Young Jessica (Blaire Chandler) is a dedicated geology student, so much so that she sets off an M-80 to study the small crater left behind. This act of late-night studying drives her loving father bonkers. He pleads with his child to stop the experimenting and to let him sleep through the night without incident. Then a tremendous earthquake hits the Northridge area of Los Angeles and the girl’s father is crushed under the debris of their collapsing house. This being an Asylum film, timed for release concurrently with Dwayne Johnson’s similarly themed and titled movie, ranks on the middle rungs of the mockbuster scale.
The upcoming potential blockbuster San Andreas, is the reason this earthquake/disaster b-movie was green lighted. Its curious then, that the movie’s structure and narrative owe more to Independence Day then its namesake. Professor Dunne (Jhey Castles) is a seemingly brilliant but crazed seismologist, who is confident in her scientific evidence that suggest catastrophic earthquakes are imminent. Her husband, a helicopter pilot giving tours of the Malibu coastline when the first tumbler hits, is eager to get Dunne and their daughter out of the city’s crumpling structures.
I absolutely love the fact that Asylum continues to create ‘box-art’ for these releases. In this day, when everything is streamed/downloaded/VOD, this company still puts out exciting DVD covers. Granted, the image here doesn’t feature anything that happens in the movie, it still is a catchy sketch. The best compliment I can pay the picture is that, the story has a few set-ups that are payed-off nicely. The movie moves at a decent pace and the acting is adequate for the project. Look for Grace Van Dien as the teenage daughter of the professor, her father Casper would have been greatly appreciated in the lead role instead of the bland Lane Townsend.
Director: John Baumgartner
Stars: Jhey Castles, Grace Van Dien, Jason Woods