Seizmologist Hoichi loses touch with his family when he predicts that there will be an earthquake in Tokyo of greater magnitude than the one in 1923, which his father predicted. Because of this he starts seeing another woman, who already has a boyfriend. Hoichi's wife wants to meet her before she will grant a divorce. Eventually, the earthquake he predicted does come, which changes all relationships and exemplifies the character of the Japanese. Written by
Scott Hutchins <email@example.com>
Compared to films like The Swarm or When Time Ran Out, Jishin Retto (Deathquake, Earthquake 7.9, Megaforce 7.9, etc.) stands as a very competent disaster film. It even stands very well when pitted against some of the higher class disaster movies released before it. The fact that the film centers around plot lines that would have better place in The Young and the Restless than in a disaster film tends to bog it down during the first hour, though. But at the midway point, the quake hits, and we are treated to a mishmash of new effects and stock footage from Nippon Chinbotsu (and even the exploding freeway scene from Nosoturodamasu no Daiyogen). Not that this is a bad thing. The effects for all of those films were done by Teruyoshi Nakano, and he creates some great new images while not going overboard in the use of stock footage. The acting, direction, and special effects are all rather well done, and the music and color schemes help to give the film a fittingly dark tone. I was lucky enough to purchase this film on the now oop Toho released laserdisc, which preserves the original 127 minute running time as well as presents the film in stunningly high quality. I have no trouble recommending this film to fans of the disaster genre.
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