The end of the world, an arranged marriage and a Communist steel horse! Movies (#SFWApro)

Azalea Films was an obscure company whose main claim to fame is ripping off several of Roger Corman’s AIP films for their even lower-budgeted, lower-quality company. IN THE YEAR 2889 (1968) was a knockoff of Corman’s superior The Day the World Ended, only showing that Corman could make a cheap quickie much better than most people could. In this leaden drama, the Bomb Has Dropped, so a scientist and his daughter are holed up in their country home to see if they can last out until the fallout dies down. Only they hadn’t prepared for the arrival of a Nice Guy and his irradiated brother, a drunken Latino, a thug and his stripper mistress (Quinn O’Hara), or the mutates lurking in the hills in very bad monster makeup … Forgettable except for the name, which makes no sense. It does show how generic, in a way, this kind of apocalypse is, as the cast could just as easily have been hiding out from the Walking Dead. “Once I got my motor running, I didn’t hear nothing but the sound of their breathing.”

220px-jump_tomorrowJUMP TOMORROW (2001) is a charming rom-com of a type familiar to most of us. The protagonist, George (Tunde Adebimpe), is a rather uptight Nigerian American heading to Niagara to meet his Arranged Match (“My parents arranged this, my uncle arranged this — she and I helped a little I think.”). Along the way he finds a traveling buddy in a lovesick, suicidal Frenchman who insists George pursue Alicia (Natalia Verbeke), a young woman he felt an instant connection with … but who’s heading to Canada with her oh-so-perfect boyfriend. Very winning.“It’s very scenic—lots of trees.”

EARTH (1930) is the classic example of the “boy meets tractor” Soviet drama, showing how a tractor enables the protagonist to overthrow the power of his village’s rich farmers, collectivize and feed the people! We see our hero drive the tractor past his father, scything away in the field, then show him how much easier it will be to thresh the wheat with a tractor. Women bind the sheaves with smiles as if they were achieving orgasm, bread rolls out of the village ovens and someone exults that “a communist steel horse has overthrown the thousand-year-old forces!” An interesting, if old-fashioned film, despite its propagandist intentions. “We’ll get tractors and take the earth away from them.”

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