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Tornado! (1996)

PG | | Action, Drama | TV Movie 7 May 1996
An accountant sent to produce an evaluation of a tornado research project, and the scientist running the project pursue tornadoes and each other.


Noel Nosseck


John Logan


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Campbell ... Jake Thorne
Shannon Sturges ... Samantha 'Sam' Callen
Ernie Hudson ... Dr. Joe Branson
L.Q. Jones ... Ephram Thorne
Bo Eason Bo Eason ... Tex Fulton
Charles Homet Charles Homet ... Richie Cochran
Carrie Boren Carrie Boren ... Mattie Peck
Aaron Izbicki Aaron Izbicki ... Oliver Nessle
John Mansfield John Mansfield ... Andy Ward
Jeannie Fitzsimmons Jeannie Fitzsimmons ... Margie Ward
Juli Erickson ... Zeena
Steve Flanagin ... Mr. Peck
Mona Lee Fultz ... Mrs. Peck
Carmen Nogales Carmen Nogales ... Lucy's Mother
Shannon Woodward ... Lucy


Jake is a storm chaser whose friend Dr. Branson has developed a machine that can help detect tornados and provide earlier warnings. Samantha 'Sam' Callen is an auditor who has come to evaluate the project and decide whether more research should be conducted or not. Jake must try and make the machine work and also convince Sam not to shut down the research. They must also dodge tornados in the meantime. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hell has no fury like a twister.


Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some perilous weather sequences and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

7 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Торнадо See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Released on May 7th, 1996 to capitalize on Twister (1996), which was released on May 10th, 1996 in the U.S. See more »


Tornadoes don't have a calm center, most have mini-cyclones rotating around the main vortex. See more »


Jake Thorne: Hey, are we flirting here?
Sam Callen: If we are, we're rusty as hell.
Jake Thorne: Nothing a little oil won't fix.
See more »


I'm Worth It
Written by John Hill, Austin Roberts, and Freddie Weller
Performed by Austin Roberts
See more »

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User Reviews

Like Twister but with no special effects – ie poor and pointless
17 August 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Samantha Callen is sent down to twister country to assess the financial merits of a tornado research project and, if possible, shut it down to save money. She meets the project manager Dr Branson who is passionate, and his associate Jake Thorne who is very much the cowboy. Her role is to close the project down and Jake knows it but despite this the two find themselves attracted to one another. When Sam sees the effects of a tornado first hand she struggles with the decisions she is supposed to implement – but can Branson's technology really make a difference?

On 28th July 2005, a part of south Birmingham was hit by a small tornado, ripping up roofs, buildings, fences and hurting about 30 people. It was also on this day that I decided to watch this TVM, thinking that I might as well do it while it is topical if nothing else. Unsurprisingly trying to ride the coattails of Twister, this film fails to deliver in any way and manages to make the hollow event of Twister look like it is Citizen Kane. The plot is insipid and pointless, failing to make me care about the people or the scenario. The lack of action means that we were clearly expected to get into the plot, something that I couldn't do. The total lack of budget is a bit of a problem since even Twister struggled to be a good film with a massive special effects budget. Tornado has a few very poor effects and some moments of people running around in a wind machine – they are laughable rather than exciting and there was nothing here either. I did wonder what it was trying to do (other than cash in) because with both plot and effects poor at best there is no reason to bother.

The cast cannot do anything to stop the rot either, despite the names. Campbell is good in some films but here he is just a big block of wood that delivers his lines with all the charisma of bookcase and the urgency of a dead badger. His attempts to have chemistry with Sturges are admirable enough but he can't do it. He isn't helped by her just turning up and expecting it all to fall into place with no effort – she is poor throughout. Hudson is rubbish and LQ Jones only brings some cult appeal. As with the plot, delivery and effects – the actors are pointless and poor on the whole.

Overall this is a poor attempt to cash in on the interest in the film Twister in 1996. Of course since we now all know that that was poor as well, it is unlikely that Tornado will do much business as the years pass – only watched by those that lack the sense god gave them (me) or real Bruce Campbell fans. No effects, no plot of note, no characters and no performances = no point.

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