Tonight's Awful Bedtime Movie: The Day The Earth Froze (1958)
Based on the title, and the movie poster, you'd think it was a sci-fi movie about aliens or a mad scientist, maybe even with Russell Johnson.
It's a joint Russo-Finnish movie based on a Finnish myth about a witch and magical harps.
Prepare for sweater-wearing, fish-breathed disappointment.
See if you can follow this.
Lemminkainen isn't a topical ointment, but a legendary Finnish mythological hero. He loves the fair Annikki, who is kidnapped by the evil witch Louhi, not to be confused with the bitter "Family Feud" host.
Louhi wants Annikki's father to build her a "Sampo," which is some fictional Finnish contraption that creates salt, grain and gold. When Lemminkainen tries to stop her, Louhi steals the sun/an extra light from the set, plunging the Earth into frozen darkness.
That's when the villagers get off their collective Finnish duff and create magical harps that turn Louhi into a pillar of salt. Kind of makes you wonder how Lemminkainen got to be such a national hero when he accomplished jack squat and a bunch of illiterate peasants had to do his job for him.
Louhi looks like she's made of clay and a road talks to people. I didn't know peyote grew in Finland. The original title was "Sampo," but was dubbed into English and released in the United States by American International Pictures in 1964, probably as some Soviet plot to destroy our morale.
This movie stinks. And it stinks of cabbage and pickled herring.
What I Learned Today: "The Day The Earth Froze" isn't a cinematic retelling of a popular Finnish myth so much as it's documented evidence of Soviet atrocities.