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August 19, 2012

Flicks: No Blade Of Grass (1970)

"A vision of chaos and destruction that could come true... perhaps it's happening - now."

English author Samuel Youd turned meteorologist, and under the nom de plume John Christopher, forecasts Doom with a 100% chance of Extinction in his 1956 book The Death of Grass. This apocalyptic disaster novel, one of 70 Youd wrote, was later to be made into B-movie entitled No Blade Of Grass (1970) directed by prolific film noir actor Cornell Wilde and starring Nigel Davenport.

Davenport's career saw him act in 127 features including Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan (1984), Derek Jarman's Caravaggio (1886) and Michael Powell's truly disturbed Peeping Tom (1960).

In No Blade Of Grass, Davenport stars as John Custance whose gentle English hillside is quickly estranged to him as a new virus appears, which only attacks strains of grasses such as wheat and rice. This virus creates a Britain that is instantaneously descending into famine and chaos due to the lack of food for cattle and livestock.

John, along with his family and friends, makes his way from London to his brother's farm in northern England where there will hopefully be food and safety for all of them. Along the way, they encounter bands of renegade soldiers and hilariously costumed biker gangs (viking helmets are big in post-Apocalyptic England) who want not gold, pounds or simoleons but bread.

Really an interesting film to watch in the 21t century. What was science fiction in 1970 doesn't seem too far from scientific fact today as droughts and economic disasters wreck havoc on our own contemporary societies. Could all that is standing between modern hu-mons and pure animal chaos be...a blade of grass?

Wikipedia, The Death Of Grass
IMDB, No Blade of Grass (1970)
Tripods, Works of John Christopher

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