Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cyclone (1978)

For some unknown reason, I'd been wanting to see this movie for a real long time. I first read about it in Jay Slater's great book "Eaten Alive" - which I'd highly recommend - about five years ago, and have been on a search for it ever since. Slater's review wasn't exactly glowing, but even so, a movie that combined cannibalism with shark attacks kinda sounded like my vibe.

Cyclone opens in a strange fashion, hopping between different groups of people that are soon to fall victim to a supposedly vicious cyclone and left stranded at sea. Introducing about 1,000 different characters, it takes its time (REALLY takes its time) to follow these guys and subjects the viewer to a good half hour of inane chit chat that seems to never end. Once the cyclone actually hits, we're treated to a half-arsed montage of stock storm footage, and hilarious scenes that basically involve a hose spraying on some branches while some poor schmuck waves them around unenthusiastically off-screen. Once everyone's finally lost at sea, we get to know the characters a little more, whether we like it or not. We have a stern bearded guy who assumes the lead role, the old dude from Hart To Hart and an extremely weird woman whose dog (named Christmas, because "he was born at the same as Jesus") is her only concern. Joke's on her, because Christmas isn't exactly in for a good time.

Here's the thing. Cyclone's most bizarre trait is it's unbelievably long running time. At just under two hours, it's impossibly long for a low budget Italian exploitation movie. What's even more crazy is that there's barely enough relevant material there to make up an hour, so Christ knows what the makers were thinking stretching things out that much. I can't tell you how many times I paused this movie just for a break from the intense boredom of listening to these arseholes ramble on about water rationing. What's even worse, there are numerous scenes of their relatives receiving news of their disappearance, which have absolutely no relevance to what's going on in the movie. Just get to the freaking sharks!

After what feels like about 3 days worth of footage, the sharks finally appear and occasionally take a chomp out of the odd cast member. Naturally, you pretty much see nothing of this, which obviously defeats the purpose of watching a movie like this entirely. The only scene that causes any kind of stir is an incredibly grim scene where Christmas the dog has his throat slit and the cast feast on his innards - being an animal lover, I'm presuming this was staged, but it's pretty graphic, and it's kind of irritating that the only real gore in this movie comes from the killing of a dog, especially considering he's probably most talented member of the cast.

And so, Cyclone trundles along, there's some more talking, and finally the boat sinks and everyone gets eaten. That isn't exactly a spoiler, because if you can make it to the end of this movie, you deserve a medal. In fact, I'm going to make myself a celebratory coffee right now and toast my ability to sit through virtually any piece of shit movie without losing my mind smashing my TV into a billion pieces.

So this is my life.


  1. I love your blog.

    I just did a fashion collection inspired by obscure horror films/ VHS slasher cover art from the 80s.

    I would love to show you, you would probably get a kick out of it.
    Email me if you want:

  2. This was an awesome movie I watched this movie when I was a kid and it terrified me to Death almost and ever since then I haven't ever wanted to fly on a plane that flies over the Ocean. But ya the movie now a days I look at it and it looks fake but the point is its still a movie and come on what were you expecting to see some real footage of a shark biting a person? Hahaha that would be considered Snuff and that's illegal!!!


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