Maddy’s Pick For The Weekend 11: Twister (1996)


There is nothing scarier in this world (well, apart from some of our fellow human beings)than seeing mother nature turn against us. When nature goes berserk it serves as a lesson to us to remember that we are not the masters of this planet. We stand helpless and in awe in the face of destruction caused by natural disasters.

Twister lets us experience the terror and the unstoppable force that is nature from a safe distance. The film is also one hell of a thrill ride.

One of the worst series of tornados in over fifty years strikes Oklahoma. They leave a trail of destruction in their wake. A team of storm chasers led by Jo Harding (Helen Hunt)pursue these twisters in the hopes of being able to get close enough to one and launch an advanced weather sensor into the funnel.

They hope that the sensor can gain enough data from inside the twisters to be able to create an advanced weather warning system, which will give people more chance to be able to get to safety when a twister strikes.

Jo’s estranged husband Bill (Bill Paxton)comes to her group asking her for a divorce so he can marry his fiancé Melissa( Jami Gertz). Before Jo can sign the divorce papers a storm starts to develop and the team are off to try and launch their sensors. Bill and Melissa tag along for the ride.

As the film goes on, the twisters increase in size and destructive capability. These sequences are terrifying to witness, and the special effects used within them stand up pretty well when viewed today.

I first saw this when I around 11 years old and it really freaked me out. I remember watching at night with my parents and we were sharing a box of Dairy Box chocolates (umm, delicious).  When it got to the part at the drive in movie theatre I lost my nerve and couldn’t watch any more. I carried on with it a few days later though. I think I got unnerved because of how well the film captures how scary those situations are, and also how powerless we are if we are caught up in them.

Hunt and Paxton are both excellent as the dedicated scientists who also realise they still have feelings for one another. A scene stealing Philip Seymour Hoffman is hysterical as Dusty, an outgoing, loud music loving member of the team. Cary Elwes pops up in villain mode, as a rival storm chaser.

The film is directed by Jan De Bont, who gave us another thrill ride a couple of years before this with Speed.

I don’t eat meat, but this film features a dinner scene which has me craving a steak, fried eggs, mashed potatoes and gravy so bad. I am of course referring to Aunt Meg’s famous dinner scene. It makes me hungry every time I watch the film. That food looks so good!

Good fun, likable characters and some good special effects all combine to make this one well worth your time. Perfect weekend viewing I’d say. Best not viewed when it looks a bit windy outside though.

My favourite scenes are the following. Dinner at Aunt Meg’s. The scene where young Jo and her family run from a twister. The water twisters. The “you’ve never seen it miss this house, and miss that house, and come after you” scene.

Any other fans?




5 thoughts on “Maddy’s Pick For The Weekend 11: Twister (1996)”

  1. I’ve good good memories of watching Twister on the big screen back in the day. I honestly think it’s one of the most relaxed, fun, and enjoyable movies I’ve ever seen, although it saddens me to think that Bill Paxton and The Palace Cinema are gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I try to catch it any time it’s on the TV. If I can find a copy of the film in a store I’d buy it. Unfortunately a store that sells DVDs is much like a book store. They won’t keep it around unless it was a surefire blockbuster. I love watching the film for Phillip Seymour Hoffman – Dusty. You tell he was going to be someone special very soon. The scenes of the team chowing down at Jo’s aunt house are hilarious. But I really love the scene near the end when Jo is describing the debris “Cow, tree, farmhouse”.

    Liked by 1 person

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