Directed by Fred F. Sears
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Jack Natteford and Luci Ward
Director Of Photography: Benjamin H. Kline, ASC
Cast: Kathryn Grant (Laura Hutchinson), William Leslie (Dr. David Conway), Tristram Coffin (Dr. Ellis Morton), Raymond Greenleaf (Governor Chaney), Charles Evans (General Bortes), Frank J. Scannell (Sheriff Quinn), Marshall Reed (General’s Aide), Fred Coby (Ranger Brown), Paul Savage (Ranger Gold), Terry Frost (Chief Rescue Worker)
Mill Creek Entertainment’s arrangement with Columbia has resulted in some terrific DVD sets, many in the horror/sci-fi neighborhood — and at a great price point. One of the recent ones is the oddly-named, but wonderful, Vintage Sci-fi Six-Movie Collection.
The Night The World Exploded (1957) is some great Sam Katzman sci-fi nonsense (that takes places almost entirely in the daytime). The newly-discovered Element 112 is expanding and exploding in the underground pockets created by drilling, mining and other earth-mangling activities — threatening to knock the earth off its axis or blow the whole thing to bits. It’s up to a team of earthquake-predicting scientists to sort things out before it’s too late.
One of the advantages of possessing absolutely no scientific knowledge is the pseudo-scientific babble that propels movies like The Night The World Exploded plays well. And there’s a lot of it in this one, delivered by a capable cast. There’s also the assured direction of Fred F. Sears and Benjamin Kline’s great cinematography (with some shooting at the Iverson Ranch). Thanks to Kline, these Katzman pictures look better than they deserve to.
The Night The World Exploded played with another Katzman-Sears picture, The Giant Claw. It’s a decent giant monster movie spoiled by maybe the worst-looking movie monster in cinema history.
The Night The World Exploded looks terrific in this set from Mill Creek Entertainment. Columbia supplied them with a clean, crisp 1.85 transfer — the other five films in the collection look just as good. I didn’t see any bit rate problems from squeezing six movies onto two discs. Vintage Sci-fi Six-Movie Collection comes recommended.