31 Days of Guilty Pleasures – ‘Twister’

A few years ago I did a daily countdown to Halloween that featured some of my favorite scares from 31 different horror movies. This year I’m bringing back the feature, but this time we’re taking a look at some of my favorite guilty pleasures.

There’s no rhyme or reason to how these movies are being listed, so the placement on the countdown doesn’t denote any sort of ranking. Also, my definition of guilty pleasure is a movie that ranges from either being not very good to outright bad, but there’s something about it that still makes it endearing to watch.

For the final day of our weekend of disasters we’re looking at the 1996 classic “Twister.”  In the last entry I mentioned that I was a young boy who was deeply interested in natural disasters.  Well all of that was kicked off by this tornado filled disaster flick.

In “Twister” meteorologist Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) is reunited with her husband Bill (Bill Paxton) as Bill attempts to solidify their divorce. However, Bill learns that Jo has managed to construct their experimental device designed to map out the data of a storm.  Unfortunately, a rival meteorologist named Jonas (Cary Elwes) has also built his own device based on Jo’s designs and plans to beat Jo and Bill to the punch. So the two groups set off on a race against each other and mother nature.

I remember seeing the first trailer for “Twister” and immediately being blown away (no pun intended) by how cool storm chasers looked.  They just got in their old pickup trucks and ran after giant tornadoes. Clearly they needed the trucks in order to transport their giant balls.

So yeah, as a young boy it’s easy to see why this trailer would get me excited.  In just a few short clips you get copious amounts of radical destruction and you get a sense of how awesomely powerful tornadoes are.  And when I finally saw the movie it definitely delivered on that promise.

No lie, in elementary I had a t-shirt that said “Where’s my truck?” and it was my favorite shirt. I wore it until it just turned into a rag.

One of the best scenes that shows the tornado just causing all sorts of destruction is the one where tornado hits a drive-in.

This whole thing almost feels like a theme park ride. In fact, Universal Studios did take this part of the movie and make it into an attraction.  Personally, I didn’t think it was a very good one, but it’s still a cool idea.  It wasn’t a major experience and was just basically an effects show where you watched stuff happening around you.

Shockingly that attraction would exist from 1998 all the way up until 2015 when it was replaced by a Jimmy Fallon ride.  Crazy to think that a movie like “Twister” would have a presence for so long at a major theme park.

But that’s the thing about “Twister”, it’s light on story and character development, but the whole thing has the feel of a big budget theme park.  It’s got a lot of thrills and chuckles to keep you thoroughly entertained. Which is why it’s one of my favorite natural disaster guilty pleasures.

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