The worlds worst dam continues to flood and spring leaks

Flood! is one of the five Irwin Allen TV  disaster movies he came up within the 70’s and features some funny and ridiculous concepts wrapped in a generally terrible script but because it runs a tight 100 minutes, it keeps you more than entertained.

Released: 1976

Runtime: 1hr 40 mins

The Concept

A dam crumbles under pressure from heavy rains and throws a town into chaos as it slowly sinks under water.

The Disasters Faced

Floods, flying rocks, explosions, drowning, racism, bizarre backstories and helicopter fun!

The Execution

Flood! for a TV movie (not least in the 1970’s) has some quite good production values. There are some obviously cheesy effects but they actually make the film more endearing as you can see they really tried instead of the low-budget knockouts that aren’t given that labour of love these days. The acting is stilted slightly but actually runs well and is very Allen in its set up and characters. There’s an overwrought orchestral score that runs throughout too which makes things quite funny too. Aside from that, the only real problem with Flood! is that it feels like it’s been chopped scenes in places, at least for the DVD release. Roddy McDowall is given a guest star billing and he appears in one token scene at the very beginning and is never seen again. Some other old Allen actors pop up and disappear quickly too and at other times the scenes seem out of sequence as the water rises and falls. However, its got that campy ham that Irwin Allen never lost throughout his career and that’s the main draw here.

Carol Lynley does her damsel in distress best again

The Effects

The flood scenes are lovely models with Tonka trucks flying around everywhere but its better than dodgy CGI. Some of the sets are flooded though and those still hold up well with the test of time.

Why It’s Worth Watching

Allen always knows how to cut hammy action sequences and it certainly shows in Flood! as he works well with what he’s got. There’s some great sequences and some bizarre age gap pairings too. It’s one of those towns where everyone knows and is related to everyone. There is also some of the best campy acting possible. Carol Lynley spends the entire film going in and out of fainting. Richard Basehart tries to chew as much scenery as possible. Watch out for lots of politically incorrect statements too. It’s also much more fun than the painting by numbers disasters we get these days.

Drinking Game

That. Poxy. Scarf. Worst clothing emotional baggage outside of Brokeback Mountain.

Favourite Character

Carol Lynley has the silly character award but I have a soft spot for her so it’s not so bad, Farancine York as Daisy takes it perhaps with the game old gal character with more make up than a Boots shop although Martin Milner as Paul is the most likeable.

Can you imagine the riot these two have on a night out?

Best Death

Sam goes tumbling down the valley in his Tonka truck! Second prize for a drowning!

Weirdest Moment

Anything that involves that bloody red scarf. The most bizarrely random shoehorned in side story I’ve seen in years.

Random Trivia

This was Irwin Allen’s first project for Warner Bros.


Flood! isn’t as good as Fire! (exclamation marks aplenty) but it is still good fun as a lower spectacle disaster movie. Don’t expect massive pyrotechnics and you’ll enjoy the silliness more.

2 thoughts

  1. I cannot wait to re-watch this beauty! All I can remember from watching when I was a kid is some dreadful acting from a pregnant Carol Lynley (fainting unconvincingly when trying to phone for help) and what looked like a bucket of water being thrown through a door at an old women (meant to look like water engulfing her house). Brilliant!

  2. Drinking game deserves to be each fainting Carol does as they get progressively more dramatic and stupid as the film goes on. In all three disaster movies I’ve seen her in (this, TPA & Elevator) she does the damsel diva!

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