Monstervision 100% Weird presents
WHOLE LOT OF SHAKING GOING ON
Seismologists have been predicting a major earthquake for the Los Angeles area for many years now but, except for some minor shakes and quakes, nothing catastrophic has occurred.......yet! But suppose L.A. was hit with an earthquake that registered 9.9 on the Richter scale? What would that look like? That's the basic premise of "Earthquake," an all-star disaster epic which stitches together several soap opera plots and then unravels them completely in an earth-shaking climax. The film was one of the top money-makers of 1974 and the appeal was obvious. Who, after all, doesn't enjoy a good disaster flick and this one was a doozie. Crumbling skyscrapers, bursting dams, landslides, gaping ground fissures, and freak fires are the real stars of Earthquake. The film was so popular in fact that Universal Studios decided to incorporate the experience into their famous Universal Tour, minus the original cast members.
When Earthquake was first released theatrically, it was shown in "Sensurround," a unique sound system which made theatres appear to shake during the quake sequences. Unfortunately, TNT won't be able to duplicate that experience but you can still enjoy the sight of Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Lorne Greene of Battlestar Galactica, Richard Roundtree of Theodore Rex, George Kennedy, Genevieve Bujold, Victoria Principal, Marjoe Gortner and their stunt doubles getting tossed out of windows, falling into giant holes, and dodging falling debris. If you look closely in one scene, you can even see the special stunt double cows - a carload of plastic toy cattle going over the side of a cliff.
Earthquake was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound (It won the Oscar for the latter). It also received a "Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects" at the Oscar ceremony. By the way, it was the only film by screenwriter Mario Puzo released in between Puzo's two mega-classics: The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather, Part 2 (1974)
Wednesday, July 2, 1997 at 2:00 a.m. ET
"Earthquake" is available on video and on DVD
Walter Matthau (his real name, though his father spelled it Matthow) had a cameo as a drunk in "Earthquake" and listed himself in the credits as "Walter Matuschanskayasky." Ever since then, some trivia books have erroniously listed this as his real name.
MonsterVision 100% Weird for week of June 23, 1997
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