Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Movie Review: Atomic Twister

Atomic Twister
Once Upon a Time Films, TBS Superstation, USA, 2002. 

Single-mother Corrine Maguire (Sharon Lawrence) and her son Campbell (Daniel Costello) have moved to small town in Tennessee. Neighbour Jake Hannah (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) is a virile police officer, who has a childhood's trauma. Tornado killed his mother, or that's what the told to Campbell. Jake has trouble with his former girl friend Ashley Bishop (Charmaine Guest) whose father happens to be Jake's boss Sheriff C.B. Bishop (Corbin Bernsen). So there is enough drama potential for a regular teen soap-opera. 
Sharon Lawrence
Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Charmaine Guest
Campbell is a player-wannabe who wants to play Twister with his considerably older and curvy nanny Stacy (Joanna Morrison). Naughty kid. 
Joanna Morrison
But this is a disaster movie though. Corrine works in Helman-Klein nuclear plant. Security guard Stu (performed by Olympic champion Carl Lewis) is the only security of the plant that is manned by about 5 people. The reactor is safe and protected from meltdown. But is it tornado-proof? Of course not! The tornado is threatening the plant and even Stu can not sprint fast enough to avoid a dark fate. The communications are lost and the Standard Operating Procedure for Disaster Situations seems to be gone with the wind as no-one really knows what to do. Jake brings an emergency radio, but it only works outside (!) Also the nuclear power plant has chronic power shortages (!!)
Carl Lewis
This makes the safety procedures and management of Chernobyl look good.

If the tornado blows up the Calvin-Klein plant, it would have a huge negative impact on the property prices of the state (bad). So Dr. Martin Jennings (James Gaylyn) from Nuclear Regulatory Commission sends some experts to prevent the disaster. The only expert who gets to the location on time is Manuel Fluentez (George Henare) so Corrine and her work-mates Neville (John Sumner), Gail (Meryl Main) and Potter (Jonathan Blick) have to gain time to prevent the disaster. At the same time Corinne tries to save her son.
Meryl Main
Gail stares at the monitor while Corrine looks horrified
Jonathan Blick and John Sumner
Potter and Neville
Modest TV movie has dramatic music that sometimes sounds like background music from original "MacGyver." Although it is not quite worst of Syfy-style films, there are many scenes that make you shake your head. There is not much believability and the technical details are horrible. In one scene a guy has to walk through a  radioactive area to hit the shutdown switch. One would think moving quickly would shorten the exposure time to radiation but no. Let's stroll slowly admiring the scenery instead. And with Stu dead just about anyone can wander into the nucular plant without hindrance. And if something is broken, kick it and it works again.
Yes, they really are tornadoes.

Some amusingly bad scenes and nice-looking ladies make it watchable. Otherwise it is pretty basic cheap disaster film that delivers a small amount of suspense.

No radiation-laced tornado is seen. Now that would be silly. That would be like combining already dangerous tornado with something overkill like sharks. What?
Corbin Bernsen drinking coffee

Rating: Bad or So bad it is good

Starring: Sharon Lawrence, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Carl Lewis, Jonathan Blick, Daniel Costello, Charmaine Guest, George Henare, John Leigh, John Sumner, Corbin Bernsen, David Aston, Paul Barrett, Grant Bridger, Katrina Devine, Peter Feeney, Taylor Garton, James Gaylyn, Michele Hine, Meryl Main, Joanna Morrison, Ashleigh Seagar, Jared Michael Thomas, Louise Wallace, Sara Wiseman, Roz Turnbull, Jak Wyld
Director: Bill Corcoran


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