Sunday, 1 November 2009


Andrew Marton, 1965, USA

Old-fashioned disaster flick with aging, cancer-ridden, over-ambitious scientist Dana Andrew’s plans to tap the Earth’s core for power resulting in the movie’s title. Desperate and deluded scientist Andrews foolishly still competes for his wife Janette Scotte with a younger, equally ambitious ex-student Kieron Moore. The global crack runs parallel not only with his disease, but with these domestic troubles: personal and external frictions and frissures finally meet head-on so that the old man’s suppressed rage and cancer explode, sending his soul/life/delusions/guilt etc. spiralling into orbit as a serene second moon.

Talky but lively, the cast try to give this some emotional gravitas while dealing with science and disaster that, even to a layman, are self-evidently unconvincing. Namely, the end of the world as we know it surely would have arrived half-way through the running time, but then the entire episode is only a vague acquaintance of science and geology. But the second-moon born in a new burning red world is a fair act of bravado - audacious barely covers it - and, finally, the implausibility of it all doesn’t quite hinder the decent number of dramatic floruishes and special effects.

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