Cataclysm (1980)

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Ah, Cataclysm, The Nightmare Never Ends... a turkey by any other name, Romeo, would gobble just as loudly. And this one's a Thanksgiving feast of epic proportions. It suffers from production values so low you have to go digging in the dirt to find them, from the sound (awful) to picture quality (atrocious) to the acting (Faith Clift saves the rest of the cast; by giving the single worst performance I have ever seen on screen, she almost makes the rest look merely mediocre by comparison). Entire scenes are washed out in a black muddle by some truly godforsaken camera-work, the dialogue is laughable... and so on, runneth the litany of complaints. But, I kinda liked it, and part of the reason I criticize so harshly is to prevent accusations of bad taste. That said, the most startling thing about this movie is that the committed horror fan (you know who you are) will find some truly unsettling moments, some real, honest-to-God creeps. They're few and far between, but they are there, and make the rest of the movie -- let's not say "good", that's a little overboard, but at least *fun*. It's quirky and surreal enough at times to see where a little talent and a vastly reworked script might have resulted in a rare gem. It had the potential to be more Session 9 than Plan 9, and if it failed, it will at least make you nostalgic for the good old days when terrible horror movies had miniscule budgets, rather than unforgivably large ones. (Anyone here see Ghost Ship? My condolences.) Part train wreck and part cubic zirconia in the rough, bad enough to hurt but not without its occasional spark, this is one that every fan of obscure horror needs to hunt down for that late-night viewing with a bag of chips and a six-pack.
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Cataclysm

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