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Disaster Porn Saturday Night: Volcano: Fire on the Mountain

Cynthia Gibb and Dan Cortese attempt to save Angel Lakes, a picturesque volcanic town in California

Cynthia Gibb and Dan Cortese attempt to save Angel Lakes, a picturesque volcanic town in California

Whenever Hollywood announces a new big budget disaster movie, the scribes jump on the bandwagon and come up with a watered down version. The TV movie is basically the same, just with different characters.

Before Volcano and Dante's Peak were respectively released in late 1997, chances are you set up your VCR and recorded Volcano: Fire on the Mountain on Sunday, February 23, 1997.

A honeymooning couple start the action when they ignore a warning that a ski trail is closed. Since they’re in love they throw caution to the wind and head down the mountain.

The ground begins to shake and David (William deVry) disappears down the side of the mountain and the non-virginal Sheryn (Kerry McPherson) is offered up to the volcano.

Fresh from a breakup, ski patrol supervisor, Kelly Adams (Cynthia Gibb) spends all of her time on the mountain as a form of escapism and notices yet another dead racoon. She thinks that the rash of racoon murders are coming from someone putting poison into a dumpster at the base of the mountain.

Meanwhile, her ex, Peter Slater (Dan Cortese) has taken an office job and has been noticing unusual activity up at Angel Lakes. His superior, Dr. Osborne (Tasha Simms) doesn't want to hear his theory about a potential eruption since he has a 1-1 record. Begrudgingly, she allows him to go to the ski town and conduct some tests.

Kelly's brother Buck (Brian Kerwin) and very pregnant sister-in-law (Kendall Cross) are worried about her behavior and she assures them that she's fine. That is until Peter comes back to town.

Buck isn't happy to see Peter either and as Peter tried to explain why he's in town, the siblings also think he's nuts since the volcano hasn't erupted in over two centuries. At this point, Buck receives news of the missing David and Sheryn.

As with any small town disaster movie, the mayor doesn't like all of this talk about a potential eruption (even though the earthquakes are growing in frequency) and wants it to be talked about quietly.

He really wants to impress a developer who's thinking of investing money in the town, with the help of local developer, Corben.

Corben (John Novak) has instructed his wife Maureen (Lynda Boyd) and son Jason (Micah Gardener) to be available at all times since he's also selling the "perfect family package" to the visiting Webb's.

Without warning, the volcano erupts causing all types of chaos and death, plus the residents of the town are trapped due to a rock-slide.

Peter gets word from Osborne that an even bigger event is on the horizon and now it's up to Kelly and Peter to stop the potential disaster with an untested theory.

For a television movie, this is pretty good with some nice scenery, but the movie does borrow elements from Avalanche and The Last Voyage, along with the aforementioned Volcano.

It is predictable but still entertaining.