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Volcano (1997)

 -  Action | Drama | Sci-Fi  -  25 April 1997 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 49,058 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 170 user | 82 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

A volcano erupts in downtown L.A., threatening to destroy the city.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Volcano (1997)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Laurie Lathem ...
Bert Kramer ...
L.A. Fire Chief
Bo Eason ...
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Terry Jasper (as James G. MacDonald)
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Storyline

Something unspeakably chilling is ultimately starting to heat up at The City of Los Angeles! Beneath the famed La Brea Tar Pits, a raging volcano has formed, raining a storm of deadly fire bombs and an endless tide of white-hot lava upon the stunned city! Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There are 1,500 active volcanoes that we know about...and one that we don't. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense depiction of urban disaster and related injuries | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vulkan  »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$62,600,000 (Non-US) (31 October 1997)

Gross:

$47,474,112 (USA) (1 August 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the fire trucks used in the movie were made by the Crown Corporation, a fire apparatus maker now closed down. The Crown fire trucks in the movie can be easily recognized by the double-vertical headlights. See more »

Goofs

As the lava flows up to the K-rail dam, it flows around street lights and traffic light poles. Flowing magma is between 700°C and 1350°C. Aluminum, with a melting point of 660°C, would have melted as soon as the lava reached it. A steel chain link fence melts into the flow. Depending on its composition, steel melts between 1050°C and 1550°C. See more »

Quotes

Woman: Mike, you have a call on your private line...
Roark: Oh, that'll be my little girl wanting a tattoo.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Boxing Gym
Written by James Newton Howard
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User Reviews

 
Mick Jackson's Antithesis to THREADS
2 September 2004 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I find it's impossible to write a review of a Mick Jackson movie without pointing out that in 1984 he shocked the nation of Britain with his nuclear holocaust docu-drama THREADS . Anyone who saw that on its BBC broadcast will never forget the grim , bleak , depressing and powerful depiction of the end of humanity . Seeing as THREADS was set in the Yorkshire town of Sheffield and filmed on a budget of what appeared to be three dollars fifty cents you'd think he'd use some of his unquestionable talent and VOLCANO's $90 million budget to make a convincing scenario of a city devastated by events beyond its control

But Jackson has been there , done that , bought the T-Shirt and written his name in broadcasting history with THREADS and the last thing he wants is to make another grim shocker where millions of city dwellers die . Picking the dumbest script imaginable Jackson has decided he's going to enjoy himself this time and filmed the complete opposite to his nuclear holocaust horror show .

Remember in THREADS a myriad of scientific advisers were used ? It goes without saying that no scientific bodies were consulted in the making of VOLCANO . Mind you this may actually work in the context of the story since the characters are so dumb , there is a logic to having a bunch of underground workers being burned to death and no one saying " Hey these men were killed by lava . If we don't evacuate the city millions of people are going to be burned alive by a volcanic eruption "

Remember in THREADS after the bomb drops its everyman for himself ? That was probably the most terrifying thing about the docu-drama , of having your throat cut for your meager supplies of food . But not here where the guardians of law and order are not only noble enforcers of justice throughout the movie but also make sure no one is discriminated on the grounds of race and culture . You've also got the feeling that if looters existed in this movie they wouldn't be shot but given a place on a counseling program

There's also a similar aspect to the above . In THREADS people are left in the rubble to die since it's not practical to save them . Here the laws of physics have been changed so that if anyone is trapped under a burning truck a passer by can magically lift up the truck with one hand thereby rescuing the injured party . There's even a scene of self sacrifice that has to be seen to be believed , not that the scene was in any way believable to start with

The English speaking world are obsessed with their pets and Jackson used this to harrowing effect in THREADS . We saw family pets suffocating in firestorms . If you didn't feel sorry for the human beings killed you'd feel sorry for the poor animals . In VOLCANO we're treated to several scenes of pets in peril being rescued . I'm not sure how many people die on screen but I'm certain not one single type of mammal dies on screen apart from homo sapiens

I don't believe for one moment that Mick Jackson's contrast between this and THREADS is coincidental - It's done entirely on purpose with the only connection being a scene of irony . In THREADS this takes the form of characters standing in front of a billboard advertising life insurance while in VOLCANO a character reads a book on writing screenplays . You won't need life insurance when the bomb drops while VOLCANO shows being able to read a book on screenplays doesn't mean you're capable of writing one

Unfortunately VOLCANO flopped at the box office and only made half its production costs in American cinemas which effectively ended Mick Jackson's successful Hollywood career which is shameful . I don't know about you but anyone who can direct two pieces of totally contrasting work is a literal genius in my opinion


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