I know, Jeremy. And Jim knows that I know! Is there an icon I can use that means "Caution - Humour ahead" Jim and I are founder members (possibly the only members) of the Marihugh Fan Club. If you want to join we give discounts for ET members.
Actually, you were both correct... in a Zen-like exercize, i was quoting Tammy Marihugh while, at the same time, emitting a Janov inspired primal scream at my OWN mother who....honestly....broke her NO JUNK TELEVISION rule to allow me to watch this film when I was 7. She vaguely recalled good special effects. All I retained, until I was about 18 and saw the film on video, was Jill scampering under her bed to get her dime. My only lasting memory of that film was of Tammi Marihugh. MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY NO!NO!NO!NO!
YES, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang counts as a disaster. So, too, does this London shot horror film from 1969. The bride is a wizened zombie. She is as gay as a debutante on her wedding day, which is fortunate because the groom and his best man are gayer than debutantes as well. THEN, disaster strikes......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLpES_VoSY4 MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!NO! NO! NO!
To my list of beloved disaster films, I must add
which melds the ANIMAL ON A RAMPAGE genre to the DISASTER FILM GENRE and the PSYCHOSEXUAL THRILLER genre.
You no doubt recall, ORCA begins with fishin' Capp'n RICHARD HARRIS (the hambone male equivalent of Shelley Winters) catching a female orca, who miscarries an orca fetus as she is hung up by her tail. CUT TO A REACTION SHOT...YES! Mr. Orca gets a dramatic closeup! He saw the entire thing, and vows sweet sweet vengeance.
HOW, you ask, CAN A WHALE WREAK VENGEANCE? Well, by blowing up an oil refinery, sinking every fishing boat in a harbor, collapsing a seaside house so that he can bite off crutch bound Bo Derek's bad leg (YES! he swims away with it sticking out of his mouth, cast and all, like a prize winner's cigar!) and, otherwise, just makes a nuisance of himself.
Harris chews scenery with elan that eclipses Robert Shaw in Jaws, Shelley Winters in Poseidon, and the Tasmanian Devil in the Warners cartoon of your choice. BUT...he has reason to. Ya see, he and the ORCA are kindred spirits, because his own WIFE AND CHILD were killed by a drunk driver while he watched! He and only he knows the ORCA's pain. He actually has a monologue, directed at THE ORCA, in which he explains all of that. BUT, the Orca isnt one of those touchy feely Alan Alda forgive and forget "The criminal is also a victim" 1970s sorts, and maintains his grudge.
Orca challenges Harris to a duel, by sinking every fishing boat but his. Harris accepts the duel, puts out to sea, and loses. The Orca dashes him to death against an iceberg.
And, Mr. Godfrey, you'll no doubt be happy to hear that earlier this week the US television show ROTTEN TOMATOS did a WORST EVER list episode. Among the categories explored were THE FIVE WORST ATTEMPTS AT A FOREIGN ACCENT. They omitted Spencer Tracy and "Leetle Feesh," and Natalie Wood and "Plees ANEETA. Get me my SPAY-SHAl MAY-deecine," but hurled a tomato at Dick Van dyke in Mary Poppins. I think they may have called him incomprehensible.
Your virulent anti- Van Dyke prejudice is obviously spreading.
Honorable mention goes to the actress who played SWEDISH EXCHANGE STUDENT on JAMES AT 15. As youi MIGHT recall, the show was highly controversial in the 70s for having its 15 year old central characer lose his virginity. I remain haunted, to this day, by SWEDISH EXCHANGE STUDENT'S existential question: "Chames...Vat if I am pwegnant?"
Yes indeed, many a London ear'ole suffered under the onslaught of "It's rining, Meeary" etc. Of course we couldn't let Hollywood get away with that, so we counter-attacked with Sean Connery (in every film where he isn't playing a Scotsman). And, in contravention of the Geneva convention, we gave you our very own London lad Michael Caine as the world's most unlikely good ol' boy in Hurry Sundown.
