Survivors of an upturned cruise liner race against time to climb to the bottom of the ship. Earnest and clunky, this early entrant into the 70s disaster movie cycle is nevertheless impressive in its technical credits and its commitment of approach, and in its blending of veteran, current, and emerging onscreen talent. Based on a Paul Gallico novel: a sequel and other adaptations followed.
A compromised smoke jumper finds herself protecting a boy against a pair of hired assassins. Competent if plasticky thriller with action elements. Strong casting and some badassery helps, but the thin story and a reliance on iffy CG and greenscreen for production value are hindrances.
An expedition to Earth’s hollow centre searches for a power source critical to fight the Titans. Following Godzilla: King of the Monsters, this series continuation pillages everything from At The Earth’s Core to, er, The Core. Some neat moments aside, though, this is uninvolving CG monster city battle gubbins with a decent cast stranded.
A dying physicist attempts to get a message to a returning spacecraft. Lop-sided though well-meant SF drama, an adaptation of Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. The story’s wafer-thin, so has to resort to tickbox genre jeopardy done better elsewhere. A shame, as there’s a fine, quiet drama here somewhere.
Assorted Brits book onto a package break to the resort of Elsbels. Single entendre-tastic and somewhat shopworn series entry, focused – like others of its time – on holidaying to set up character arcs, innuendo and basic gags. Almost a subversion of the disaster genre: Peter Butterworth is on fine form here.
Trucker brothers transport key equipment over treacherous ice roads to rescue trapped miners. Straightforward thriller with action elements, riffing on Hawksian reality TV and The Wages of Fear. Somewhat perfunctory in plotting and direction, though a decent cast, location shooting, and some character elements add value.
A dysfunctional mother tries to protect her unique child after a freak event which prevents people from sleeping. Patchy Bird Box/Children of Men variant that struggles to tell its miniseries story within a movie running time. A decent (if not always well-used) cast and a few nicely weird moments help, tho.
A US space vehicle suffers a failure prior to re-entry: NASA works on solving the problem. Stolid SF drama trying to present a realistic version of an Apollo-ish space race-era disaster possibility. Slow and serious, and not especially dramatic as a consequence.
A new San Francisco skyscraper catches fire on opening: a firefighter and the building’s architect work together. About the best of the 70s cycle of disaster movies: Inferno is star-packed, properly spectacular and hubris-tastic – if slightly po-faced – showcasing fun practical effects and stunt work.
A crew is assembled to pull a vault heist against the clock in a zombie-infested Las Vegas. High-concept, messy, bloated and undisciplined action-horror. There’s a tight 95 minute flick in the material: while this is undemanding genre fun while it’s on, it’s second-hand stuff all the way.