I do love a movie with a great name, and The Earth Dies Screaming is a great name if I ever heard one. The movie itself? Not bad, but not great either. The whole thing kicks off with a sequence where everyone dies. Trains crash, planes crash, people fall down dead in the street — your basic apocalypse. A few survivors in England group together and figure out that it’s some kind of gas attack, perpetrated by robots — alien robots to be more specific. And the alien robots reanimate corpses to use as slaves, which is where the zombie element comes in.
In terms of rough plot outlines and imagery, TEDS seems a clear predecessor to Night of the Living Dead. You have the same ragtag group of survivors thrown together by circumstance — and a very similar interpersonal conflict within the group fueled by its more weaselly members. You have the same staggering, reanimated corpses — although these don’t eat anyone and can be dispatched with a few shots in the gut. But what it really lacks is the grim, gritty realism that made NotLD so special — this feels stagy and typical of movies of its era. Everyone is remarkably chill considering they’re the lastÂ people on Earth and are being stalked by both alien robots and the walking dead. And it has a resolutely upbeat ending that’s pretty cheesy. As I said, not bad — just a little slow and finicky, and a bit hard to swallow.
The Earth Dies Screaming/UK/1964