6 May 2019 | Coventry
Rates 2.75 (out of five) on the "cliched 70s disaster movie" scale!
Among many other contemporary trends, hypes and sub-genres of the glorious 70s decade, yours truly is a diehard fan of typical disaster movies of that era! I love them so much! I've seen so many that I even developed a specific rating principle to check, via five simple little traits, if a certain disaster movie qualifies as good enough cheesy & clichéd entertainment!
Condition #1: without producer Irwin Allen, there wasn't a budget for special effects and thus no movie. Well, Allen was the producer of "Flood", but it's a made-for-TV film and hence the budget was significantly smaller than in, say, "The Towering Inferno" or "The Poseidon Adventure". Still, for a TV-film, it's looking quite good, so I'll give it 0,5 points. Condition #2: all disaster movies star one major star (Charlton Heston and Paul Newman were prime choices) and a long list of "secondary" stars (like Ernest Borgnine, Leslie Nielsen...). Another 0,5 points scored here. For reasons linked to the TV-movie status, there isn't a major star, but the list of secondary stars is nevertheless long and impressive: Robert Culp, Barbara Hershey, Richard Basehart, Cameron Mitchell, Roddy McDowall, Francine York, Teresa Wright, ... Condition #3: The characters are usually split into two camps with completely opposite ideals and/or initiatives. Oh, definitely the case here! The little Oregon fishing town of Brownsville is recovering after weeks of heavy rainfall and storm winds. Local entrepreneurs Steve and Paul are persuaded that the ecologically built dam will burst and drown the entire town, whereas the stubborn mayor irresponsibly keeps proclaiming that the dam will hold. Who do you think is right? Full point! Condition #4: Regardless what type of disaster we're dealing with, variants of the exact same perilous situations are always applicable. Yes, but limited. We have 9-months-pregnant women trapped in their homes, missing children and elderly women sacrificing themselves to rescue others, but that's about it. 0.75 points! Condition #5: always remember that, when the situation appears to be at its worst, it can and will still get even worse! I'm not handing out a point here. There aren't any sharks or piranhas coming along with the flood, the central hospital doesn't collapse, or the helicopter doesn't crash. So, theoretically speaking, Brownsville could be worse off.
All this adds up to a proper 2.75 rating, meaning "Flood!" is a recommendable and engaging disaster movie IF you are already familiar with the genre and if you are relatively tolerant. In case you seek pure blockbuster-fun, better stick to the mastodons of the era, like "Towering Inferno", "Earthquake" or the "Airport"-series.
PS: I'm still waiting for news on Roddy McDowall's character! Did he make it?