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Not Rated
Copyright 1974 Toho International
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Doctor Nishiyama - Scientist extraordinaire, this guy has all the answers, trouble is no one listens.
  • Nishiyama's Wife - Lays around sick for most of the film, her honest purpose is to die so Nishiyama can grieve and show his humanity.
  • Mariko - Nishiyama's daughter who gets knocked up by Elvis. (I'll explain in a minute.)
  • Elvis - Photographer guy with big hair. No idea what his real name was, but he does kind of look like "The King."
  • Nostradamus - Prophet who never saw this bad movie coming.
  • Giant bats, giant slugs, giant leeches, giant weeds, and bird eating trees - Products of our abusing the planet.
  • Lots of Hypothetical People - Fodder.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Prophecies are dark and muddled things, often confusing to those trying to interpret them. We all understand that, it's in the rules. Motion pictures about prophecies seem to fall under the same statutes, at least in Toho's book.

Of all the confusing silliness, this film is honestly all over the place. Complaints you ask? Oh, I have grievances, not the least of which is I don't know half the people's names in this movie and I watched it three times! Of the people whose names I do know only about half of them matter! Nishiyama's chubby little assistant for example, he is "Yahari" or something to that effect, but the photographer guy who appears in half the movie and gets Mariko pregnant? No idea!

The movie shuffles its way through silly plot point after silly plot point, most of which are related to pollution. Even the radioactive cloud hovering over New Guinea is attributed to it. Who the hell has been dumping that stuff? Pennsylvania again? (Three-Mile Island joke for you slow ones.)

We do get treated to some truly amazing creatures, especially the giant slugs which are barely contained by troops using flamethrowers. A foot long slug is impressive, but salt costs about fifty cents a pound.

Shifts from what Nishiyama and family experience to grand catastrophes are numbing, though I did find myself humming snippets of Godzilla theme music on occasion. When finally all hell breaks loose and nuclear missiles fly I was so relieved, since it meant the end (of this movie) was near.


This is just a small part of Bangs and Whimpers, make sure you read these other great reviews for "End of the World Films:"
B-Notes: Holocaust 2000
Jabootu's Bad Movie Dimension: Robot Monster
Oh the Humanity: The Day the Earth Caught Fire
And You Call Yourself A Scientist!: On the Beach
The Bad Movie Report: The Doomsday Machine
Cold Fusion Video Reviews: Image of the Beast

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Nostradamus was a Japanese man.
  • Giant slugs can only be stopped with flamethrowers.
  • Sex makes women cry.
  • Dark subway tunnels promote wild and amazing plant growth.
  • When blizzards hit Hawaii there is a problem.
  • Pygmies love airplanes.
  • Blood is stored in VeryFine juice bottles.
  • If the Concorde ever explodes in midair it will destroy the Ozone Layer.
  • Just when you think things couldn't get any worse the 60's are back.
  • A traffic jam made up entirely of Ford Pintos is trouble waiting to happen.
  • After nuclear war anyone in a military bunker will be dead, but their fingers will be on the button, seemingly glued there.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 6 mins - Hey kid, dying of respiratory failure? Have some candy...
  • 15 mins - You three can't stop this old man?
  • 18 mins - Look, I don't care if these two idiots are in love, let's get on to the next scene.
  • 21 mins - Why is there a radioactive cloud over New Guinea?
  • 22 mins - My thoughts exactly.
  • 51 mins - Godzilla should come tromping out of the water about now.
  • 53 mins - Hot Wheels cars!
  • 67 mins - You may only join this mob if armed with a stick.
  • 72 mins - Wipe your nose for goodness sakes Nishiyama, how can I feel sorry for you with that hanging out?
  • 77 mins - Don't touch her baby, er fetus!

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note lastdays1.wav Narrator: "Nostradamus forecast that Armageddon would come in the Twentieth Century, the days in which we live."
Green Music Note lastdays2.wav Nishiyama: "We've no idea what made those slugs grow to such an enormous size. Anyway, in Japan now days how many of us know what's in the food we eat?"
Green Music Note lastdays3.wav Scientist1: "Look at that! I never imagined a tree like that could even exist!"
Scientist2: "Normally it wouldn't; it must be some kind of mutation."
Scientist3: "That's right, probably caused by radioactivity."
Green Music Note lastdays4.wav Nishiyama: "Politicians are human beings like any others!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Cliplastdays1.mpg - 2.1m
Ford Pinto, sign of the apocalypse.

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Earth is visited by a GIANT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD! Gawk at the amazingly bad bird puppet, or chuckle over the silly dialog. This is one of the greatest b-movies ever made.

Lesson Learned:
  • Osmosis: os·mo·sis (oz-mo'sis, os-) n., 1. When a bird eats something.

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