The universe we live in began with the so-called Big Bang, a day of fury which could possibly have lasted a billion years, but what of our world, where days of fury occur all too often as catastrophe is commonplace and disaster frequent? Although the surface of the planet has calmed since the origins of life on earth where volcanos erupted across the landscape, there are still around five hundred active volcanos on Earth, which may provide some of the most fertile soil available, but ruin lives when they spew their lava for miles. Yet that is the subject of this documentary...
Yes, according to Vincent Price here doomsday was right around the corner in 1979 (released the year after) which given that was decades ago and our planet has not ended yet might have seemed premature, so much so that not a year has gone by since then without someone claiming we're all about to meet our maker in a collective extinction. If nothing else, writer and director Fred Warshofsky (here adapting his own differently titled book) was ahead of his time in counting the human race out through the medium of pop culture, except here he had the back up of his facts with which he hoped to convince the audience of his thesis's veracity.
There have of course been many disasters, both manmade and natural, since, but these appear to be far more random than this effort would have you believe - Warshofsky didn't invoke religion, preferring to see Mother Nature as the agent of our destruction if we didn't manage to wipe ourselves out first. Oddly the threat of nuclear war seemed to pass him by, surely the most obvious apocalypse which would have sprung to mind in the viewers but which rated nary a mention here, possibly because he did not have library footage of that. It was very clear that no matter what this theories were, they were reliant on being filmed by television news cameras to actually make it into his movie.
There were the linking sections with Price walking about a junkyard or the ruins of a supposedly tornado-proof house, but in the main Days of Fury had plundered the archives for the most lurid clips Warshofsky could uncover. So not only were there scenes of high winds, earthquakes, those ever-present volcanos, tsunami and so on battering the landscape, but mankind wasn't let off the hook either. There followed footage of riots and murders in newsreels to illustrate how we were our own worst enemies and basically could not be trusted to look after ourselves, never mind a whole, unruly planet, a relentlessly pessimistic view which became more grinding the further it went on.
Accumulating more and more depressing imagery as it went on. Admittedly some of this was spectacular - The Tacoma Bridge bending in the gales once again, though this time in colour, the Devon coast engulfed in high waves - but it was hard to see other patches of such events as famines as anything but questionable when they were paired with sequences of motorsport accidents which claimed casualties or baby seal cullings. If it hadn't dawned on you already, we were in mondo movie territory once again, and the suspicion that Mr Warshofsky was assembling this lot to titillate the thrill seekers and ghouls was pretty much confirmed when the narration grew lighter on facts and heavier on armageddon-like pontification. Eventually, it sounds as if Vince is gloating in the mould of one of his horror movie villains - "You're all doomed! Doomed, I tell you! Mwahahahahaaaa!" and the creeping sense of bad taste has overtaken the film. It's almost as if purveyors of such material wanted the world to end.