The Shapiro Files

Monday, October 17, 2005

Disaster Movie Weekend

No, I'm not speaking metaphorically (no household catastrophes to speak of...knock on virtual wood). Rather, as Netflix DVDs are something we can still enjoy with a minimum of baby-related interruptions, I thought it would be fun to go with a disaster movie theme for the weekend. Marcie has always been a big fan of the "Oh no, we're all going to die...Wait, maybe we won't!" type of movies. So I Nexflixed (I think I just invented a new verb) The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno, two famous 1970's disaster films that I hadn't gotten around to seeing until now.

Surprisingly, despite some major 1970's cheese and lots of over-the-top acting, the movies were actually pretty entertaining. Works of art, they're not. But they helped make for a couple of nights of fun movie watching. They have also allowed me to create the following checklist:

Ingredients of a Disaster Movie
  • A technological marvel (giant boat, insanely tall building, futuristic airplane, etc.) upon its first use
  • A headstrong captain, architect, pilot, etc.
  • A co-star does nothing but disagree with the above-mentioned headstrong captain, architect, pilot, etc.
  • An administrator with a huge stick up his tuchas who insists on putting the lives of the passengers/occupants on the line to help further his reputation (this guy usually gets killed by the end of the movie)
  • A group of B-list celebrities and former A-list celebrities way past their prime
  • An incredibly annoying kid
  • Mass deaths as a result of panic/stupidity
  • A whole lot of destruction
  • The deaths of some of the B-list celebrities to make the disaster feel "tragic"
  • An incredibly cheesy pop song à la "The Morning After"
Did I miss anything?


  • LOL, that's SO funny. I wonder if these elements are going to be present in the remake of The Poseidon Adventure (now in the making).

    By Blogger Irina Tsukerman, at 10/18/2005 1:31 PM  

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    By Blogger Irina Tsukerman, at 10/18/2005 1:31 PM  

  • Hmmm.... Well it's funny you ask. According to this page at Yahoo Movies, there are actually two remakes currently in production. One is a big-budget theater-bound production that's supposedly going to be called simply Poseidon. Sounds like typical Hollywood silliness to me. The other is a made-for-TV production that actually will be fulfilling at lease one of my list's criteria: has-been movie stars. Yes, apparently, the film is going to star a bunch actors once big in the 1980's. That alone has got to make the TV version at least somewhat entertaining (even if just for the cheese factor)!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 10/18/2005 2:34 PM  

  • Steve -

    You did miss one thing thing...

    There is always a catch horrific phrase...


    "If this thing spreads, God help us all..."

    "We could be looking at an unprecedented disaster..."

    You also missed the token newscaster reproting about the disaster...who usually gets caught in the disaster...

    There is also frequently, but not always, a strange and bizarrely placed love relationship that feels out of place and weird...but still is present.

    The Egel Nest

    By Blogger Bradley Egel, at 10/19/2005 11:17 AM  

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