Soulless rich southerners want to grab the land of the blacks and the po' white trash. That's the plot, spread out over what seems like 23 hours in the theater. It is directed by the King of Bombast, Otto Preminger, and has a guaranteed-to-overact-if-allowed cast, ranging from Burgess "Mickey in Rocky" Meredith as a racist judge, to Michael Caine as a soulless land grabber, and Faye "The Wicked Lady" Dunaway.
The high, or low point, is of course Jane playing Michael's saxpophone while down in front of him. BUT, we cannot sell short thev plot twist in which it turns out that the coveted black-owned land is owned by none other than Jane's Ol' Black Mammy "Mammy Rose." Jane is enlisted to soften her up. The actress playing Mammy Rose is too young to play Jane's MOTHER in real life, so they slap a big pouf of what looks like cotton batting or santa hair atop her head and hope she looks old. At first the reunion is teary eyed "Lawdy, lawdy chil' You've come back!" "Oh Mammy Rose, I swear you just about INVENTED love!" Then things tuurn grim - Jane drops the bomb, and Mammy Rose has a dramatic heart attack that lasts for over two hours onscreen....
.... the film is not without its moments. Set in "The New South," it has a rather nice scene in which Jane talks haughty to a young black female school teacher and gets her face slapped, and Mammy Rose, before her death, admits to her children that she is furious at herself for keeping her anger inside her entire life, and 'playing along.' The script doesnt say it, but she seems to be implying hat militancy is a better choice than being docile.
Aside from those two moments of intelligence, the film continuously lowers the bar of audience expectation and then crawls under it. Can you believe that a 1967 film contains a scene in which a lynch mob sees its intended victims having a stereotyical black folk's picnic, and feel guilty and goes home?
And, yes, it is a disaster film TOO! The bad guys dynamite a dam, which destroys the po' white trash farm and spares that of the blacks.
At least Jane Fonda, IMO, proved she could act, well, in both ON GOLDEN POND and THE MORNING AFTER. And she admitted she had fun doing MONSTER IN LAW.
Jim, you forgot to mention WHEN TIME RAN OUT, later retitled EARTH'S FINAL FURY.
That was the "Volcano Erupts on a South Seas Island" film, and everyone is apparently caught by surprise.
I only saw the last part of that film, when it was on TV. It did not make me wish to rent the film, to watch in its entirety.
I remember seeing the volcanoe's eruption using the mortar-exploding sound effects, used in many a "MASH" episode, or other war-oriented flick.
That was used to explain our cast of stranded characters (they had to abandon their vehicles and hike around the Island) being forced to walk on a wooden footbridge, crossing over a river of lava.
The bridge holds up while four elderly, slightly overweight persons (including Shelley Winters, who does survive) trudge over it, then loosens while the three beautiful ladies are in-transit on it (gives us a chance to see the blonde in the jumper outfit plunge in to the lava river); that also included us having the opportunity to worry about Pat Morita ("Arnold/Mr. Miyagi") hanging on to the now-rickety bridge (and in true Irwin Allen fashion, he doesn't make it).
I especially found it laughable at the scene of the "carefully shot" bolt of lava destroying the luxury hotel and killing everyone there, including Veronica Hamel, in her "pre-'Hill Street Blues' days").
Poor Veronica should stay off the roles of disaster flicks; hope she received great amounts of royalties for her "time to be killed" expressions.
Needless to say, when Paul Newman led the survivors down to the beach areas, to be rescued or call for help, I found myself not caring.
, I was saving it for the thread about PAINFULLY BAD MOVIES BASED ON ACTUAL EVENTS.
When Time Ran Out was loosely based on a book about the destruction of St. Pierre. But, Irwin Allen brilliantly decided that the source material would only het better if it was set in a faux-Club Med in 1980, instead of...you know....one of those dull colonial cities where everyone speaks French and wears old fashioned clothes. What was retained from the book was the volcano spitting a gas ball and destroying the entire city. Everything else was improvised.....
