year Zero

I had no idea that Ray Milland was Welsh.
The qualities of the movie are not readily visible while some flaws are all too obvious. The more inexcusable failure is the inappropriate score attributed to Les Baxter. The same thumping big band tune plays under scenes no matter what the situation is. Loading a trailer for a fishing and camping trip? Ba-dum-de-bum! Nearly run off a mountain road by the fleeing population of Los Angeles? Ba-dum-de-bum! Hiding bodies in the barn? Ba-dum-de-bum! One expects Perry Mason to heave into frame any second. Les Baxter knew his trade, so I suspect that there was some type of shenanigans related to the low budget. The other glaring deficit is the presence of Frankie Avalon. Otherwise, the matter at hand (merely worldwide thermonuclear war) is handled pretty realistically if a tad optimistically. A special effect of a mushroom cloud over L.A. was unexpectedly convincing.

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