Airport ’77 (1977)

A group of art thieves hijack a plane by using knockout gas! The pilot is a progressive man who wants to marry his girlfriend, but she’s straight out of Ms. Magazine and is too career minded to commit! Familiar TV faces abound on this doomed flight including Brenda Vacarro, Darren McGavin and Gil Gerard! The plane comes equipped with gartguan-sized videodisc player! Even better, it also comes equipped with a lounge singer! And the whole thing crashes into the Bermuda Triangle! Truly, Airport ’77 is the most gloriously 70s of the four Airport movies! (Or any movie for that matter!) Continue reading “Airport ’77 (1977)”

Airport 1975 (1974)

With its all star cast of Charlton Heston, George Kennedy, Karen Black’s crazy eyes and the plane’s altimeter, Airport 1975 is easily five years better than 1970’s Airport!

Wisely tripling the fatalities (from one to three), ramping up the drama among the passengers (Will Linda Blair’s Janice survive the trip to get her kidney transplant? Will Myrna Loy’s Mrs. Devaney create an even worse crisis following the mid air collision that kills the crew by drinking the airplane’s in flight adult beverage selection completely dry? Will the singing nun further traumatize the already shellshocked stewardesses by doing an acoustic version of “Seasons in the Sun?”), casting Erik Estrada (CHiPS‘s Ponch) as a cringe-inducing horny Latin stereotype and being a half hour shorter than Airport‘s transatlantic length 137 minutes, Airport 1975 is perfectly crafted to improbably make the overheated and silly original feel like a classic of nuance and sophistication. Continue reading “Airport 1975 (1974)”

Airport (1970)

Airport is a disaster movie where I kept waiting for the disaster to happen. Was it going to be Burt Lancaster’s airport manager Bakersfeld stroking out from fighting with his boss and his shrewish wife? Was it going to be George Kennedy’s airport maintenance chief Joe Patroni having a heart attack due to shoveling too much snow? Or would Dean Martin’s smarmy playboy pilot have a fainting spell right there in the middle of the airplane once his stewardess mistress (Jacqueline Bissett) announces she’s pregnant? Continue reading “Airport (1970)”

The Death of Ocean View Park (1979)

Welcome one and all to Ocean View Park, the gassiest place on Earth! You might think it’s called that because of the green cotton candy the awkwardly shy Jenny Flowers is spinning between bouts of self-loathing or because frazzled college student and popcorn machine expert Phil Brady, who is also saddled with a pregnant clairvoyant wife (this is a total 1970s TV movie, isn’t it?), is handing out boxes of popcorn to disgruntled customers angry at the machine being broken down.

And it very well could have been, but the film never indicated that star Mike Connors’ frequently pained facial expressions were caused by an inordinate amount of guest flatulence. The film does indicate, and this is very instructive for future theme park designers, that the gas main running through the park probably shouldn’t be right next to the old wooden roller coaster. Continue reading “The Death of Ocean View Park (1979)”

Concorde Affaire ’79 (1979)

concorde-affair-posterAs directed by Ruggero Deodato (Jungle Holocaust, Dial: Help), Concorde Affaire ’79 manages to create a uniquely Italian take on the airport disaster genre by mixing low budget action (think lots of murky underwater diving scenes), bad special effects (do you think Britain or France was going to let Deodato within a country mile of a real Concorde?), a generous helping of slumming movie stars (Van Johnson and Joseph Cotten? An awesome team – in 1945!), and a story that not only fails to make sense, but whose climax involves a very suspenseful phone call. Continue reading “Concorde Affaire ’79 (1979)”