Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 11th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Mexico, October 26th, 1978
Director: Rene Cardona Jr.
Writer: Rene Cardona Jr.
Cast: Hugo Stiglitz, Andres Garcia, Carroll Baker, Arthur Kennedy, Lionel Stander, Mario Almada, Olga Katlatos
DVD Released: November 15th, 2005
Approximate Running Time: 118 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Synopsis: What starts out as a beautiful peaceful afternoon in the Caribbean quickly turns ugly when a Cyclone takes down a Jet plane killing most of its passengers. Out at sea about the same time is a group of tourists on a boat who are now lost at sea due to the storm knocking out all their navigation devices. The group of tourist’s on the boat come across the survivors of the jet plane as they drift aimlessly out at sea. Tensions start to build between the survivors of the Cyclone as the supplies dwindle and the days go by with no hope of rescue in site. Will they be rescued before they turn on each other?
What starts out as your typical disaster movie quickly morphs into something more horrific. Director Rene Cardona Jr. deftly dissects the darker side of human nature and our need as species to survive at all costs. His direction is solid through out as one never gets the impression that this film was shot on a minuscule budget. The Cyclone storm sequence is expertly executed and it achieves a level of realism on par with Hollywood disaster films made around the same time. The film is beautifully photographed and the under water footage with the sharks despite being stock footage effortlessly fits in with the rest of the footage. The film moves along quickly and for such a simple premise there really is never a dull moment. The most freighting moments don’t happen during the storm or scenes with the sharks. The most disturbing moments take place on the boat aptly named the “Moby Dick” with the survivors of the Cyclone.
What starts off innocent enough when a few of the men kill on of the women’s dog for food soon turns into all you can eat buffet of the recently deceased survivors’. The performances for the most part are adequate with a few actors going a bit too far over the top. The shark attacks are not that convince and at times the flesh they carry in their mouths looks fake. Riz Ortolani supplies yet another solid score that has a distinct disco edge to it. Overall Cyclone is a thrilling adventure will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next.
Synapse present’s Cyclone in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This progressive scan transfer has been mastered in high definition. The colors look nicely saturated and they are vivid through out. The black levels look amazing as there is an exceptional amount of detail present in the back and fore ground. There is some grain which is more noticeable during the scenes that use stock footage. There are no problems with artifacts, compression or edge enhancement. Overall the source material is in immaculate shape and I doubt that Cyclone has ever looked better then it does for this DVD release.
This release comes with only one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix that is in English. The dialog is razor sharp and crisp. The music and effects sound evenly mixed and full. There are no problems with hiss, distortion or any other sound defect. Overall this is one of the better mono mixes that I have heard in a long time.
Extras for this release include an alternate opening for Cyclone and trailers for two other Rene Cardona Jr. films Tintorera and Danger Girls. Other extras include trailers for Bizarre (AKA Secrets of Sex), The Deadly Spawn, Thriller a cruel Picture, Olga’s Girls, and God Has a Rap Sheet. All of these titles are currently available on DVD from Synapse Films. Rounding out the extras is written by David Hayes which gives a nice overview about Rene Cardona Jr. and his films.
Synapse Films has put together another impressive release that comes with a first rate audio/video presentation at a more then a affordable price. Cyclone is an entertaining disaster film that pushes exploitation staples like cannibalism to its breaking point, recommended.