Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dystopia Challenge Review #5: On the Beach (Film Review)

Based on Nevil Chute's novel of the same name, One the Beach was released in 1959. It's set in 1964, just after WWIII. The northern hemisphere has been destroyed by atomic bombs and a cloud of nuclear radiation is advancing south. The last frontier? Melbourne. Yay Melbourne! A strange telegraph signal has been picked up, originating in San Diego, where everyone is believed to be dead. Gregory Peck gets in his sub Sawdust (the mind boggles) to go check it out. The government gives everyone suicide pills in case the nuclear cloud reaches them and they all get radiation sickness.

That's about all I can report. I stopped watching this film. I couldn't take the boredom any longer. And the ridiculousness.
It consists mostly of long, pointless conversations, the occasional hysterical or drunk woman, and old boys sitting in their clubs lamenting that they'll never have enough time to drink all the port in the cellar before the whole world goes belly-up. There's a few scenes on the beach, with everyone acting carefree and polite, and all look like they're having a jolly good time. Hello?? It's the end of the freaking world! Jolly good times post-apocalypse are supposed to consist of looting and pillaging! Where's the fear? Where's the panic? Where's the eight-ball and bevvy of hookers that are gonna make Gregory Peck's last night on this good earth?

Don't watch this film. The only reason you should (and in this case I advise you to borrow it from a friend) is if you live in Melbourne and enjoy having a squeal every time a b+w Flinders Street or GPO pops into view. Otherwise, avoid like the apocalypse itself.


  1. I laughed out loud reading your review. Don't think this will ever make it int my Netflix queue.

  2. No but I plan to. I was talking to my boss yesterday and he was saying that what seems like obliviousness to the apocalypse is a throwback to the "chin-up" attitudes of WWII. Okay, I get can appreciate that. But it's not WWII, it's WWIII and the whole northern hemisphere is gone!