IRWIN ALLEN TRADEMARK: Death by Tiki. In THE TOWERING INFERNO, the actor who played JULIO on SANFORD AND SON gets crushed under a toppling tiki during the climactic tidal wave atop the burning office building. In WHEN TIME RAN OUT, several bit players and... I think...a minor villain, get killed by a toppling tiki in the hotel lobby. alas, there is no WOMAN WITH A PAST WEARING A PINK MAN'S SHIRT AND PANTIES WHO FALLS TO A SPLATTERING DEATH FROM A GREAT HEIGHT in this film, as in POSEIDON in which Linda the ex hooker falls into a fiery vat while wearing that ensemble, and TOWERING INFERNO, in which Robert Wagner's adulterous lover wears the same thing as she is driven by the fire out of a 500th story wiondow just SECONDS before the firemen arrive to save her. Thus are the wages of sin in Irwin's world.
Then there was FLOOD, loosely based on The Johnstown Flood. There's a dam about to burst, but the mayor wont open the spillways. The townspeople, oddly, wont listen to the one person who tries to warn them. The dam bursts. There are virtually NO special effects, but there IS some reddish deteriorated news footage of real floods edited in. Then, the town has about 5 feet of entirely still water blanketing it...and Carol Lynley, pregnant, does a salute to Dorothy Malone in THE LAST VOYAGE and struggles to keep her head above water as she bobs around inside her flooded cottage. Will the rescuers get to her in time?
The movie is so dull that you dont really CARE if the rescuers get to her in time. She is reunited with RODDY MCDOWELL, and gets to share billing with Robert Culp, Martin Milner, Ruichard Basehart, Barbara Hersey and Leif Garrett.
Then there is Irwin allen's seldom seen swan song THE NIGHT THE BRIDGE FELL DOWN, based on the SUNSHINE SKYWAY BRIDGE COLLAPSE, which happened when a ship struck the Skyway and it fell, taking with it several carloads of people, and a Greyhound bus, leaving only one survivor. In this film, the bus doesnt fall off the bridge, but everyone aboard it is trapped on an about-to-cave-in section. Desi Arnaz Jr., Eve Plumb, Lesley Nielsen, Richard Boone, Barbara Rush and lessers stars struggle Struggle STRUGGLE to escape.
There is a good reason why it is seldom seen.....
Then there is AVALANCHE, which manages to exploit REAL LIFE DISASTER and TRUE CRIME in the same film. It is the VAL D ISERE AVALANCHE and the CLAUDINE LONGET/SPIDER SABITCH AFFAIR seamlessly blended into a truly dull film. Rock Hudson, Mia Farrow, and lessers, attempt to generate suspense where there simply is none. when the film is called AVALANCHE, you know that at some point there will be an avalanche. So, cat and mouse plot twists dont work to build suspense, and the film makers did not come up with any viable substitutes.
My feelings about TITANIC, either film by that title, are well known and do not need to be delved into again, or so says the therapist....
A world apart from these wretched film, is FIRE AND RAIN, about the infamous DALLAS L-1011 WIND SHEAR crash, in which a jumbo jet flew into windshear while landing, lost control, and flew into an oil tank, with huge fatalities and a handful of survivors. Now, you would not expect me to pair the words REALLY GOOD with the words, DAVID HASSELHOFF TOM BOSLEY ROBERT GUILLAUME DEAN JONES and ANGIE DICKENSON, but the film is an almost strictly factual recounting of the dicaster. It has only one IRWIN ALLEN MOMENT, but it is a good one. PATTI LABELLE plays A NERVOUS FIRST TIME FLIER. Her early scenes show her being nervous, because she's a first time flier. THEN, after the plane crashes, she's shown being hustled away from the debris, disheveled and smoke-stained, and saying "I'm never going to fly again" over and over.
