Cyclone (Terror Storm) (Tornado) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cyclone (Terror Storm) (Tornado) Reviews

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½ April 29, 2016
A soft thriller with hardcore moments, it's 2 hour run time does make it drag a bit, yet the suspense lays throughout. Most of the film takes place on a small boat, and difficulties repeat themselves (shark attack, lack of water, dead bodies, etc). The dog's killing was a bit too much for me. A majority of the characters are picked off at the end by sharks just as the rescue planes land, it gets pretty exciting and unbelievable. In the end, it's not a bad thrill.
½ May 20, 2015
disaster genre exploitation pic i saw at the drive-in
July 28, 2012
?Disaster: Mexican Style?

David Hayes

Rene Cardona, Jr. The name alone inspires apathy throughout the film community. And that is truly a shame. Cardona, following in the footsteps of his director father, Rene Cardona, Sr. of course, has crafted a directing resume that is three decades old and is populated with over 90 feature films. Yet, not a soul can put a face to the near-legendary Mexican exploitation master. Maybe it is due solely to marketing? If Tim Burton had cast Johnny Depp as Rene Cardona, Jr., and not Ed Wood, maybe midnight screenings of schlock classics like Cyclone and Tintorera would grace the screens of theaters everywhere. As far as filmmaking skill goes, both Wood and Cardona are in the same league. Stock footage, reused footage and self-referential dialogue (in Cyclone, the characters actually refer to Cardona Sr.?s Survive!) are all hallmarks of exploitation film greatness yet Cardona still hasn?t received the recognition he is due.

It can?t be the subject matter. Rene Cardona Jr. has a penchant for disaster movies. The more disastrous the better and if Hollywood happened to make a large budget version of the story previously, then that?s just fine. Unfortunately, Cardona is a big-scale tragedy filmmaker on a single-location romantic comedy starring Carrot-Top budget. This never stopped the Latin King of Disaster (God, I hope that name sticks) in his never-ending quest for celluloid greatness, though. His films, although many have never been released in North America, run the gamut of terror and tragedy. Guyana: Crime of the Century detailed the nefarious dealings of the Reverend Jim Jones and the mass suicide (via Kool-Aid? HEY KIDS) of the cult members. This feel-good tale of the year came under the discerning eye of Cardona. Guyana, even though filmed in the usual low-budget Cardona style, was actually picked up by Universal for release in the United States. One would think that Cardona?s star was on the rise until, of course, Universal re-cut the film and added a narrator, effectively killing of Cardona?s version of the piece. Cardona followed up Guyana with a Jaws-like disaster film called Tintorera (Tiger Shark). It fails as a film on almost any cinematic level, but the tried and true method for Cardona?s filmmaking is there. Take one part hugely successful storyline (in this case, Jaws), one part semi-recognizable American actor (Tintorera starred Priscilla Barnes of Three?s Company fame), add stock footage, mix and shake. Your final recipe should serve between 10 and 20 guests. This formula worked for Cardona and, unlike many exploitation filmmakers of the same time period, he actually made his living from the movies.

Cardona began his entertainment career at his father?s side, acting in his first film Cartas marcads as a Newsboy in 1949. Jr. appeared in many of his father?s films and eventually began directing in 1964 with El Raspado. An accomplished writer as well, Cardona Jr. penned the screenplay for, arguably, his father?s most famous film, Night of the Bloody Apes in 1968. Cardona also wrote many of his own films including Cyclone, Tintorera and Evil Birds (a Hitchcock-ian ?suspense? thriller). It stands to reason that, at the very least fans of genre films and exploitation masterpieces would be familiar with Rene Cardona Jr. This simply isn?t the case, but something is finally being done about it.

