Someone get the baby bio – plants are at it again in this, the most recent remake of the cult classic “The Day of the Triffids” as the BBC get their mits on another disaster movie but this time actually do some good things with it!
Triffids are meat eating plants that provide a natural fossil fuel and therefore stop global warming. However they need to be kept under tight wraps and when a solar flare blinds the majority of the world, the plants are able to escape, run free and have a yummy human for tea!
The Disasters Faced
CGI trees, rubber trees, a solar flare, plane crash, blindness, lots of looters and panicked crowds and Eddy Izzard!
As with all TV disaster movies, they seem to be 3 hour mini series affairs and this is no different. However this TV movie wastes little time getting going, bringing the story up to date with an interesting dilemma that actually made me think what would I do in that situation and giving us all kinds of fun. First a solar flare hits and anyone who had their eyes open (which was about 90% of the world as everyone was expecting a pretty light show from from the red sky) is instantly blinded. This leaves our heroes, the moody shouty Dougray and the emotional Joely to pick through the wandering crowds (especially effective in a great hospital scene) and get to work on stopping the Triffids which no one seems to be bothered about. Enter Eddie Izzard who survives a plane crash (dubiously I must say) and sets about trying to rule what is left. However in everyones greed, they ignore the Triffids as they come to London and start to munch away on the cast.
The acting has a wide range. I found the lead man quite wooden and one sided while Joely as lead lady done a fine job. Eddie Izzard hams it up as the baddie but then that’s what makes him so watchable. The script jumps about a bit in places (suddenly the two girls collected on their travels starting calling our leads mum and dad within a day or two of meeting them?!) and I found the end confrontation to a bit of an anticlimax but for a TV movie, this one really took on a large scope and done a much better job than most in living up to its aspirations.
There is a lot of CGI work here, especially for a TV movie, which at times it doesnt feel like at all. The Triffids themselves are like 1950s zombie plants. They waddle so slowly and look so out of place shimming down the M25, there’s few shots of them in full light and that works much better than seeing them all the time. The London streets empty and barren look great, as does the plane crash and the solar flare stuff. The sets don’t look too clean either which is a good thing.
Why Its Worth Watching
“The Day of the Triffids” is worth watching for an example of good TV movie work. The script isn’t too shabby, the acting fine, the effects are great for TV budget and the whole scope and ordeal of the films situation is great. It also takes time to delve into ethical issues. Vanessa Redgrave is only in the film for about 10 minutes but her character is as cool as a cucumber in the most twisted extreme, but then if it really is survival of the fittest, how far would you go to make sure your a survivor? A lot of the after flare chat is about cover ups and conspiracies that no one knew the Triffid’s were meat eaters and would feed from humans if possible. However Dougray’s character raises an important point. If the source of mankinds get-out-of-jail-free card for the planet comes at a an ethical price, would anyone really ask questions?
Although I’ll send a shoutout to Hilda played by Lizzie Hopley to helerious effect, Eddie Izzard swans around with such confidence as Torrence the baddie, he gets the award for telling Jo that her partner in crime is dead, so now if she can just get over it so they can go to dinner and then go back to his for some fun, that’d be great thanks!
In one of the weirdest moments in the film, an unknown man is playing the violin and underscoring our heroes running through London in choas, only for the violinist to stop playing and then jump off the balcony to a splat infront of our duo!
Best Moment of Carnage
The plane crash is kept off screen but the whole sequence looks fantastic.
But those trees just don’t look scary when they are just waddling around though…
Apart from seeing a tree walk down the M25, Jo and Bill pick up two girls in the last hour of the film and who immediately start calling them mum and dad. I’d be so peeved if I were their parents looking down on that, they could only be dead about 2 or 3 days at the most!
Flesh eating plants sounds funny and when they’re on screen, it is funny but the overal tone, nature and production values of all involved is on a good standard and therefore carries the films premise with ease. A great example of how the film and tv film genre’s can slowly start to merge.