The day the orchids and ginger roots went for a stroll

Bill Masen (Howard Keel) is a merchant navy officer. His eyes are bandaged due to an accident that has left him temporarily blind. While he is in the hospital a meteor shower occurs. The glow from it blinds anyone that looks at it. Most of the population goes blind. When he walks out of the hospital he finds that people all over London are afflicted. At the train station Masen rescues a young girl Susan (Janina Faye) from a crashed train. Susan is an orphan. Not knowing what to do Masen takes Susan with him to his ship. Perhaps they can get help there. At the ship they go to the radio room. They can hear radio calls from all over the world asking for help. People are in a panic.

They leave London and head across the English Channel to France. Eventually they find refuge at a chateau. One of their hosts is Christine Durant (Nicole Maurey). The chateau ends up being attacked by escaped convicts that can see. Masen, Christine and Susan escape the chateau just before it and the convicts are attacked and killed by triffids. The triffids are giant carnivorous plants that are multiplying in number. They came to Earth as alien spores. They eat anything moving. They are aggressive and exhibit intelligent behavior. They are capable of movement from place to place. They move by “walking” on their roots. They are also capable of communicating with each other. They possess a poisonous sting that they use to kill their victims. Once the person or animal is dead they feed on the corpses.

In the meantime, a brilliant but alcoholic, and annoying scientist Tom Goodwin (Kieron Moore) and his long suffering wife Karen (Janette Scott) are trying to find a way to kill the triffids as well as trying to stay alive. They have killed one and Tom dissects it hoping to learn its secrets.

Directed by Steve Sleekly, “The Day of the Triffids”, AKA “Invasion of the Triffids” is a British film that was released in 1962 in the UK and 1963 in the US. The movie is loosely based on the book “The Day of the Triffids” by John Wyndham. It’s a combination horror/science fiction/apocalyptic movie.

There are some plot holes. The triffids got real big real quick. I think they were already here to some extent but the meteor shower either did something to them or added more spores from outer space. It’s not really clear. Why didn’t the salt spray from the ocean affect the triffids that were on the lighthouse rock? It’s not like they could avoid the ocean. Perhaps they should have stuck with what was in the book. Who’s to say? It wasn’t enough to ruin the movie for me. I still got my monsters.

The triffids are of course cheezy lame puppets either on strings or wheels. Right up my alley. Like half the monsters out there triffids are not fast. They rely more on the element of surprise. Since they can communicate they can gang up on people, and since most people are blind, they can take their time. It’s still likable enough. “Day of the Triffids” is a good reason to become vegetarian. In "The Thing From Another World" 1951, when asked by Ned Scott “What do you do with a vegetable?” Nikki Nicholson replies “Boil it… fry it… stew it… bake it.” All good options.