Seven years following the capsizing of the S.S. Poseidon, director/producer Irwin Allen brought it back to the big screen along with the inclusion of more survivors.
Following a New Year's Eve storm, the tugboat Jenny spots a French Coast Guard helicopter and Captain Mike Turner (Michael Caine) has Wilbur Hubbard (Karl Malden) check the coordinates of where it's coming from while tagalong Celeste Whitman (Sally Field) makes coffee in the galley. Unsuccessfully.
They come across the capsized ship and moments later are met with the medical ship Irene captained by Dr. Stefan Svevo (Telly Savalas) and his thug crew.
Turner tells Svevo that he's here to claim salvage rights and Svevo has no problem with it. He tells Turner that there may be injured people aboard and he's there to help them.
The group enters through the hole created by the French Coast Guard and soon spot the dead body of Linda Rogo.
Rather than follow the original route of the first survivors, they go through the crew's escape hatch which takes them to the ship's gymnasium. After an explosion, they hear cries for help coming from the steamroom and after opening the doors, they meet ship's nurse Gina Rowe (Shirley Jones) bar owner Frank Mazzetti (Peter Boyle) and Suzanne (Veronica Hamel).
At this point, Frank doean't care about the rescue since he wants to find his daughter Theresa (Angela Cartwright). Turner tells him that they'll search for her after they go to the Purser's Office for the goods.
They make it to the office and upon finding that the safe is locked, there's another explosion and it breaks free plowing through a couple of decks. Once it settles, the doors open and the contents are revealed.
As they fill up on gold, diamonds and cash, Tex Hopkins (Slim Pickens) approaches them along with Larry Simpson (Mark Harmon) and Theresa. Theresa tells Frank that Larry saved her life since she was in the elevator once the ship turned over. They get ready to leave and discover that Suzanne has disappeared and assume that she's gone with Svevo.
With a torn dress, Frank thinks that Larry has been getting fresh with her and the group begins its trek to safety.
Somehow they make it to another galley and in a shaft, Celeste has a breakdown while trying to tell Turner that she's interested in him. He picks up on it but doesn't make any advances.
The group discovers Suzanne's body and realize that something isn't right and are cautious as they make their way to safety.
Unfortunately, they come across a passageway that's clogged with furniture and while they're cleaning the nicely stacked pile, Theresa screams when Hannah Meredith (Shirley Knight) opens her cabin door. Inside is her blind husband Harold (Jack Warden) and Frank thinks that its best to leave him behind since he'll only slow them down.
As the group makes its way toward a cargo hold, they run into Svevo and a gunfight ensues. They manage to survive and go into another hold (with more gunfire and this time one of Svevo's crew throws in a grenade) sealing the survivor's Fate.
Following another explosion, Harold picks up on a hollow wall (thanks to the movement of the AMC Spirit- see the contest below) and they manage to escape once again.
Turner discovers an escape route and the survivors manage to leave the sinking ship, yet there's still danger outside.
While fans of the original Poseidon really aren't fans of this sequel, it does leave a lot of questions unanswered.
The first being that the ship was capsized due to a subsea earthquake. It's possible that the storm the Jenny encounters was the same one that the Poseidon had encountered earlier in the day. In stock footage, it doesn't show the ship capsizing due to the storm, yet a couple of lightning bolts are thrown in for good measure.
I also don't get that Celeste would ask for relationship advice from Gina, since she wants to know if she and Turner will get together if they make it out. Gina has only known them for a couple of hours at least. This only comes up because Gina has treated Celeste's grazing wound and Gina tells her that it's going to leave a small scar. Celeste mentions that if anyone else would see it, it would be Turner.
Where did the furniture go after they cleared the passageway? And have they all been working out since they can throw around wooden crates? I get a hernia just watching those scenes.
Even though I know a lot of work went into this movie, its best to watch the Special Features on the DVD. It sums up what the actors went through while making the movie and while this is a cult movie, the "major" stars should embrace it since younger generations will be watching this in years to come.
While I wasn't able to see this in theaters (I think it was pulled a week later) I first saw it when it premiered on television and every now and then, I'll throw this in just to kill time.
It's not the worst disaster movie I've seen, but it does show the decline of the Irwin Allen disaster.