Ooooohhhhh.... I almost forgot THE BEASTS ARE IN THE STREETS. The 1970s were the golden era...actually the only era...of INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS SAFARI PARKS, in which idiots could drive their own cars up to actual Bengal Tigers and get mauled while attempting to photograph them close up. On the east coast we had JUNGLE HABITAT, whose 1973 opening season set the tone for all that was to come, when a tourist from Israel dropped his car window to photograph something from inches away, and got his face mauled.
This film takes it one step further...and asks WHAT IF A TRACTOR TRAILER DROVE THRU THE FENCE AND FREED ALL THE LETHAL ANIMALS INTO A RESIDENTIAL SUBURB? a question we've all...some of us...actually very few of us...have wondered about from time to time. Carol Lynley, Billy Green Bush (father of the GRENNBUSH TWINS who played the suspected-to-be-brain-damaged BABY CARRIE on Little House) Phillip Michael Thomas, and a cast of unknowns struggle to round up the animals and save suburbia. The highlight, if you can call it that, (I do), is a woman being set upon by a not very angry ostrich while hanging laundry. Yes, I know ostriches are mean and DO attack, but this one just sort of stands there amidst the fluttering laundry, as the actress attempts to make you believe that she is about to be attacked.
"I think that Jim was referring to the demonic Little Orphan Annie knock-off known as Tammy Marihugh in The Last Voyage. He was quoting of her (every one of her) lines. Probably the most annoying child ever captured on film."
Even worse than "Robin Shelby"? Oh, how I wish he disappeared like in Gallico's novel.
Too shy to defecate in front of his mother, he finds a private corner and then gets caught up in a stampede and presumably falls down The Big Hole That Ate Marie The Hairdresser.
That has great cinematic potential... little Robin has one last, annoying, faux military school "Yes SIR!" and moments later gets stampeded into The Big Hole.
Oh, yes, as you'll doubtlessly remember, Nonnie and her man have sex in a pile of junk food in a tea cakes storage room, even as Robin is prowling for a place to lighten his load. And, Susan gets raped by a crew member, "'erbert, from 'ull," which is scary until she sees he's a teenager and kinda cute. He then falls down a different big hole than the one which killed Robin and presumably dies, too. Susan falls in love with him, and the book ends with her hoping that she is pregnant so that she can go to Hull, track down his parents, and give them a living reminder of their son, in the form of his rape baby.
Both scenes were probably best omitted from the film.
The movie's 1970s ethos "And a Child Will Lead" "Follow The Rebel" is polar opposite to the twist ending of the book. As you no doubt recall, Scott was proved to be 100% wrong, as those who followed him glimpse the people from the dining room coming out of the hole in the bow still in their evening clothes.
Jill and Robin set the gold standard by which other disaster movie kids are judged. Many were called, but few met the challenge....
AIRPORT 1975. Linda Blair plays JANIS, a little girl kidney transplant patient who is being flown to her donor organ. Yeah, I know, usually it works the other way around, but in a film where a man is lowered yo-yo style from one plane to another thru a gaping hole in the fusilage and horny hetero pilots talk about how great 137 year old Gloria Swanson looks, why question? Janis beams incessantly and says things like "This is so EXCITING! People are so INTERESTING!"
That's cause she hasnt talked to the other kid on the flight. Airline official George Kennedy has a wife and son aboard. His wife seems like a frazzled tranquilizer chugger, and his son is one of those creepy 12 year olds who look exactly as they will when they are 40. He talks incessantly about dull tourist traps, and when it is announced that the plane will land at Salt Lake city, he gets excited at the thought of seeing the Tabernacle. He lives. So, too, does Janis and SURPRISE! somehow they found a donor organ for her in Salt Lake City!
On the TAMMY SCALE, Janis is about a 4. On the ROBIN SCALE, Creepy twelve year old is a 9.
