Today is one of those days where I honestly just want to climb back into bed and sleep all day. Unfortunately, I have too much work to do today to be able to do that. So I will probably take some Goody’s powder for the headache and just tough it out. For now though, it’s time to watch today’s movie. Luckily for me, this is a classic sci-fi movie. The reason I say that is because A) I always enjoy watching these movies, and B) These tend to be short, so it won’t be that hard for me to focus on it. So let’s dive right into today’s movie, The Night The World Exploded.
The plot: Dr. Ellis Morton has just arrived at the University Seismology Lab when his assistant Laura “Hutch” Hutchinson stops him and says that Dr. David Conway wants to see him. Ellis goes to see David, chastising him for working too long on their project when David tells him he is finished. Ellis is excited, as their invention is designed to predict earthquakes, but David tells him that the machine started to react and says that an earthquake will hit Northern California within the next 24 hours. After asking David if he double checked everything, Ellis has Hutch book a private plane for him and David to the state capital so they can warn the governor. When they get there, the governor is skeptical and hesitant to evacuate the area on the basis of their machine being unproven but says he will speak with the disaster council about the matter. Returning to the lab, David says he can’t blame the governor, then checks the seismograph before heading off. Ellis tells Hutch that she can leave, as he and David will be taking shifts watching the seismograph all night but Hutch says she wants to stay as she might not be there tomorrow. Hutch says that she might be leaving to get married to her boyfriend Brad, but Ellis questions her decision, as he knows she is in love with David, she tells him she doesn’t want to wait any longer for him to notice her. Some time later, Ellis and Hutch end up falling asleep when David enters the room and watches Hutch before he feels the ground trembling. As Hutch and Ellis wake up, the trembling gets stronger and the three take shelter as the earthquake they predicted occurs. As the damage is assessed from the quake, David and Hutch leave for the state capital and interrupt a meeting between the governor and the disaster council. David apologizes but tells the assembled group that another earthquake, twice as strong as the one that just hit, will be occurring in 3-4 days, and earthquakes will also occur in other locations around the globe. David says that Ellis is already on his way to Washington to speak with the President, then tells them that more earthquakes will be occurring. David says that something is causing the quakes and has already tilted the Earth off of it’s axis and the governor says that whatever funds they need will be given. David says he will be taking his equipment to Carlsbad Cavern, as they want to get as far into the Earth as possible to figure out what is causing the quakes. David, Ellis, Hutch, and two park rangers head into the caverns and make their way to a pit, where there equipment has already been lowered to. Ellis says he will stay up top while David and Hutch can make their way down the pit and David quickly climbs down the rope ladder. When he alerts the others that he made it down, Hutch begins making her descent but freezes halfway down. David says he will come up and help her but when she refuses, he begins chastising her and saying they will replace her, angering Hutch enough for her to finish climbing down. When she gets to the bottom, David apologizes for the way he got her down, saying she was too valuable to replace, and then calls up and asks one of the rangers, Kirk, to come down and help them. While they are down there, more earthquakes occur around the world, with several of them tilting the Earth’s axis even more. Back at Carlsbad, Kirk is checking the pump which is draining the pool of water down there and finds a strange rock, which he shows to David and Hutch. None of them can identify it but let Kirk keep it, joking about naming it after him and Kirk places it in a container with some water to wash off any dirt and impurities. That night, Kirk dumps out the water and examines the rock but as he looks away, the rock suddenly starts growing and smoking and before it catches fire and explodes, reducing Kirk and his cabin to ash. The authorities can’t explain what happened to Kirk and the news hits Hutch and David hard. As they are examining one of the rocks in the pit, they place it on a table and after checking on the progress of the other scientists around the world, David apologizes for ruining Hutch’s wedding plans with Brad but Hutch does not seem that sad. Suddenly, they notice the rock has grown and is smoking and they go to take cover but before it explodes, the rock burns through the table and falls back into the water. When Ellis comes down, they explain what happened and Hutch says she and Ellis will watch the seismograph while David goes to speak with the Secretary of Defense. David asks the Secretary of Defense for his help in getting the world’s leading scientists to California so he can show them all Element 112 and the danger it possesses. With the scientists gathered, David prepares his demonstrations to show the effects of Element 112 and says that a sample will be given to each scientist so that they can better analyze and show their own heads of state what the dangers are and how they can combat it. As the demonstration finishes, David receives a call that there was a cave in at Carlsbad Caverns and Hutch is trapped in the pit. David flies back and heads up an excavation team to rescue Hutch and they manage too just as more quakes shake the area. As Hutch recovers in the nearby hospital, David brings her a gift then stumbles around his feelings for her but doesn’t really say anything. When they feed all their data into a super computer and learn that the Earth will be destroyed by Element 112 in a matter of weeks. Plans are made to flood underground caverns and fault lines, which should cause the deposits of Element 112 to be submerged and rendered inert. As the appointed time approaches, Hutch confesses her feelings to David, who is happy to hear them. When reports come in of a volcano emerging in Nevada, David flies out there to examine it. While in the air, David tries contacting Hoover Dam to get them to open the floodgates and flood the area, which would counter the Element 112 but the gas from the volcano has killed everyone at the dam. David calls Hutch and tells her to have Ellis bring all of the samples of Element 112 that they have to the dam but Hutch chooses to bring them herself. Using a helicopter, David, Hutch, and the local sheriff fly to the dome and carry the case with the samples inside. when they get inside, David opens the case that Hutch was carrying to reveal some bottles of acid, which he plans on opening as they leave in order to help the element achieve critical mass. As David and the sheriff head further down and begin placing the samples in a wooden box, a dying worker stumbles out of an office and knocks over the table with the acid, causing it to spill out. Hutch warns David and they manage to get back to the helicopter and fly off just as the dam explodes, flooding the tunnels and extinguishing the volcano. As David and Hutch stand out in the desert, David warns that it could happen again in the future but they know what to do now, and he embraces Hutch.
This was a decent movie that started off good but I feel like it kind of fizzled towards the end. The acting was good, with William Leslie (David) and Kathryn Grant (Hutch) doing a good job in their roles. The story sounded pretty good, and I liked the idea about the minerals expanding when they dry out and then exploding, but I feel like after doing a good job of building up the suspense for the movie, the ending was a little anti-climactic. The special effects with the Element 112 were kind of on the cheap side, basically using cutaways for when the rock grows. Not the best movie I have ever seen but it was enough to keep me entertained.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5