HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Cassandra Crossing, The On The Wrong Track
Year: 1976
Director: George Pan Cosmatos
Stars: Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Martin Sheen, O.J. Simpson, Lionel Stander, Ann Turkel, Ingrid Thulin, Lee Strasberg, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, Lou Castel, John Phillip Law, Ray Lovelock, Alida Valli, Stefano Patrizi, Thomas Hunter, Fausta Avelli
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In an important Swiss health and medicine complex, a man is being stretchered into reception by two orderlies, and they follow the appropriate signs along to their destination - that destination being a top secret laboratory which they gain access to by gunning down the security guard there. But he's just injured, and as they pass him to go to the heart of the lab, he shoots one of the men dead. The other two, however, get away and set up a bomb to destroy the premises, and almost succeed, only foiled when the guard manages to sound the alarm. More guards rush in, toting machine guns, and shoot one of the terrorists, also smashing a container of a deadly plague virus that showers the men, one of whom escapes through a window. The remaining terrorist is whisked away to quarantine, while the other heads for the station - all ready to inadvertently infect the unwary passengers...

Difficult to believe, but by 1976 the disaster movie cycle of the seventies was already beginning to wear thin, with a well established formula of assembling famous faces in an environment of claustrophobic danger and killing some of them off growing more laughable than exciting. The Cassandra Crossing seems to be oblivious to any unintentional humour, indeed any sign that this genre may be running out of steam, and opts to pump up the grimmer elements, racing towards a climax that callously destroys the lives of, in the main, a bunch of extras who we haven't got to know very well. Scripted by director George Pan Cosmatos with Robert Katz and Tom Mankiewicz, it, like most of its kind, offers trashy thrills garnished with stars who needed the money and/or exposure.

Some people aren't good at being ill, you know the sort, coughing and sneezing everywhere without covering their mouths, not washing their hands regularly, and generally helping their virus along. Unfortunately, that's exactly the kind of person the infected terrorist is, as he blunders through the train he boarded, spluttering, pawing at passengers including children and a baby, retching into food in the kitchen, and even infecting a pet dog when he drinks from its bowl. Luckily, the authorities have pinpointed his location, and the American Colonel (Burt Lancaster) in charge of the operation - it's a U.S. developed strain of pneumonic plague, after all - wastes no time in quarantining the carriages. A doctor at the institute (Ingrid Thulin) is present as the film's conscience who realises that he might not have the passengers' best interests at heart.

Meanwhile, on the train we get to know our victims, who include top billed, feuding, twice divorced couple Richard Harris, a pioneering doctor, and Sophia Loren, a wealthy novelist whose last book's plot bore close resemblance to her previous marriages. Also aboard are Ava Gardner and her toyboy Martin Sheen, man of the cloth O.J Simpson who may not be as wholesome as he first appears, concentration camp survivor and loveable conman Lee Strasberg, and ticket inspector Lionel Stander (called Max here - were the writers of Hart to Hart watching?). This lot are understandably peeved when not only do they start dropping from the disease, but are bullied around by gasmask wearing soldiers as well. Yes, it's that seventies mistrust of authority and fear of terrorism again, how very unlike today, and it all ends with a battle to stop the train before it hits the Cassandra Crossing - basically an unsafe bridge. What really distinguishes this one from its peers is its eagerness to kill people off, all sacrificed for the sake of spectacle and leaving an uneasy feeling by the close. At least in The Poseidon Adventure there's a sense of achievement as after all, the best disaster movies are about saving lives. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6019 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: