To Irish people the recent weather has seemed apocalyptic. We’re totally unused to this kind of snow and are ill-equipped to deal with it. Every time people venture outside it’s with a sense of foreboding. How icy is it? Will my car work? Will the traffic be gridlocked? Will I slip comedically and be a laughing stock on Irish news reports? All in all it’s considerably less than fun.
The weather inspired me to dig out some disaster movies, just to put things in perspective. I have talked before about my irrational love for disaster movies and I’m always on the lookout for ones I haven’t seen. I was in Laser and came across The Poseidon Adventure. I’m amazed I haven’t seen this classic until now. The film tells the story of a luxury ocean liner which is capsized by a tsunami and the journey of a handful of survivors, lead by Gene Hackman as Reverend Frank Scott, who struggle to find a way out of the ship before it sinks. Recently-deceased legend Leslie Neilsen plays the ship’s captain and Shelley Winters and Ernest Borgnine also star. If you haven’t seen it it’s definitely one to watch but make sure you avoid the 2006 remake as it’s supposed to be dire!
I then watched War of the Worlds. Not strictly speaking a disaster movie but given that it’s directed by Stephen Spielberg, king of science fiction movies, I thought it would be worth a watch and I was right. I know it’s a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster but it works and the special effects are brilliant. The ending is a tiny bit lame, but disaster movies always go for the schmalzy ending. I guess if I’d just survived the end of the world I might feel a little corny too!
I think I’m going to rediscover the classic disasters over the next few weeks and Airport has got to be on my list.