End of the World (2013)

(On Cable TV, August 2013) I have come to loathe the “Original Syfy catastrophe movie” sub-genre after overdosing on four nearly-identical examples of the execrable form in summer 2012.  This being said, I’ll be the first one to point out that End of the World is quite a bit better than most of its counterparts by dint of sheer self-awareness.  The lead characters of the film are SF geeks who have memorized countless catastrophe movies in order to develop their own survival plan.  When the Earth gets hit by a sudden catastrophe, they use their knowledge to understand, survive and eventually defeat the problem.  Much of this SF/comedy hybrid’s best chuckles come as the protagonists react a bit more plausibly than is the norm in such films, and exchange dialogue that acknowledges the existence of catastrophe films in that universe.  Never mind the script’s convenient silliness (how would a video store specializing in catastrophe film even stay in business?) or the limits of End of the World’s budget: Director Steven R. Monroe does the best with what he’s got and if the result is in no way a particularly good film, it shines in comparison with the atrocious Ziller-directed specials that SyFy usually churns out.  Do not spend any money watching this film, but you can always glance at it if it’s available on a TV channel near you.

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