This brings us to the reason we are here. In your sweaty palms, you are holding Cyclone. A Rene Cardona, Jr. epic of the highest magnitude, this film has everything that made Cardona what he is today. A disaster, barely recognizable American actors (including Arthur Kennedy as a kindly priest and Lionel Strander, the gruff butler of Hart to Hart fame), gore and a penchant for long spans of time where nothing happens makes Cyclone the perfect Cardona Starter Film for budding exploitation film enthusiasts. As you know, or will find out momentarily, a freak ocean cyclone is about to hit a small Caribbean island. This disastrous storm (which ends a half hour into the film? oddly enough) takes down multiple boats, a plane and people on shore. The focus of our story, though, is on a tour boat. Much like a b-movie version of Gilligan?s Island, each of the passengers is a gross stereotype. You have the rich woman (international sexpot Caroll Baker), complete with dog, a pregnant woman and husband, a handsome boat captain (and young First Mate with which he exchanges serious homo-erotic glances at inopportune moments) and the rest. During the ?largest storm in recorded history? the boat survives and, along the way, picks up the stranded passengers of a downed airplane and fishing boat. Prophetically, one of the characters sums up the plight of the storm survivors with one finely crafted line of dialogue. He states, ?Our only hope is that they find us before its too late.? Well said, Bible-thumping crusty fisherman? well said.

Meanwhile, back on shore, we find out it isn?t logical to keep looking for survivors. It seems the crack police force on Generic Island is pretty well suited to just not doing anything. All the bad news to the families of the dead are delivered under crystal blue skies. On the mainland, the threat has certainly passed.

On the boat, things have gone from bad to worse. Days afloat have reduced the water supply (from the melted ice in a cooler) to nothing. Food is scarce. This is a Cardona film, so thoughts naturally turn to cannibalism. You can see where this is going.

Finally, thanks to the fine folks at Synapse Films, Rene Cardona Jr. is finally getting the treatment he deserves. Cyclone, although not the greatest film in the world, is a very important part of both Mexican and worldwide exploitation film history. Cardona Jr. is oftentimes overshadowed by the image of his father, Cardona Sr., and the Lucha (Mexican wrestling) films that Sr. was notorious for. It is high time that Rene Cardona Jr., The Latin King of Exploitation, finally get the recognition he deserves. Maybe deserves isn?t the right word. Cardona worked his entire life to entertain the audiences that came to see his, sometimes awful, films. Undaunted, Cardona pressed on directing his last film in 2000. Cardona died on February 5, 2003 in Mexico City from cancer. Cardona, Jr is survived by a son, Rene Cardona III also a film director, who is carrying on the fine family tradition of Exploitive Filmmaking.
½ December 18, 2011
To be completely honest I solely bought this movie for the stunning DVD artwork alone. This amazing piece of art is by the talented Wes Benscotter (an artist known for Heavy Metal album covers) brought back good memories of VHS covers of the past and I couldn't pass it up. Though I wasn't expecting much from the movie itself as it is written and directed by Rene Cardona Jr., son of the exploitation director that gave us the synthetic survival flick "Survive!", it still managed to be marginally better then what I was expecting from a low budget Mexican disaster film.

A sudden hurricane, though it's called a cyclone, hit's the coast of Mexico downing a plane, sinking a fishing barge and blowing a tourist boat deep out into the ocean. The survivors of all three patently wait to be rescued and with water and food running out, they have to resort to killing dogs and eating the dead to survive.

As you can tell this is a carbon copy of "Survive!", a film also co-written by Rene Cardona Jr., only with the setting changed from the snow capped Andes to the ocean. Hell there is even a reference to the events of that film mentioned by one of the characters! Yet despite this film not having the luxury of being "based on a true story", I still came out liking it MUCH more perhaps for the fact it didn't have to linger between the lines of truth that fact based stories handcuff the filmmakers too.

The characters are all typical stereo types including the religious nut, the crotchety old bastard, the psychotic and even the pregnant woman. Seriously, we even had to throw in a pregnant woman about to give birth in to the plot, which is equivalent to the preverbal kitchen sink?! In the mix we get some great cult actors including Arthur Kennedy ("Rome Armed to the Teeth", "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie") and Olga Karlatos ("Zombie"). Oh yes we also get Hugo Stiglitz ("Nightmare City") too but I've made my opinion be known about this non-actor in other reviews.

Exploitation director René Cardona Jr. seems to actually have a handle on this film and is able to craft some interesting scenes of human conflict as well as atmosphere, especially during a shot of our sunken' airplane with the dead floating within it's cold, dark fuselage. His underwater photography is also impressive with great shots of swimming sharks. Typical with Cardona he has to inject plenty of exploitation elements to make it worthwhile, including the killing of a dog and rather graphic shark attacks.

