I think all disaster movie lovers were disappointed in how Irwin Allen's movies began to get really bad. And that's an understatement.
The movie follows a group of people who are trapped in a cave following its collapse after heavy rains. Even though its a partial collapse, the drama is huge.
Fearing a loss of funding for the caves, Senator Kate Lassiter (Susan Sullivan) goes underground with Jack Miller (Bill Bryant) against Walt Charles' (Lonny Chapman) better judgement. She says that she has to file her report in an unbiased manner and promises that it won't take that long.
Professor Harrison Soames (Ray Milland) reluctantly agrees to allow the Johnson's (Leslie Nielsen and Julie Sommars) to tag along on a tour with him and his depressed daughter Ann (Sheila Larken). Leading the way is Kate's former fiance' Gene Pearson (Dennis Cole) who doesn't know that Kate is also below ground.
After another collapse trapping Jack and Kate, Jack is able to call Walt and he tells him that he and Kate were separated and doesn't know her condition.
Luckily, Kate is fine, but is startled when bank robber Tom Arlen (James Olson) appears out of nowhere. He claims to have gotten lost on a tour and begins to grow increasingly aggressive and wants her to get him out.
Gene hears her calls for help and manages to get to her and Tom and as he gets ready to take everyone topside, there's another collapse.
Throughout the rest of the movie, Gene leads the group through a variety of situations, borrowed mostly from Allen's previous movies, along with a lot of flashbacks so that we can get to know the characters better.
The movie fails on a lot of levels and is duller than a kitchen knife. I don't think you can really feel sorry for these people because they're all trying to figure out their problems and the flashbacks really slow the movie down.
As far as originality goes, the only other movie that I can think of prior to this movie was about people being trapped underground is the classic Short Walk to Daylight which is a lot more realistic with the characters. It's a hard movie to find, but is way more enjoyable.
Tiger Town (10-9-83)
There's always going to be one thing about this movie that will stay with me forever. It was the first time where I was fortunate enough to watch a movie being filmed.
In order for the movie to be realistic, the production company needed extras for filming (they were also filming during some actual games) and after a day in the hot sun, I was hooked.
We filmed a variety of crowd scenes that day throughout the old Tiger Stadium and one of the scenes involved the loss of a game in which Alex (Justin Henry) begins to doubt his favorite player Billy Young's (Roy Scheider) ability to bring the team to the World Series.
After the game, Alex and his father Buddy (Ron McLarty) are walking down Michigan Avenue and he asks if he can get another team yearbook. Buddy hates to disappoint him, but Alex knows that money is tight since his father has been laid off for quite awhile.
With the Tiger's in a slump, Alex goes to the ballgame by himself following the unexpected death of his father and is reminded about believing wholeheartedly in what matters to you the most.
As Billy goes up to bat, Alex concentrates with all of his might and Billy hits a homerun.
Alex believes that his prayers are answered and manages to go to all of the home games, since his wishful thinking doesn't seem to work at away games.
A new life has come over Detroit as the Tigers continue to win and its all thanks to Billy and even though this is his last season playing ball, he essentially becomes an overnight sensation. He's respected once more and his tapped for endorsements.
One day, Alex tells his mother (Bethany Carpenter) that Billy's going to hit a homerun in the ninth inning and she gives him that look all mothers give, and when his prediction comes true, she asks how he knew.
He tells her what he does and she's still a little skeptic but the team eventually has one game to go and due to being bullied at school, Alex can't make it to the game on time and when he finally gets to the stadium, Billy is at bat and hits another homerun.
Alex wasn't able to do his ritual and having left Billy a note earlier, he knows that you should believe in your dreams if you really want them to come true.
As I mentioned above, the one acting scene that was filmed was with Henry and McLarty (Scheider wasn't there that day) and it was also Henry's last day of filming because he had to catch a plane to Chicago for another movie so there was a time constriction and they had to move fast.
That little movie would become quite popular.
It was a film called Sixteen Candles.
Hollywood Wives (2-17-85)
For fan's of the novel of the same name, this was an event worth watching over three nights.
While I'm not a Hollywood insider (although I have been an extra in a few movies) both the book and the movie really draw you in and hold your interest. It's a wild rollercoaster of sleaze and glamour!
Everyone in Hollywood is talking about a new movie, Final Reunion which is set to star George Lancaster (Robert Stack). He's an acclaimed actor and when he and his wife Pamela (Frances Bergen) it's to the dismay of daughter Karen (Mary Crosby) since she has to "clean up her life" in order to make him look good.
Elaine Conti (Candice Bergen) is a desperate Hollywood wife who's not as relevant in the community as she once was. She's married to Ross (Steve Forrest) who's only been getting bad parts and is having an affair with the much younger Karen. Elaine's hoping to get him cast in the movie, but she knows that the only way that'll happen is if power agent Sadie LaSalle (Angie Dickinson) will sign him.
Which she won't.
As a former Hollywood wife, Marilee Gray (Joanna Cassidy) is still in love with ex-husband Neil (Anthony Hopkins) and is extremely jealous of his current wife, Montana (Stefanie Powers) since she wrote the movie. Marilee discredits her any way that she can and still maintains hope that Neil will come back to her.
But, Neil's being blackmailed by bimbo actress Gina Germaine (Suzanne Somers) and is forcing him to continue their affair. She wants desperately to be in the movie and doesn't care who she has to climb over to get the role of the ingenue.
Young married couple Buddy and Angel Hudson (Andrew Stevens and Catherine Mary Stewart) find that climbing the Hollywood ladder comes with some type of cost. Buddy's dream is to become an actor, but since he doesn't have any money, the two are flop housing it around town and in a desperate move, he looks up Jason Swandle (Roddy McDowell) who has pimped him out on more than one occasion.
Meanwhile across the country, Deke Andrews kills his parents and sets out to Hollywood where he knows that he can find his real parents. The only thing that he knows is that they're involved with the film industry and he's going to give them the justice they deserve.
I've always liked both the novel and the movie and the movie is great. The only problem was that there was never a "real" sequel to this, since the characters were established and while there was Hollywood Husbands (novel only) none of the characters from this are never mentioned again. Although, I think Montana is mentioned, but I can't be sure.
Although there is another movie, Hollywood Wives: The New Generation it's not as good as this which was disappointing.