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Top disaster movies

Posted by Daltons chin dimple on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Inspired by mention of "Earthquake" in another thread.

So what's best? The old 70's event movies with a HUGE cast who live or die according to their morality during the run-time, or the 90's/00's blockbusters with whiz bang effects detailing the end of the world in glorious digital realism?

And what is the best? Does "The Swarm" get an unfair pasting? Does Chuck Heston absailing into a 747 in "Airport" take the award? Would Dennis Quaid in Day After Tomorrow 'out-man' the Hest-meister?

For me, I think "The Towering Inferno" is the pinnacle ('xcuse the pun) of the genre and should be remade with a similar ensemble cast. I mean, look at the cast of the original, it's amazing!

Steve McQueen
Paul Newman
William Holden
Faye Dunaway
Fred Astaire
Susan Blakely
Richard Chamberlain
Jennifer Jones
O.J. Simpson
Robert Vaughn
Robert Wagner

Creative deaths according to cookie cutter morality, several thwarted but ingenius escape attempts, disaster writ large. It's exactly what you want from a disaster movie.

Jakester
Location:
Posts: 5753
Posted: 11 years 4 weeks ago

DAMNIT!

Richard Gozinya, Harold Snatch and Wilbur Jizz. Together we are the law firm Gozinya, Snatch and Jizz.
Bill_the_Only
Location:
Posts: 702
Posted: 11 years 4 weeks ago

Krakatoa, East of Java.... one of the last (if not THE last) Cinerama movies, filmed around Majorca, Madrid, and Italy, standing in for Indonesia.

Everyone knows that Krakatoa is actually WEST of Java, located between the islands of Java and Sumatra. Pretty common knowledge that in 1883, the entire island blew up, leaving a crater on the ocean floor, with the main explosion so loud that it was heard 3000 miles away. The dust and ash from the eruption was scattered into the atmosphere and resulted in blood red sunsets for the next several years, and world temperatures were actually affected.

36,000 people lost their lives in the tsunamis that resulted.

The actual story is more gripping and engrossing than any movie could ever portray, especially THIS movie, but some PBS specials in the last few years have done an excellent job of it, depicting the events in a documentary-style fashion, based on written accounts by survivors.

They named the movie Krakatoa, East of Java, because they wanted to keep what they thought would be an Oriental mystique in the name. The 1969 movie attempts to create a Jules Verne style saga involving a search for treasure on a sunken ship, complete with exotic Japanese pearl divers, a newfangled diving bell, exploration by a hot air balloon, all operating from a tramp steamer called The Batavia Queen. The crew and passengers of course all add up to an overloaded amount of soap opera shenanigans, nuns, orphans, prisoners, and there is even a ridiculous musical number! Great photography, some decent effects, some lousy ones, a lot of repeated shots of the volcanic eruption (the same rock whizzes past the camera several times). Maximillian Schell, Brian Kieth, Sal Mineo, and...others.

Even for 1969, the movie is hopelessly dated, something one would expect to see in the 50's.

Worth it for bad movie night, I suppose.

A much better BBC docu-drama, "Krakatoa: The Last Days." aka "Krakatoa: Volcano of Destruction" aired on Discovery Channel:

Bill_the_Only
Location:
Posts: 702
Posted: 11 years 4 weeks ago

More from the BBC docudrama:

Bill_the_Only
Location:
Posts: 702
Posted: 11 years 4 weeks ago