EARTHQUAKE features Corey, the son of Genevieve Bujold's character, who looks like the kid you always wanted to belt back in school. He doesnt do much except ride his bike. For the first 2 hours of the movie we periodically see him, friendless (no surprise) riding his bike. THEN, a footbridge which looks like it was built by kids who tired of building treehouses collapses, pitching Corey into a dry flash-flood channel. Heis unconscious, electric wires dance around him, and he is saved at the last possible second as the flood bears down on him.
He is low on the ROBIN SCALE. His plotline is so pointless and dull that one wonders why it waasnt edited out.
TOWERING INFERNO. Featured two kids, one of whom was Bobby from the Brady Bunch. He wears a way-cool 1974 headset radio that, apparently, renders him deaf to things like fire alarms, explosions, agonized screams from the next room, and the telephone. He has a sister with no discernable personality traits. Jennifer Jones has to rescue the two kids, spends half the film's running time (9 hours) walking them upstairs to the Grand Ballroom, and is repaid for her heroism with a death plunge from the Great Glass Elevator. Bobby Brady survives, dammit.
On the ROBIN SCALE, Bobby Brady is a ten out of ten. He was the Brady kid you always wanted to see die in a VERY SPECIAL EPISODE, and it prejudices you against the character in this film. The running gag about the heasdsets rendering him oblivious to A-bomb like explosions doesnt help.
His sister is all but invisible. She is a zero on the TAMMY SCALE.
THE SWARM. Lil Timmy's family gets swarmed to death at a picnic. He survives and attempts vengeance against the bees...he and his friends go to THE FATAL HOLLOW TREE and attempt to kill the bees. They bring garbage cans to hide under, and so survive their botched effort to kill the bees. The bees kill their entire hometown and, eventually, the entire cast of the first half of the film (including them) and a bit later the state of Texas.
Lis TIMMY is a 9 out of 10 on the ROBIN SCALE. His stupidity kills an entire state. He'd be a 10 out of 10, but I subtracted a point because his actions led directly to the death of Olivia deHavilland's character.
deHavilland plays a gracious old lady school teacher with two beaux. She glows with contentment and graciousness, and hambones mercilessly in a VERY 1940s acting style. One of her beaux is seen running along a street in slo-mo, surrounded by swirling coffee grounds. THEN, her student body is stung to death on the playground, by angry coffee grounds, as she watches thru a window and acts and acts and acts. Fred McMurray wins the love battle, but then one scene later the entire cast is killed when the bees run a refugee train off a cliff. deHavilland and McMurray both presumably die, but if it is any consolation the nuclear blast would have killed them anyway, had the train not been wrecked.
TITANIC. Norman. Love child love child never quite as good. He's an annoying little gentleman sort...one suspects that he will grow up to be an adult who demands to be spanked for his sins... and you know that he is moron enough to remaion behind with the father who rejected him. His sister is irritating, too...and his sister's song singing, Rag dancing, all American beau is worse than the other two put together. Norman is an 8 on the ROBIN SCALER OF ANNOYANCE, his sister reminds me of Jill at 16 and so gets a 7 on the JILL SCALE, and her suitor gets a 15 out of 10 on the ROBIN chart, with five extra points being given for NAVAJO RAG.
ROLLERCOASTER. Oh my. Timothy Bottoms plays a psycho who blows up rollercoaster. George Segal plays the investigator who plays Zodiac Killer cat and mouse games with the psycho. NOW, the plot gets good. The greatest rollecoaster ever is about to open, we'll call it the Bowel Loosener, and its a sure bet that Psycho Mn will blow it up. Given that, you'd think that when Segal, who knows more about the case than anyone, tells his daughter (Helen Hunt) and her stepmother (Susan Strasberg) "Dont go near Squalid Acres Amusement Park TODAY," they'd listen. Two seconds after he leaves the house:
HUNT: Can we go to Squalid Acres?
