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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Gas-s-s-s (also known as Gas! or It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It) was a 1971 motion picture produced and released by American International Pictures. It was producer Roger Corman's final film for AIP, before leaving to found his own New World Pictures.

The movie is a post-apocalyptic dark comedy, about survivors of an accidental military gas leak, of an experimental agent that kills everyone on Earth over the age of twenty-five. (A cartoon title sequence shows a John Wayne-esque Army General announcing - and denouncing - the "accident"; the story picks up after the victims have died.)

The lead characters, Coel and Cilla, were played by Bob Corff and Elaine Giftos, and the cast also features Ben Vereen, Cindy Williams, Bud Cort and Talia Shire in early roles. Country Joe McDonald makes an appearance, as spokesman "AM Radio".

In a most memorable scene, the group tries to retrieve their stolen car, and participate in a “shoot out” where no bullets are shot as the only ammunition is yelling out the names of famous cowboy actors like Gene Autry, Tom Mix, James Arness, John Wayne and so forth, the more macho the actor, the more likely the kill. “John Wayne!” inevitably administers the coup de grace.

Gas-s-s-s found a fresh airing on late night television in the 1980s, and was recently (2005) issued on DVD, as a twofer with Wild in the Streets, another AIP movie.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gas-s-s-s" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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