Welcome to Week 6 of Lockdown Movie Musts! Featuring weird subgenres of yore that’ll make you go, “Hey. At least I’m not trapped in a burning building with Charlton Heston right now.”
This week, hold onto your pants/a priest/a pilot because we’re diving head first into 1970s disaster movies. I know, I know—it seems counterintuitive to subject yourself to this right now. But trust me. You’ll not find another genre in which the tenacity of the human spirit shines brighter. Also—someone has to say it—there just is no balm more soothing than watching Much Worse Things happen to (fictional) Other People.
Need examples? Here’s a list of things that happen to characters in 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure that are way worse than sheltering in place:
- Getting crushed by a piano;
- Getting crushed by a giant Christmas tree;
- Falling from a great height into an ornate glass window/a fire/a flooded pipe;
- Taking orders from Gene Hackman;
- Crawling through a hot pipe with Gene Hackman;
- Dying of a heart attack because you saved Gene Hackman.
You get the idea.
Needless to say, if you’re one of the few people who hasn’t already developed a phobia of cruises after witnessing floating coronavirus quarantines, The Poseidon Adventure should finish the job.
Which brings us to another movie that’s excellent at making you feel just fine about not traveling: 1970’s Airport. This spawned three sequels and 1980’s Airplane! parody, starring Leslie Nielsen. (Nielsen, by the by, also played the captain in The Poseidon Adventure. I’d have mentioned it sooner but he dies after about two minutes, so ... y’know.)