Film Review: Nature Unleashed: Tornado

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Yes, we are going into supernatural occult joys here. Sorry about that.

Nature Unleashed: Tornado ends what was a bizarre low-budget quadrilogy for me – some good – some bad. This one ends up being the more bizarre of them as it fuses devil cults, dragon tornadoes and nature in a stilted “Ire Musta Shpeaksh Romaaaanian” accented characters.

Released : 2005

Runtime : 93 minutes

The Premise

A talisman holds the key to stoping a Meta Tempesta – old speak for a massive Tornado with a Devil inside. Bad times all round really.

The Disasters Faced

Tornadoes, lightning, explosions, wind, dodgy accents, the most terrible monks this side of a Tom Hanks monk movie, bad gypsy dances, Asylums and some of the characters themselves whom have a habit of performing such idiotic actions they deserve what’s coming to them!

The Execution

The Nature Unleashed series films have always ran a tight 90 minutes and this no exception. It weaves it’s albeit dodgy story line into the fray early on and you get the usual TV Movie opening drama scene and then lots of talking before any more action occurs. What the film does do though is constantly replay the same opening scene time and time again to the point of distraction. Nu Image have a habit of showing screaming women, crying children and men shouting loudly whilst sweating. We get tons of that again. You can tell who will live and die by their initial scene. The cinematography keeps panning out to various architecture like a travel log and the music sounds like it was made for a travel brochure. However the last half hour turns the camp weirdness into a camp action flick with some real z-movie fight sequences, characters going out of their way to try to die and some admittedly medium decent visuals at the end. It’s like it saved the best until last.

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Must. Have. More. Gypsies.

The Effects

The tornadoes are CGI and whilst there’s a lot of stock footage used, there’s some good footage of barrelling cars and some comical flying humans too. The end sequence is where most of the money was spent and it is better than your average low-budget disaster flick. I will say the film has a penchant for showing hay being blown around. Cheapest effects ever.

Why Its Worth Watching

The film was made under a strange alliance of Canada, the UK and Romania. As a result there’s a real hodge podge of characters, accents, styles and uneasiness as the non European accents wander wildly around. The laughing factor is there because of the lemming nature of the characters. Why do you tie yourself to a tractor to film a Tornado? Why do you shout at your child to get to the shelter and then wander off and not check on the child? Why then when 15 meters away from said child do you just stand there and shout at him whilst he in turn does the same to his father? The whole opening sequence defies any logic at all and that’s just the opening five minutes. Wind behaves strangely too. Iron doors and people are flying all over the shot but an old nutty man casually strolls out to his death. Drinking game is for every time a law of physics is applied to one thing in a shot but not to another. You’ll be hammered very quickly.

Favourite Character

Irrrrina! I TELL THRUUUFFF!! (and choose exactly when and when not to speak properly structured English sentences depending on plot device)

Best Death

Possibly the best moment in the entire film comes when the Tornado hits an Asylum – lifts up a plate of syringes and the fly across the room before all stabbing the doctor in the stomach! Bullseye!

Drinking Game

Every flashback to a tornado but they don’t have the budget so someones throwing some hay about…

Weirdest Moment

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Toodles!

There are plenty but I’ll go with the gypsy dancers. It’s the same three women quickly running round the camera time and time again because one is quite large and stands out against everyone else. She also gets a reaction shot in the finale whilst running – good going bouncy gypsy lady! What makes it more funny is watch it when the editor watches the clip whilst on the phone. There’s a counter in the top left of the TV. They are looping the same couple of seconds of footage over and over.

Conclusion

Harmless, irrelevant and trying to mesh cults and the supernatural with a disaster movie. I have to say I preferred Nature Unleashed Volcano which dealt with these same issues in a better, more suspenseful way. However there’s enough goofiness and idiocy to keep the die-hard disaster nuts and bad movie lovers going to make it watchable for us.

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