6 comments on ““The Day of the Triffids” (1963) – British SciFi/ Horror/ Apocalypse

  1. Wow! Like my husband, I’ve read the book, but it was at least 40 years ago. I’ve never seen the movie. I’ll make a point of watching it one of these days. 🙂

    • You’ve never seen this one? Hard to believe given how often it’s featured on classic TV channels like AMC and Turner Movie Classics.

      While not the best version ever done, it’s worth a look if you get the chance, although the BBC did two recent versions for TV that were closer to the novel and better produced overall.

  2. I don’t know how John Wyndham came up with the name Triffids but it’s pretty catchy. Howard Keel was okay in this version. At least he’s good to look at.

    • This old version of the story was always a favorite of mine growing up, even if it’s not the most true to the novel version.

      I know what you mean. “Triffid” just sounds so nifty. 😉

  3. One problem I have with the original film is it isn’t really explained that well is how the Triffids managed to propagate themselves so quickly. It’s suggested that the only specimen in ‘captivity’ was grown from a seed found in a meteor, the specimen of which we see in the beginning of the film that kills the night watchmen. Also the movie Triffid’s size & mobility was the direct result of the humanity blinding meteor shower.
    The book handles all this well in that the Triffids were bred world wide because they had become a new source of petroleum putting the Arabs out of business (one assumes). As I recall, the origin of the plants was the same as the film, e.g., a seed was found in a meteorite. The book version had the venomous, moving plants in huge Triffid farms that had been allowed to ‘escape’ because of the world wide blindness. Just thought you guys would like to know that.
    One other issue I had with the movie was the couple stuck at the lighthouse. Drunk or not, I found it hard to swallow that neither went out to look at the meteor shower for a little while. But Janet (Karen) was a great screamer and the real life wife of Tom (Kieron Moore) who both appeared together in another odd British sci-fi feature ‘Crack In The World’

  4. I believe the implication in the film was that most of the Triffids fell to Earth from space during the meteor shower that blinded everyone (compare to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” from a few years before). I really got the impression from the film that the Triffids were a bit of a surprise to everyone, and I’m sure there was a scene where the seed pods were discovered being blown on the wind from a meteor crater.

    It’s been a while since I read the novel, but I’m pretty sure the author left it deliberately vague, with a few conflicting rumors about the origin, with the bottom line being that Triffids were already a common sight and being cultivated in numbers before the meteor shower (I think there was a story about a packet of seeds grown in captivity being stolen by spies and flown to Russia, but the plane got shot down, spreading the seeds far and wide around the world.) In the novel, mankind had a pretty good idea of how to control the Triffids already, but lost control of them when everyone went blind.

    The salt water thing really struck me also in retrospect as being lifted from “War of the Worlds”, and this film really does feel like a template for later “zombie” movies – glad someone else had the same feeling on both counts!

    Sadly, the film felt like it really didn’t have enough room to tell the story it did tell, let alone the more complicated story from the novel. One gets a feeling that a weekly television show format like that used for “The Walking Dead” would probably be better suited to a more accurate adaptation of the novel – in fact, an accurate adaptation of the novel for TV would probably get accused of being a “Walking Dead” rip-off, even though the novel predated the famous “zombie” comic and TV show by over 50 years.

    Still, this movie has always been a lot of fun for me, and the novel was fantastic. The BBC series (I’ve seen at least a couple of them) were also quite good, though I think I just barely prefer the film, warts and all. I recommend them all to classic horror and sci-fi fans, especially fans of zombie movies!

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