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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tomita - Score For "LAST DAYS OF PLANET EARTH"


I don't know if you have had a chance to view the apocalyptic apocryphal film called PROPHECIES OF NOSTRADAMUS or CATASTROPHE 1999. I saw it when I was younger before it was literally taken out of circulation and all copies were destroyed or locked away in vaults. The version I saw back in the military was heavily edited and I recently got the opportunity to see and hear the original uncut film.

There was hardly any graphic violence in this film and it was pretty tame visuals but it was the most disturbing movie I have ever seen. It captured ITZ more than any other film of that era. Deadly four inch slugs, cannibal mutants and reflective skies. The film was supposed to be about the prophecies of Nostradamus but it was tapping into something primal in the human psyche. A few years back I blogged about the visionary sketches by Basil Wolverton depicting the apocalypse. It was almost as if somebody captured those horrific images in film. The story was disjointed and barely had anything resembling a plot but something deeper appeared to catch hold of you while you watched it. There are so many bizarre things in this film I could not begin to list them all here. Lunatic suicide cults, hippie pinko dopesmoking anarchists and good old fashioned cannibals. Children appear to begin developing all kinds of strange powers as the apocalypse approaches, almost as if long-dormant genes in the human race were being activated to help (some of) them survive.

The movie ends with two mutant ape children fighting over snake meat in a blasted wasteland barren of all life on a dead planet embalmed in radiation. Not a Disney classic for certain. In the edited versions, they use the "this was all a dream" escape clause at the end to lessen the impact of the finale.



I'm not the only one who found it very powerful and unsettling. Toho eventually banned the film in Japan, withdrew all prints from theatres and essentially denied the movie had ever existed. It seemed to upset people who had never found cause to complain about similar fare like THE LAST WAR. Some Japanese cinema goers claimed they vomited after leaving the theater and others said they had nightmares for years after viewing it. People complained it was just a bit too over-the-top and Toho Studios was pressured to repent and cast the movie into oblivion.

The most amazing part of the movie was the dreamlike memorable score by Tomita. I grew up listening to Tomita when I was younger, he was a big part of my lonely adolescence and teenage years. I used to listen to his pop update of HOLST's THE PLANETS over and over again. It was beautiful. Tomita managed to combine about four different styles including a groovy cosmic retro sixties beat that might have come from "Barbarella" for the score to LAST DAYS. It was truly inspired music - even heroic and optimistic - for something with such a morbid and nihilistic focus. It is as if Tomita was channeling Vault-Co three decades ago when he composed it.

About a week ago I added a link to the main theme from the movie after deciding it was going to be the official theme song for Vault-Co. You can find it here.

10 comments:

Al said...

"This is the mind-bending original uncut 114 min Japanese version"

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Your Friendly Neighbourhood 'Thal said...

An official Vault-Co Apocalypse soundtrack should be compiled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh_wnykggWM

I suggest this as one of the entries.

Bain Dewitt said...

Full download in youtube-o-vision BUT the original, uncut version, at 114 minutes long. Just under a gig. There are some subtitles.


https://uploadto.us/file/details/6mXtnYzOsBQ/Nos74ut.rar

MycroftJones said...

Tex, if Al shows the video is still available, what happened? Did they "unvault" it recently? Is the new one tampered with?

theepilgrim said...

OT: Thought you'd find this amusing. I certainly did.

World's Greatest Scienmagist know the difference between mean and median

This is like that movie Idiocracy. I mean, I knew Neil "Don't call me Mike" Tyson was a complete hack and a fraud but even I'm surprised to find out he doesn't understand math concepts that should be common knowledge to an eight grader.

What puts it over-the-top, though, is that his ignorance was revealed while he was in the midst of mocking how stupid everyone else was. Real life and satire are now indistinguishable.

Texas Arcane said...

@MyCroftJones

There is always going to be a copy floating around and I think the copyright lapsed without being renewed so somebody started to sell it again on the mondo sites.

Texas Arcane said...

@thepilgrim

The thing is, Tyson and the administration can't fool reality. The people of the Kwa may be dumb enough to mistake Tyson for anything but a marginal idiot but at the end of the day, we won't be going back to the moon any time soon with guys like this running the scientific establishment. Rockets are still going to blow up on the launch pad. None of these guys deserves to crawl up on a ladder and stick their tongue in Von Braun's ass.

Texas Arcane said...

@thepilgrim

It's very telling that just like with whites, only left-wing politically correct frauds get called "geniuses."

For example, Alan Keyes is possibly one the sharpest people I have ever heard speak. You notice, nobody ever calls him a genius. It doesn't matter if Keyes is proof there are black geniuses. He doesn't count because he doesn't have the right politics. On the other hand, a guy like Tyson, clearly a buffoon, gets labeled "smart" because his political views are korrect.

Ave said...

Thank you Bain Dewitt for the link.

Just finished watching it. In spite of the unequal SFX (some very good, some surprisingly shoddy), this is actually not as much a genre movie as a very adult movie.

It addresses Calhoun's mouse utopia, the allocation of food ressources and the Culture Wars much more than Nostradamus' writings. Some passages could fit in "There is no tomorrow" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOMWzjrRiBg ) Very forward thinking, only a couple of years after "the limits of growth".

Oh, and yeah, almost forty years before, it predicts the Fukushima Nuclear Plant (the very same name) to be destroyed by an unusually strong earthquake, and contaminating everything. Actually, the beginning of the movie and some subsequent moments could be called "TEPCO - the movie".

All in all very enjoyable movie.

Finally, when seeing it, note the references to a more traditional way of life, both as a depicted ideal, but also in everyday scenes.

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