Wednesday, 9 September 2015

No Blade of Grass - Post Apocalyptic Movie Review


No Blade of Grass is a 1970 post apocalyptic movie based on the book The Death of Grass by
Samual Youd. I had never heard of the book before, but the premise is quite simple: A virus strain that kills rice crops, spreads across the world and starts affecting other crops and grasses. This puts the protagonist of the story, English engineer John Custance on a journey across England hoping to reach his brother's potato farm amidst the breakdown of urban society.



The storyline of the book had me intrigued, so I watched the movie online. The surprise and fun of watching the movie was that I thought it was a normal 'G' rated Hollywood type of movie - in actuality, the movie has an 'R' rating for the following:
  • Language - Hearing the word 'shit', 'piss' and even  'knockers' put a bit of goofy smile on my face (haven't heard that term since I was a teenager!). Since I thought this movie was rated for general audiences, it took me by surprise.
  • Violence - The violence seemed more Broadway than 'Saving Private Ryan'. And of course who could resist vehicles bursting in flames whilst hitting a solid object - all done in slow motion of course!
  • There is nudity and rape. While the rape seen was disturbing, the survivors of rape seem to be particularly nonchalant about their dramatic experience. The way the father consoled the daughter victim was in the same way that one would to try to console her for not making the cheerleader squad. No dad of the year awards here.
The shining point was that the film had some snappy one liners:
  • "This is a motion picture. It's not a documentary, but it could be."
  • "George, do you know what I think caused the virus? It's because them Chinese fertilize everything with human shit!"
  • "Don't worry, She has a survival kit between her legs."
Unfortunately the zingers couldn't quite save the movie. The acting, script, and overall visual effects were subpar. The acting fell in that greyzone where it was not bad enough to be campy but certainly not good enough to rise above mediocracy.

There was not enough character development to gather any rapport from the audience. When characters have bad things happen to them, it iss hard muster any real emotion from their circumstances.

Finally, the movie feels cheap. This surprised me because the movie actually had a decent budget, $1,500,000, which equates to about $9.25 million dollars in 2015. Not sure where all that money was invested but certainly not in special effects.

Verdict: 2.5 out 5 stars. Fans of the genre will no doubt enjoy this, however, this film has not aged well and is hampered by mediocre acting. Sadly, though the story itself is interesting and timely, the execution of it this movie is hackneyed.

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