Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

Japans Hardship’s: Eerily Predicted In Hollywood Films

by  |  March 12th, 2011  |  Blog

While our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to those people in Japan affected by the earthquake and tsunami tragedy, it has come to our attention that there are similarities in film’s.

The 1970’s brought us a new genre of film, the “Disaster Movie”. I took the liberty and compiled a few of those films that closely resembles the events that are occurring in Japan as we speak.

First there was an Earthquake (1974)… starring – Charleton Heston, Walter Mathau, Richard Roundtree and Lorne Greene.

Second there was, Tidal Wave aka Japan is Sinking (1974)… Produced by the legendary master of B movies Roger Corman, Tidal Wave starred once again, the late Lorne Greene. It also featured an appearance by director Joe Dante in a mostly Japanese cast. I think I saw this on TV when I was a kid after an episode of Quincey M.E. There isn’t very much available for this film and it’s hard to find even a trailer for it. Tidal Wave tells the story of a massive earthquake that hits japan and the impending tsunami headed straight for Japan in the aftermath.

Now that Japan is facing the core’s melting down in their Nuclear Reactor Plants in the aftermath of all the destruction, it reminds me of The China Syndrome (1979) starring – Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda. The China Syndrome was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Jack Lemmon and Best Actress for Jane Fonda.

Definition: China Syndrome – from the notion that the molten reactor contents could hypothetically sink through the earth to reach China. First Known Use: 1970

And lastly, nobody can explain better what being exposed to radiation particles from a ‘Nuclear Reactor Plant’ could do to a person better than Meryl Streep, Cher, Kurt Russell and Fred Ward in Silkwood (1983). Earning Streep and Cher an Oscar nomination each, Silkwood garnered 5 nominations total.

And of course director Roland Emmerich carries on the tradition of the “Disaster Movie” with his more current and sophisticated special effects in his modern day “Disaster Movies”; ID4 (1996), The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and 2012 (2009).


Matthew Dowling, a native Philadelphian, now residing in Los Angeles, is an actor, writer and film maker. Matt's training with 2nd City, and numerous appearances in TV shows, movies, theater, infomercials, and most importantly... B movies, has prepared him for making B Movie recommendations.

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