All but guaranteeing that they will be lined up to be victims of the nefarious bomber. Segal runs into them in the park, and tells them "DONT GO ON THE BOWEL LOOSENER" and three seconds after he leaves:
HUNT: Can we go on the Bowel Loosener?
Yes, they live. Not only that, but they are on the ride when it runs over Timothy Bottoms and cuts his head off.
For playing the stupidest teenager in the history of disaster films, Hunt gets a 10 on the TAMMY SCALE.
Oh, but Jim, in THE TOWERING INFERNO, Jennifer Jones' character's death allowed the little girl to deliver the sappy line of "I won't be afraid if you won't be afraid!!", to Susan Blakely's character.
The other comical piece: dealing with little Veronica Cartwright's character, Cathy Brenner, in THE BIRDS.
Even Veronica admitted, later on, that little Cathy is so annoying.
She commented how, after the bird attack at the Schoolhouse, there is the body of the school teacher, played by Suzanne Phleshette, sprawled on the ground. She says one hopes that this is the end, except NO!! there is Cathy, looking out the window, and sniveling away, as Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor approach.
If you like Jill Whelan in AIRPLANE, John, you mut quickly watch ZERO HOUR, and THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY. 90% of Airplane's script was lifted verbatem from Zero Hour, as was its plot.
LITTLE JOEY, does enter the cockpit, where a pro athlete is playing a pilot (in this case "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, and not Kareem Abdul Jabar, and, yes, the pilot seems rather too friendly. HOWEVER, the non-comedy Joey gets a scene that SHOULD have been in Airplane and wasnt: Joey is stuck in his seat, poisoned by the fish, and the middle aged man in the seat next to him makes eye contact. THEN, produces his right hand, which has a face and a hand wig on it, and does an excruciating Senor Wences act.
The High and the Mighty, a John Wayne film, has a similar plot to both Airplane and Zero Hour. The most memorable moment in it comes when the stwewardess bends down in front of John Wayne's little boy and....uhhhh.... inflates his life preserver. That's where the deflated auropilot gag in Airplane came from.
You might also try JULIE, if you dare. Doris Day plays a stewardess in mourning. Louis Jourdan plays the charming man who is wooing her even as he helps her thru the final stages of grief. HOWEVER, he is also the psycho who murdered her husband! After she learns this, he stows awawy on one of her flights, and after the entire cockpit crew is either killed or incapacitated, it is up to the stewardess to land the plane.
Yup... Airport 1975 was a partial ripoff of a 1958 Doris Day film.
Julie is, in its own way, as crazed as Zero Hour and would have made a great template for the plot of AIRPLANE II, which few would disagree was rather lame.
Note that when the scene carries on, the two friends that Gloria Swanson mentions, Carole Lombard and Grace Moore, both died in plane crashes. Miss Swanson wrote her own dialogue, and the question arises ~ was she making an insider kind of reference, or was it just an odd coincidence?
WORSE THAN TAMMY MARIHUGH: The most annoying ingenue ever to appear in a film, ever, the absolute worst bar none, the unsurpassed and unsurpassable nadir is, of course, Donna Wilkes as JACKIE in JAWS 2. The latter half of the film is set to an incessant soundtrack of Jackie's shrieks, interrupted by the occasional moan, sob, or gibber. If THE LAST VOYAGE can be summed up by MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY NO NO NO NO, then Jaws 2 can be summed up be "EEEEEEEEEE" *pant* *pant* EEEEEEEE....etc.
JIMMY JIMMY JIMMY NO NO NO NO NO JIMMY JIMMY NO NO NO! La Marihugh can NEVER be bested. Or worsted. By the way, did you notice this fleeting glimpse of a rather familiar diminutive figure in the Garland wedding clip you linked earlier? Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Hired by the family perhaps to deliver her most famous lines, in the spirit of the occasion? Pity it isn't in colour, then we'd know for sure.