Jerry Cornelius, a ruthless Nobel prize-winner, billionaire, adventurer and time traveller, is asked by the ruthless Miss Brunner (pictured below left) – who consumes her lovers – to trace a roll of his late father’s microfilm.
The film is an integral part of the programme on which she and the doctors are engaged. The ‘programme’ of the title is a design for a perfect, self-replicating human being.
After a chase across a war-torn Europe on the verge of anarchy, Brunner and Cornelius obtain the programme details on microfilm from Jerry’s loathsome brother Frank and retire to an abandoned underground Nazi fortress in the Arctic to run the programme, with Jerry and Miss Brunner as the subjects.
The sight of the misshapen messiah will certainly send shudders down the spine of those who have stuck with the stylised imagery and apocalyptic incidents that comprise this baffling adaptation of one of Michael Moorcock’s “Jerry Cornelius” stories.
But many more will have long since despaired of finding any tangible meaning in this fatally flawed fantasy that ends with a cruel joke at the expense of 2001: a Space Odyssey (1968).
Patrick Magee, Graham Crowden and George Coulouris make fearsome adversaries, but Jon Finch’s bid to save both his sister and the planet are confounded by director Robert Fuest’s preoccupation with look over logic.
Also released under the title, The Last Days of Man on Earth. Mick Jagger turned down the part of Jerry Cornelius as he thought the script was “too weird”.
Major Wrongway Lindbergh