No. It's not some dire weather event. Well it is but this one exists
only in the movies and probably just as well. Let me explain. I was having lunch. It was cold so I ate in the living room where the wood heater resides and as you do, I turned on the telly and caught 500 MPH STORM
It stars Casper Van Dien, (here on in known as CVD for brevity) an
action movie actor, although the word actor is probably overdoing
things a bit.
He has a delivery style which I think could best be categorised as
gabble. I pondered on why this should be and all I could come up
with was the thought that perhaps he has the memory span of a
goldfish and therefore has to get his lines out as fast as humanly
possible before he forgets.
So the plot. (again using that word dignifies it a bit). Some sort
of experiment with scientists shooting unknown beams into the
atmosphere which makes the weather go postal.
Storms abound.. they get worse and worse .. our hero CVD is a
science teacher somewhere or other with his idiot, whiney teenage son and
forever gurning wife.
CVD realises before they do that there is danger a-coming so he
races up to his family and orders them into the car and announces they
are going to find shelter without burdening them with an
explanation. He ignores their whys (CVD waited to long to deliver
his lines and forgot?)
There follows many, many many minutes (or was it hours? - it felt
like it) of them speeding about the place in an SUV dodging dodgy
SFX which I think was supposed to represent tornados. He decides
the safest place is in this huge abandoned factory with lots glass
window which we all know the ONLY safe place to shelter during a tornado.
They pause there for a few minutes before there are heavy clunking
sounds and he decides no, this isn't the place.. High Ground. That's what he needs. Don't know why. If CVD ever knew the reason
his goldfish memory ensured he's long forgotten.
During this headlong race to find a place of safety his son whines that
he wants to go home. "I can get on the internet" he says apropos of
nothing that I can discern. "You can't" says CVD, " there is no
internet. "Why not?" asks idiot son. Good god, not enough that the son may
have inherited his father's goldfish memory and forgotten they are
fleeing the 500 MPH STORM, but he seems to have inherited his
mother's deductive reasoning abilities. But never mind, good old CVD
knows.. the storm has knocked out all communications, there is no
Now a word about the script, if indeed there was one. It was littered with awkward pauses (now perhaps I'm being
unkind to the script writers. Perhaps that was down to CVD's goldfish
memory rather than the writers putting in awkward pauses while they
tried to think of the next thing to say)
There were also the scientific explanations which seemed to run thus:
someone, usually idiot, whiney son or gurning wife would ask a
question, CVD would explain incomprehensibly after which gurning wife
would rephrase the question and answer it in a slightly less puzzling
fashion ( and when I say less puzzling, I don't mean that it made much sense. That would be asking way too much of the movie). Aah, so that's her purpose, she's a prompt and translator for
the goldfish..err CVD I mean.
They end up somewhere or other (by this time I confess my attention had
turned back to my game of Bubble Bust on my iPad) and they needed to put
something or other on top of something "here and here" said the soldier
on duty. Not sure where he came from, but he couldn't do it coz he
couldn't leave his post. "What post? asks CVD , "there is no post."
He did have a point, I suppose, but by this time i was past caring.
The suspense of the situation was complemented with music that was out
of of character for the movie, in that it actually did the job required
of it. During scenes of high tension the director resorted to close ups
of wife gurning and CVD doing his "I'm tense" look which seemed to
consist of maniacal grinning at the camera; or he could have been in
pain. Do goldfish feel pain?
Oh and just to make sure we didn't forget the situation was fraught with
tension, the point was made many times that if the storms couldn't be
stopped the population of the USA would be wiped out. Now, I like the
US, in fact I love the place. It's one of my favourite holiday destinations, but I found myself almost wishing the population would be wiped
out in order to end everyone's suffering. Esecially mine.
I like a good bad movie with the best of them. I love those overblown
hammy b movies from the 30's. One of my favourite movies is John Wayne's
Big Jim McLain; a bad movie made hysterically funny by the earnestness
of it's anti-communist message (it was made under the auspices of the
House of Un-American Activities Committee and if you haven' seen it do
so) but there is a line. There are bad movies, there are bad movies so
bad they are funny, but sadly 500 MPH STORM is beyond even that.so bad it explores new depths of badness.
Did CVD save the world? Probably. I don't know coz I gave up and decided a re-run of Midsomer Murders was infinitely preferable.