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Volcano (1997)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | 25 April 1997 (USA)
2:27 | Trailer

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



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,179 ( 1,133)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gator Harris
Laurie Lathem ...
Bert Kramer ...
Bo Eason ...
Terry Jasper (as James G. MacDonald)
Roger Lapher


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


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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Release Date:

25 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vulkan  »


Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,581,740, 27 April 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The lava was primarily made of methylcellulose, the thickening agent used in fast-food milkshakes. See more »


The quake started at 5:14am. At 5:17, we see Roark headed east in the car on Wilshire Blvd. The family dog Max is not with them. It is revealed at the end of the movie that Roark left the dog with Emmett to keep him safe. But there's no way that Roark could've dropped off the dog at the office in that short amount of time. He was see in the doorway with Kelly when the quake started. The times between the events happening and the volcano happening at those points are confused. See more »


Dr. Jaye Calder: We have put the kids in the mall. The Hard Rock I think.
Norman Calder: Okay, you've done your duty. Can we go now?
Amy: Are you sure she is there?
Dr. Jaye Calder: Yes. I've left her with some kids.
[to Norman]
Dr. Jaye Calder: Norman, hold this.
[hands Norman a pack of interferon]
Norman Calder: [hands a person the interferon] Here take this.
[to Jaye]
Norman Calder: These people are strangers Jaye! Are you gonna die for them? Jaye, answer me!
See more »


Where the Day Takes You
Written by Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman and Maxine Lapiduss
Performed by Wendy & Lisa
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Television
See more »

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User Reviews

Mick Jackson's Antithesis to THREADS
2 September 2004 | by 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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