B-Movie Blast: End of the World (1977)

We reviewed this drive-in oddity way back on October 25, 2018, just because. Well, wouldn’t you know it: Mill Creek’s included it on their B-Movie Blast set. And it got assigned to me to do another take. Ugh. “Keep the site ‘fresh,'” Sam’s says. Whatever, boss.

When Sam reviewed this back in 2018, he mentioned how Bill Van Ryn from Groovy Doom and Drive-In Asylum always jokes about movies where nothing happens as being his “favorite movies.” No truer words spoken, William, for ye are B-movie wise. Nothing happens, here. Zero. Nada. Zippity-do-da. And we love End of the World for the fact that the filmmakers behind it were in the editing suite and said, “print, that’s a wrap.”

Yeah, sure, John Hayes, the director behind the very cool Dream No Evil and Grave of the Vampire (both with the great Michael Pataki starring), as well as Garden of the Dead (bad, but I liked it), gave us this Star Wars dropping.

And Frank Ray Perilli? Well, when the guy who pens Mansion of the Doomed and Dracula’s Dog . . . then follows this alien romp with another alien romp for Charles Band, the romper stomper that is Laserblast . . . well, why are we so shocked at this film’s insanity? Oh, and Cinderella. Perilli has the lower-abdominals to adult-up the classic children’s tale. And he had the muscles to squeeze out a film that not only serves to insult the Catholic Church, but E.T.s the galaxy over.

And this review isn’t over. Not yet.

Christopher Lee, who stars here, is, rightfully embarrassed by this movie. And we are embarrassed for him. As well for his work in Starship Invasions — a film that is inventive, to say the least, but was unable to live up to its whacked premise of underwater alien pyramid bases, due to its non-budget. Did Ed Hunt dupe Sir Lee into that movie? Who knows?

But Lee was duped into End of the World with the hook that José Ferrer, Dean Jagger, John Carradine, Lew Ayers, and MacDonald Carey would star. Lee knew them and their work. So, sure. Why not, so goes the story. Lee commits to the project.

Well, Ferrer and Carradine aren’t here. Bur Ayers and Jagger are. So is ol’ daytime soap actor Mac. But their collective roles are one-day shoot-’em throw away scenes. And we have Sue Lyon (Crash!) and Kirk Scott (Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land; “Big Bud Dean” in Heathers) as our leads. And outside of Lyon and Scott, the rest are wooden. Yeah, even Ayers and Jagger. Well, Lyon and Scott are driftin’ the wood, too, as they show us why they never rose above junk like this and only booked bit parts in anything rising to the level of being a decent watch — such as Heathers.

Anyway . . . the plotting of this Star Wars dropping . . . Jesus H. you-know-who and a bag o’ chips.

So, Irwin and Frank Yablans of Compass International, who unloaded the VHS crap on us Crown International-style, along with Charles Band . . . yes, he of Empire and Full Moon Pictures fame . . . duped Christopher Lee into this galactic craptastica. You know Band’s work, but you may not know the Yablans Brothers were also behind the first Halloween (Irwin’s “idea” as The Babysitter Murders that takes place during Halloween). But Brother Yablans also unleashed Nocturna: Granddaughter of Dracula. Then came up with the idea of an alien priest overseeing a convent of alien nuns.

So . . .

Sir Lee is a catholic priest . . . but he’s an alien.

Nuns operate a supercomputer. They’re aliens.

Lee’s is Father Pergardo, but he’s being called back — or is it “replaced” by the alien Zindar. But he doesn’t want to “go back.” But he “is” Zindar and doesn’t know it. Or something.

Kirk Scott is Professor Andrew Boran. He tinkers in his lab and discovers a coming natural disaster by way of an alien radio signal. Or something.

He and his wife, Sylvia (Sue Lyon), intercept the signals and triangulate them back to a convent . . . where alien nuns run said supercomputer.

The Professor and his squeeze are useless heroes.

The night photography is so dark, it’s to the point of blindness.

Aliens by E.S.P can blow up pay phones, diner coffee machines, and car engines.

The aliens can’t get back unless the Professor gives them some crystal do-dad to fix their Phantasm-doorway back home.

NASA labs have shit security one can easily break into to steal what the aliens need.

The Earth is destroyed because its “diseases” are leaking over into the universe.

Cue the stock footage purchased from Roger Corman.

Blow up the glitter-filled Christmas ornament painted to look like Earth.

The end.

Yes. This TV ad, seen below — in my teen I-must-see-ANYTHING-Star Wars-ish years — got me into the duplex. So, I, like Sir Lee, was duped. But wow . . . when you pair this with Starship Invasions . . . what a double feature! And you can enjoy it . . . and see how it all ends . . . on You Tube.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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