WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When I’m alone and life is making me lonely I know I can always go – to the DVD cupboard and rake through it long enough until I find a movie by The Asylum. I’d had a rough day and I knew that only a movie with implausible disasters and highly questionable science would do the trick, and so far as those two things go Super Cyclone is a major winner. It’s so implausible and questionable, in fact, that I didn’t even believe the opening credits. Plus it has Dylan Vox in it, and wherever that man goes absolute cheese is sure to follow. I’m going to try and explain this bizarre series of events to you, but I recommend getting yourselves a copy and watching it yourselves – this one’s good for a few dozen laughs.
OK, so, the movie goes a little something like this. We start off on an oil rig where the men are out going about their day as usual. They’re about to tap into a rather large oil deposit which, given the current economic climate, is going to mean good business all round. During the survey of the area, however, nobody seemed to notice the GIANT magma pocket located just next to the oil, and the rig drills into it. This sudden release of pressure creates a super volcano that begins to erupt under the ocean, as well as taking out a series of small islands. Despite the fact that the rig is clearly floating, it also starts to leak into the structure but without causing any serious damage or threat to the people on board.
This erupting super volcano begins to cause a number of problems. First of all, it starts to make the ocean boil. No really – the ocean is bubbling like a kettle. This, in turn, creates a massive cyclone above the rig that’s roughly the size of the entire continent of North America, and it’s (very) gradually making its way towards land. Now this cyclone is particularly dangerous because it’s also creating freak lightning storms, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. The other problem comes in with the oil reserve – the oil begins to mix with the lava, gets sucked up into the cyclone and suddenly the whole storm (and subsequently the sky) are on fire.
Thankfully Dr Jenna Sparks is on the case. She’s Asian and uses phrases like “We may be able to use my nanotechnology research to stop the storm!”, so you know she’s gonna be able to save us all. Of course, before she can save us all she has to get herself to a safe location, which is tricky in amongst the general looting, angry black hillbillies with guns, and minor catastrophic flooding. Her first plan to save mankind involves taking one tiny plane with a suicidal pilot, flying it into the eye of the cyclone and seeding it. This will stop the storm and, through some mysteries of science, also plug the volcano. When that fails she’ll have to resort to a more daring plan of that involves a navy destroyer, some good sailing, and a tanker of liquid nitrogen. Then, and only then, will she be able to call herself Earth’s saviour and begin dating one of the daring young men that assisted her in this endeavour.
Note to self: when you win the lottery, donate an actual helicopter to The Asylum so they don’t need to keep CGing them in. It just looks silly when people are meant to look like they’re being blown by the wind from the propellers and the helicopter hasn’t been edited in anywhere near them.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation cures people with serious burn wounds.
- ‘Hold it together’ literally means grabbing onto a plank of wood and trying to stop an oil rig from falling apart.
- Warm water and moist air are the real Devil’s playground.
- Every movie needs a crew member to act as the designated hay thrower.
- Performing minor surgery in a ship’s kitchen in no way compromises minimum hygiene standards.
- Clean shirts are the signature look of a man with a college education.
- The oceans in the tropics are known to boil from time to time.
- Modern ships and cars are designed to withstand being picked up and dropped by enormous tornadoes.
- After being adrift in near-boiling water for 5 hours what you really want is to be covered with a blanket.
SUPER CYCLONE TRAILER
BUY SUPER CYCLONE AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 2009
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror / Action
IMDB Rating: 5.7 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
To be honest I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch this. I’ve never read the book and I haven’t seen the 1962 movie or the 1981 series. What drew me to it was a curiosity about how they were going to use 3 hours and make a story that centred around carnivorous, semi-sentient, mobile plants. The result? A very enjoyable way to pass 3 hours if you feel like spending a lazy evening in bed and watching the world go to hell at the roots of the angriest plants to ever scrape themselves across the planet.
The world is about to witness something truly spectacular! As the sun reaches its solar maximum the aurora borealis is expected to be seen across the world in cities as far south as New York and large parts of Europe. People from across the world have gathered to witness this spectacular event unfold as the skies turn a beautiful mix of golds and reds and flashing auroras. Unfortunately something goes very wrong and the maximum reaches a level that was not predicted and, as people look on, a massive explosion from the sun makes anyone looking on go blind. London descends into chaos as people stumble through the streets trying to find their way around, cars crash and planes drop out of the sky. But this is just the beginning of the world’s problems (although the script writers seem to have forgotten that half of the planet would have been facing away from the sun, but this isn’t important).
We don’t know where they came from but, with global warming becoming an ever-more evident problem, the Triffids appeared to be the answer to all the world’s problems: with minor genetic modification the domesticated variety of Triffid can be coaxed into producing a limitless supply of oil that can replace fossil fuels and produce absolutely no pollution. What are Triffids? They are plants that appear to be sentient and capable of communication with one another as well as being able to move around on their own. The downside to them? Triffids are carnivorous plants capable of hunting prey with a very nasty temper on them. Usually they are cultivated on specialised farms where the public is kept blissfully unaware of the nastier side to their energy problems and the plants are kept under control by highly-skilled teams of scientists and guards. But with most of the world blind and the power failing across the country the Triffids manage to escape with the help of one lunatic human where they begin their march towards a source of food: London.
In amongst all this chaos we’re introduced to our two main characters: Dr Bill Masen, a specialist who studies the Triffids, and Jo Playton, a local TV anchor woman. Bill had been stung by a Triffid (which always go for the eyes) the day before the solar storm and as such didn’t see what happened when the world lost its sight. Jo was travelling to a different location to report on the auroras when the storm happened, so she was in the London Underground. They manage to find one another in the midst of London as people try to defend themselves as best they can and with the Triffids edging closer to the city. The Triffids, however, aren’t the only threat to the blind: not everyone who can still see have the most honourable intentions and small enclaves of society begin to set themselves up and try to defend themselves against one another and the Triffids. It’s up to Bill and Jo to try and find a way out of London, avoid being eaten and try to find a way to stop the Triffids before they find their way to the blind population left undefended across the UK.
From what I can tell people who have read the book, seen the original movie or seen the 1981 BBC mini-series were not blown away by this version but if, like me, you’ve never heard of a Triffid and had no idea what one was, this little adaptation is very enjoyable and a great way to pass a rainy afternoon.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- The entire planet faces the sun at the same time.
- The warning ‘don’t look into the sun’ should be ignored during a solar storm.
- There’s always that one person ready to release man-eating creatures loose in order to prove a point.
- Never trust a nun sending blind people into the woods to ‘found a new ministry’.
- A native American mask will solve most problems when you’re faced with man-eating plants.
DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS TRAILER: