The Day the World Ended (2001) starring Nastassja Kinski, Randy Quaid, Bobby Edner, Harry Groener, Lee de Broux, Stephen Tobolowsky directed by Terence Gross Movie Review

The Day the World Ended (2001)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Nastassja Kinski as Dr. Jennifer Stillman in The Day the World Ended (2001)

The Day the Movie Died

"The Day the World Ended" is a Creature Features movie, no not just a movie about a creature but one from Creature Features Productions LLC who also gave us "Earth vs. the Spider" and "How to Make a Monster". What does that mean well not a lot to be honest as whilst "The Day the World Ended" attempts to deliver 50s style science fiction it fails to ever become entertaining. Oh it certainly tries, we have a location which wouldn't look out of place in a 50s sci-fi b-movie, there are small town characters who would also be at home and the dialogue well I am sure some of it must have been lifted from a 50s movie but it just doesn't capture your imagination like a 50s sci-fi b-movie can.

Dr. Jennifer Stillman (Nastassja Kinski) arrives in the small community of Sierra Vista where she is to take a position as the school district doctor. But as she drives through the small town she is stared at and stopped by the local Sheriff who doesn't make her overly welcome. And so it goes on as the locals are not keen on having an outsider in their midst especially when she starts talking to young Ben McCann (Bobby Edner) who everyone seems not only protective of but scared of as well. As Jennifer tries to get to the bottom of things she discovers that something happened to his mum when he was very young and he now believes his father is an alien who will be returning for him.

Bobby Edner and Randy Quaid in The Day the World Ended (2001)

So as already mentioned "The Day the World Ended" is basically an update on your typical 50s sci-fi b-movie and technically it achieves this. The back water town of Sierra Vista, the quirky characters and the dialogue would all have been at home in a 50s movie with the exception of a few modern embellishments such as a comedy sex scene. And stylistically it felt right especially with some very cheap looking special effects being kept to the minimum like they use to, employing moving branches behind trees to try and create creature fear. But whilst it recreates and updates the various elements it is not exciting, it doesn't fuel your imagination and basically feels like an exercise in film making rather than because anyone had any great desire or ideas to create a modern sci-fi b-movie.

Now that is a problem because it makes "The Day the World Ended" a poor movie but sadly not one which is so bad it becomes good. If only they had embraced the corniness of it more, used the inflatable sex doll more, yes there is one in this movie and just went for being cheesy it would have made it far more enjoyable and even memorable.

As such whilst "The Day the World Ended" features actors who are recognizable such as Randy Quaid and Nastassja Kinski their performances are as forgettable as the movie because of being so ordinary. The one exception is young Bobby Edner as Ben because he does emote a strange detachment which not so much makes him creepy or unsettling but slightly ominous.

What this all boils down to is that "The Day the World Ended" is the sort of movie you might end up watching whilst channel surfing late at night and when its over question why you bothered. It's not that it is terrible, it's just poor, ordinary and forgettable with very little atmosphere to keep you gripped.