Monday, October 19, 2009


Original Title: Ciclón
Year: 1978
Director: René Cardona Jr.
Writer: René Cardona Jr., Carlos Valdemar
Genre: Adventure/Disaster

This review is dedicated to a Mr. Heavenztrash! Check out his blog at

My opinion of this film has nothing to do with my opinion of him! haha. He's a class act

An airplane goes down in the ocean during a storm and a few survivors find refuge on a small tour boat. Swept out to sea, these people slowly starve to death in the hot sun with barely any food or clean water. With no place to turn, the boat survivors resort to cannibalism to stay alive...that is ..until the rescue planes come to pick them up and the man eating sharks decide its time to eat as well.

As a survivor stranded at sea might, I felt I grew a beard after watching Cardona Jr.'s Cyclone. This uncut edition clocks in at two hours! After initially confusing Cyclone for the cut up USA video version Terror Storm, I was excited to come across this version. Surely the extra 20 minutes or so would have some extra spicy sleaze.

Boy was I wrong.

I realize the synopsis above is a bit spoilery, but I really think that these elements are a given for this type of film. The real plot is how human relationships unfold and such. And for me, every single person was annoying and I wanted them all to be munched! (Save a couple I suppose)

There are loads of actors here. Considering the length of the film, you would think we would get to know maybe at least a couple. But no such luck. No one gets a real opportunity to shine unless it is in a negative light. The crazy religious dog lady (Caroll Baker) in particular was so fucking annoying with her dog Christmas and her overacting and her YYYECH. I was praying for a shark to do one of those awesome leaps out of the water and just snatch her away.

Her dog was named Christmas because he was born on the same day as Jesus.


Who writes this shit? Oh, wait...

I don't know if it annoyed me more that it was poorly written and acted, or that I know there are probably 25 ladies within 10 miles of me now who would act the same way.

All the genre-specific characters are here besides her as well. The crotchety old man, the handsome level-headed leader (Andrés García), the pregnant lady, the black couple, the hot-head, the alcoholic, the doctor all make appearances.

Even good ol' Hugo Stiglitz shows up as an unnamed pilot. I felt no connection to any of the characters, and it made any horrific things that may happen to them purely a spectacle and nothing else.

That all said though, how much hot can you cram into one shot? Andres and fluffy hair are just competing for attention there. Who needs to act when you got the machismo??

The story for me was a real snoozefest. Cardona really didnt bring much here besides linking a few "spectacular" (I use the term loosely) shots together with lots of people pointlessly arguing or floating there. So much floooooaaaaaaaaattttttiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnggggggggg. It didn't help my head that the camera was often attached to the boat so my motion sickness radar was screaming.

But god was this boring. I have noticed this about Cardona's films it seems, that the overall narrative lacks and the films just end up being attempts at shocking or titillating scenes chained together.

It was obvious that he was operating on a shoestring budget, as was probably the norm for Cardona. The shark attacks amounted to footage of sharks biting random things with some sort of red dye in them. The plane crash itself had our passengers getting sprayed with a firehose. I read that actual corpses were used in footage, but I really didn't see where this would be evident except perhaps a scene with the plane after it sank. The items the sharks were chewing on rarely looked like anything recognizable.

By the time we get to the scenes that are supposed to be shocking, you've dealt with so much bobbing boat and people lying around moaning that it lessens the effect. The plot was easy to follow, certainly, but it just drug on for too long. Maybe I should have watched the 20 minute shorter Terror Storm after all.

There's other ways this film could have moved... from a much longer cyclone to more arguing on the boat... I don't know...

Bleh, I should write more but whatever.

Save your time and watch something else

Score: 3.75 / 10

No comments: