Volcano-themed action movies are like buses. You wait long enough for one, and then two show up at once… That was certainly the case with Dante’s Peak and Volcano, which both came out within a few months of each other in 1997, following a highly publicised race to finish production.
Dante’s Peak won that battle, and ultimately made more money, although neither movie was quite as successful as their studios hoped. They both found a natural home on late-night TV though, where Dante’s Peak in particular seems to live in permanent rotation as a late-night TV movie.
It’s kind of a lower-stakes Deep Impact vs Armageddon situation, with Dante’s Peak at least paying lip service to actual Volcano science, in stark contrast to Volcano‘s unabashed silliness. Neither film is a classic, but they both have their charms.
In the case of Dante’s Peak, one major draw is the presence of two genuine action movie icons in the cast. 90s James Bond star Pierce Brosnan is on reliably suave form as a traumatised geologist who is drawn into the title town to investigate some disturbing seismic activity.
Sadly, Terminator icon Linda Hamilton is on less-than-badass form as the town mayor and obligatory love interest. Her role mostly consists of worrying about her children, flirting with Brosnan and serving up endless rounds of coffee to the supporting cast; although she does get the opportunity to use eggplant parmesan as a tool of seduction, so her role isn’t a total write-off.
On this week’s podcast we break down the movie and discuss some of our favourite moments, including doomed skinny-dippers, angry push-ups and a grandma who deserved everything that happened to her, including the melted legs.
We also pitch some drinking games, check in with our listeners and pitch some sequel ideas to give the movie the chance at a second eruption. If you like the show, hit subscribe to receive a new episode every Monday morning. You can also leave us a review on your preferred podcatcher, which really helps us to reach the ears of new listeners.
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Next week, we’re concluding our on-off Hollywood classics mini-season with a true clash of the titans. Until then, happy listening and remember – never do a cannonball into visibly boiling water.