Disaster Movies: A Loud, Long, Explosive, Star-Studded Guide to Avalanches, Earthquakes, Floods, Meteors, Sinking Ships, Twisters, Viruses, Killer Bees, Nuclear Fallout, and Alien Attacks in the Cinema!!!!

Disaster Movies: A Loud, Long, Explosive, Star-Studded Guide to Avalanches, Earthquakes, Floods, Meteors, Sinking Ships, Twisters, Viruses, Killer Bees, Nuclear Fallout, and Alien Attacks in the Cinema!!!!

Disaster Movies: A Loud, Long, Explosive, Star-Studded Guide to Avalanches, Earthquakes, Floods, Meteors, Sinking Ships, Twisters, Viruses, Killer Bees, Nuclear Fallout, and Alien Attacks in the Cinema!!!!

Disaster Movies: A Loud, Long, Explosive, Star-Studded Guide to Avalanches, Earthquakes, Floods, Meteors, Sinking Ships, Twisters, Viruses, Killer Bees, Nuclear Fallout, and Alien Attacks in the Cinema!!!!

Synopsis

Complete with a foreword by Mike Nelson, host of Mystery Science Theater 3000, this dynamic guide to one of Hollywood's most popular and enduring genres provides a history of the disaster genre, descriptions of its trends and unusual traits, portraits of famous stars, in-depth plot analyses, and reviews of more than 150 disaster movies. The films reviewed include everything from famous titles such as The Poseidon Adventure, Titanic, and The Towering Inferno to more obscure movies such as The Night the World Exploded, Terror on the 40th Floor, and War Between the Planets. Casual disaster-movie fans, as well as die-hard lovers of the genre will benefit from the rating system, which ranges from "Highly Recommended" to "Avoid at All Costs," and the dubious "Recommended for All the Wrong Reasons."

Excerpt

by Mike Nelson, host of Mystery Science Theater 3000

Do this simple experiment: grab a boy under the age of 15, any boy that’s handy, give him crayons, paper, and half an hour’s time, and tell him to create the image of his choosing. (OK, I assume you’re back now, having done that.) What did he create? A lush image of a fragrant copse filled with daisies, buttercups, and prancing fairies? A crude but poignantly beautiful spring wedding, the misty-eyed bride gazing lovingly at her future husband while pastel-clad guests weep with joy into lacy handkerchiefs? Still life of fruit? No, huh?

Let me guess—he drew a picture of missiles crashing into a densely populated city. Or perhaps Godzilla rampaging through the financial district, gouts of fire spouting from his hideous maw. Or, if he’s a little more talented, perhaps he rendered the effects of a massive and devastating earthquake, complete with details of the earth’s crust opening and swallowing train cars like ladyfingers, or skyscrapers crumbling as though made of pasteboard.

Now give a grown man a camera, a crew, and eight weeks of filming, and what will he create? Pillow Talk?. That Touch of Mink? When Harry Met Sally? No, not bloody likely. He’ll make Earthquake, of course, and if he’s even half a man he’ll make the damn thing in Sensurround just to make sure you don’t miss the point.

Let’s face it, it’s deep in our subconscious to want to see Charlton Heston try to survive a massive geological upheaval while simultaneously being forced to choose between his wife and a beautiful mistress. Written right in our genetic code is a desire to witness Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, and Robert Wagner battle a building fire caused by faulty wiring. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t wake every day with a hunger for it.

Thank heavens for disaster films, or our needs would go unmet. We would have to settle for The Wedding Planner, and I for one would not be prepared to go on living in a world like that.

Earthquake was my first disaster film, and yes, I saw it in Sensurround. I was 10 years old and I’ll never forget the drama, the devastation, the terrifyingly creepy . . .

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