The major problems with this film is the dire dialogue and long running time, which clocks in just shy of two hours. Since the film almost entirely takes place on a single boat, the two hour running time get feel like forever with this one setting. The despicable dialogue, some of which sounds like bland narration, can induce a few unintentional laughs also.

With better dialogue, a tighter pace with proper editing, "Cyclone" would have been a cult film fanatics dream. As is it's still worth a look for fans of 70's disaster films that don't mind a little gory exploitation to spice things up a bit. The film has been released in multiple versions and editions all over the world, under various lengths and titles (including "Terror Storm" among others), but by far the best edition is the Synapse release with the kick-ass cover artwork I talked about in the opening paragraph.
January 17, 2011
I didn't hate it but the film fails to ever deliver any sort of real drama or tension... and it seems to last an eternity.
October 6, 2010
vorrei questo film che cerco da anni, chi riesce a scaricarmelo?????
½ August 17, 2009
Cardona's follow-up to the exploitation classic Tintorera is darker and is more about survival. Cannibalism and sharks in one movie is always a plus!
November 10, 2008
Behold, the magic that is writer/director Rene Cardona Jr. who is the Spanish version of Ed Wood. Cyclone means well, and developed better, could be a darn good movie, but this shit is just awful. The movie spans nearly two hours, but could have easily been condensed to 80 minutes, as there are scenes upon scenes of stuff either being completely unnecessary or absolutely drawn out to the point of excruciating pain. Anyways, the story is about a massive cyclone storm that rips through some generic part of South America. A fishing boat, a tourist boat, and a plane all succumb to the storm and it leaves several people stranded. Nothing happens other than 2 hours of people talking (very badly dubbed by the way), mass amounts of stock footage (some it reused over and over), and the occasional fake shark attack. Bad, bad, BAD.
August 27, 2008
Cyclone is a great film about being lost at sea. There were so many ups and downs in this movie that it really made me feel like I was right there with them. I had to turn off the movie for a few minutes when they sacrificed the dog. Then they showed the entire boat happy and cheering when the lady gave birth. I also liked the debate about cannibalism. The shark scenes were well done even if they used the same footage over again. Overall this is a great film that I really enjoyed. I don't normally go for depressing movies like this but I am glad I did. Recommended.
August 26, 2008
This is the best movie ever made.
½ July 31, 2008
Jag gillar den här, kanske några av de snyggaste hajscenerna som har setts på film
July 25, 2008
?Disaster: Mexican Style?

David Hayes

Rene Cardona, Jr. The name alone inspires apathy throughout the film community. And that is truly a shame. Cardona, following in the footsteps of his director father, Rene Cardona, Sr. of course, has crafted a directing resume that is three decades old and is populated with over 90 feature films. Yet, not a soul can put a face to the near-legendary Mexican exploitation master. Maybe it is due solely to marketing? If Tim Burton had cast Johnny Depp as Rene Cardona, Jr., and not Ed Wood, maybe midnight screenings of schlock classics like Cyclone and Tintorera would grace the screens of theaters everywhere. As far as filmmaking skill goes, both Wood and Cardona are in the same league. Stock footage, reused footage and self-referential dialogue (in Cyclone, the characters actually refer to Cardona Sr.?s Survive!) are all hallmarks of exploitation film greatness yet Cardona still hasn?t received the recognition he is due.

It can?t be the subject matter. Rene Cardona Jr. has a penchant for disaster movies. The more disastrous the better and if Hollywood happened to make a large budget version of the story previously, then that?s just fine. Unfortunately, Cardona is a big-scale tragedy filmmaker on a single-location romantic comedy starring Carrot-Top budget. This never stopped the Latin King of Disaster (God, I hope that name sticks) in his never-ending quest for celluloid greatness, though. His films, although many have never been released in North America, run the gamut of terror and tragedy. Guyana: Crime of the Century detailed the nefarious dealings of the Reverend Jim Jones and the mass suicide (via Kool-Aid? HEY KIDS) of the cult members. This feel-good tale of the year came under the discerning eye of Cardona. Guyana, even though filmed in the usual low-budget Cardona style, was actually picked up by Universal for release in the United States. One would think that Cardona?s star was on the rise until, of course, Universal re-cut the film and added a narrator, effectively killing of Cardona?s version of the piece. Cardona followed up Guyana with a Jaws-like disaster film called Tintorera (Tiger Shark). It fails as a film on almost any cinematic level, but the tried and true method for Cardona?s filmmaking is there. Take one part hugely successful storyline (in this case, Jaws), one part semi-recognizable American actor (Tintorera starred Priscilla Barnes of Three?s Company fame), add stock footage, mix and shake. Your final recipe should serve between 10 and 20 guests. This formula worked for Cardona and, unlike many exploitation filmmakers of the same time period, he actually made his living from the movies.

