Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Alien Tornado AKA Tornado Warning (2012)

Why do I keep doing it to myself? Why, why, why? I saw the title, Alien Tornado, and I thought that I might end up enjoying this in the same way that I've enjoyed many other disaster movies and creature features shown on the SyFy Channel. I'm an easily pleased kind of guy, so it probably wouldn't be THAT painful. How wrong I was.

Alien Tornado is yet another made-for-TV movie that tells you exactly what it's all about in the title. Aliens invade Earth, attacking the planet while hidden in tornadoes. That's it. Which means that you get the usual style for this type of movie - a shaking camera, some poor CGI causing destruction, some strained moments between characters that it's hard to care about - with less of the fun factor than usual.

Jeff Fahey is the grizzled father who ends up losing plenty to an unexpected tornado, and Stacey Asaro is his daughter, a young woman who is desperate to get out of the small town and start her life in a big city. Kari Wuhrer is Gail Curtis, a weather expert who ends up heading to the small town where all the activity is occurring, and bumping heads with Fahey.

Director Jeff Burr does nothing to liven up the proceedings, and Paul A. Birkett seems intent on providing the worst script that he possibly can. Birkett has a number of these TV-movies under his belt, and can do better than this, so it feels very much that he (or someone else) thought up a premise that he was then unable to flesh out into a full feature. The characters are even less interesting than the usual carboard cut-outs that can populate such fare, and the tornadoes never feel like an impressive force of evil . . . . . . . . . . . because they're tornadoes, alien or not.

Fahey and Wuhrer have a number of awful movies in their filmography by now, yet this remains a low point for both of them. Asaro actually doesn't come over too badly. Hopefully, she can keep working hard until she drags herself further up the ladder. Willard E. Pugh does his best in the role of the local law enforcement, and David Jensen and Marcus Lyle Brown are a couple of shady characters working for an agency that knows a bit more about the tornadoes than it's willing to let the public know.

There's a beginning, middle, and end here, but the fact that absolutely nothing exciting happens during any section of the movie turns the whole thing into one long, boring mess. Even the poor dialogue that would usually give me a few chuckles seemed intent on putting me to sleep. The only thing saving this from being completely unwatchable is the cast, and that's me being charitable (because, let's face it, they're not working at the top of their game).

Avoid. If this appears on your TV at any point then turn off the TV immediately. If you're not quick enough, if one or two scenes pollute your brain before you can grab the remote control, then smash the screen, burn the whole thing, have a priest exorcise your living room, and then move house. Alternatively, change the channel and never speak of it again.



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