The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum


I don’t get the title “The Poseidon Adventure”.  Being trapped in an overturned luxury cruise ship and fighting for your life doesn’t seem too much of an adventure to me.  Wouldn’t the title “The Poseidon Disaster” or “The Poseidon Accident” be more appropriate?  Anyway, this is one 70’s disaster flick that doesn’t quite live up to it’s reputation.


If you don’t already know, this movie is all about a cruise ship that gets hit by a tidal wave and flips over.  End of story.  Some of the biggest names in Hollywood are on the ship and have to work their way to the bottom of the boat to be rescued.  We’ve got Ernest Borgnine and Stella Stevens.  There’s Red Buttons and Roddy McDowall.  Most importantly, there’s Gene Hackman acting like a total pimp as the unorthodox preacher who tries to lead his flock off the boat.  How do we know he’s an unorthodox preacher?  Cuz he says a few mild curse words and touches Shelley Winters’ ass, that’s how.


Hackman’s scenery chewing is easily the best thing about the movie.  The second best thing is seeing an all-star cast getting hit with gallons of water.  The third best thing is the stupid special effects which range from crappy toy boats (err… models) to inverted camerawork that makes it look like people are falling to their deaths.  The fourth best thing is… umm…


Let’s move on to the bad.  There’s plenty here.  As previously mentioned, there isn’t enough story here to fill a lifeboat.  To call the characters “thinly sketched” would be an understatement.  Take Stella Stevens’ character for instance.  She plays a former hooker that’s afraid that she’ll be noticed by her former clients.  Well, after the boat flips over no one seems to ever talk to her, let alone make a crude comment about her past.  Score one for Stella.


And as influential and popular as The Poseidon Adventure was, I have to say it left me kind of cold.  While the disaster clichés came fast and furious during the film’s second half, all the climbing and swimming and yelling and fighting just got monotonous after awhile.  And the less said about the nauseating theme song, “There’s Got to Be a Morning After” the better.


Still, it’s kinda cool that this movie features the villains from BOTH Cleopatra Jones movies (Winters and Stevens).

Tags: disaster movie, p
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