Cardona began his entertainment career at his father?s side, acting in his first film Cartas marcads as a Newsboy in 1949. Jr. appeared in many of his father?s films and eventually began directing in 1964 with El Raspado. An accomplished writer as well, Cardona Jr. penned the screenplay for, arguably, his father?s most famous film, Night of the Bloody Apes in 1968. Cardona also wrote many of his own films including Cyclone, Tintorera and Evil Birds (a Hitchcock-ian ?suspense? thriller). It stands to reason that, at the very least fans of genre films and exploitation masterpieces would be familiar with Rene Cardona Jr. This simply isn?t the case, but something is finally being done about it.

This brings us to the reason we are here. In your sweaty palms, you are holding Cyclone. A Rene Cardona, Jr. epic of the highest magnitude, this film has everything that made Cardona what he is today. A disaster, barely recognizable American actors (including Arthur Kennedy as a kindly priest and Lionel Strander, the gruff butler of Hart to Hart fame), gore and a penchant for long spans of time where nothing happens makes Cyclone the perfect Cardona Starter Film for budding exploitation film enthusiasts. As you know, or will find out momentarily, a freak ocean cyclone is about to hit a small Caribbean island. This disastrous storm (which ends a half hour into the film? oddly enough) takes down multiple boats, a plane and people on shore. The focus of our story, though, is on a tour boat. Much like a b-movie version of Gilligan?s Island, each of the passengers is a gross stereotype. You have the rich woman (international sexpot Caroll Baker), complete with dog, a pregnant woman and husband, a handsome boat captain (and young First Mate with which he exchanges serious homo-erotic glances at inopportune moments) and the rest. During the ?largest storm in recorded history? the boat survives and, along the way, picks up the stranded passengers of a downed airplane and fishing boat. Prophetically, one of the characters sums up the plight of the storm survivors with one finely crafted line of dialogue. He states, ?Our only hope is that they find us before its too late.? Well said, Bible-thumping crusty fisherman? well said.

Meanwhile, back on shore, we find out it isn?t logical to keep looking for survivors. It seems the crack police force on Generic Island is pretty well suited to just not doing anything. All the bad news to the families of the dead are delivered under crystal blue skies. On the mainland, the threat has certainly passed.

On the boat, things have gone from bad to worse. Days afloat have reduced the water supply (from the melted ice in a cooler) to nothing. Food is scarce. This is a Cardona film, so thoughts naturally turn to cannibalism. You can see where this is going.

Finally, thanks to the fine folks at Synapse Films, Rene Cardona Jr. is finally getting the treatment he deserves. Cyclone, although not the greatest film in the world, is a very important part of both Mexican and worldwide exploitation film history. Cardona Jr. is oftentimes overshadowed by the image of his father, Cardona Sr., and the Lucha (Mexican wrestling) films that Sr. was notorious for. It is high time that Rene Cardona Jr., The Latin King of Exploitation, finally get the recognition he deserves. Maybe deserves isn?t the right word. Cardona worked his entire life to entertain the audiences that came to see his, sometimes awful, films. Undaunted, Cardona pressed on directing his last film in 2000. Cardona died on February 5, 2003 in Mexico City from cancer. Cardona, Jr is survived by a son, Rene Cardona III also a film director, who is carrying on the fine family tradition of Exploitive Filmmaking.
½ April 16, 2008
Long...really really long. It was like watching the movie "Alive" except you had an ocean filled with ravenous great whites instead of bitter cold, snow and ice.
½ March 7, 2008
I saw this movie when I was so little, I don't even remember how old I was. I still remember it to this day. Next to Jaws, this is the best shark movie ever made. Great flick, for it's time.
July 20, 2007
Of course, since it was made in the 70's, the "special effects" were totall fake, it's still a pretty good movie.
February 10, 2007
Cannibalism? Hmmm......killer animal. Nice.
September 23, 2006
An uplifting and life affirming film.
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