Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tidal Wave (1975)

In his memoirs, Roger Corman mentions Submersion of Japan (1973), a big budget disaster movie from Toho, which he bought the rights to, removed most of the drama, let Joe Dante and some people at the office re-dub and added Lorne Greene as “Ambassador Warren Richards” in three scenes. The result was Tidal Wave, a movie never – what I know – released on home video, but shown on television later on. I’ve been trying to find the Corman-version for many years now, and thanks to the magic of torrents I’ve just seen it. Was it worth the wait? Ah, maybe not, but it’s still good to close that chapter of my nerd-life.

Submersion of Japan, read my review here, is actually one of my favourite disaster movies ever (together with Earthquake, Avalanche and City on Fire – even Meteor is high up among my favourite disasters). An impressive spectacle about how Japan starts to sinks, getting torn apart by earthquakes and volcano eruptions, and at the same time a low key drama about life and death and the future of the Japanese people. That last part is completely gone in this version, where we instead have a very fast-told story about some dubbed Japanese dudes talking about nothing in-between the disaster scenes and then Lorne Greene doing his job for a quick paycheck.

It’s not actually bad in boring way, but if you’ve seen the long version (which has way over an hour of more drama) it’s a thin and silly little movie which just showcases the impressive special effects and rides on the popularity of bigger disaster movies from the same time. The dubbing is very sloppy and sometimes you can notice how the voice actors talks more slow to try to fit in their words in the original lip movements. It works so-so. But like all Corman-productions there’s always entertainment and here they just jump from one disaster to another and uses that footage well. The effects are very impressive, and some scenes with people are quite gory and sadistic. It’s a Godzilla-movie without Godzilla, which is the best way to explain this version.

The title is actually most stupid thing with the whole movie, because there’s hardly any tidal wave in the story – just a short not especially impressive one at the end. The rest is earthquakes and volcano’s doing their job.

Compared to the original movie this is crap, but fun and crazy crap like we all love. I wish all versions (there’s three edits in all) could be released in a nice fat, DVD and/or Blu-Ray box for people like me to worship.

9 comments:

Tommy said...

There WILL be a disaster movie section on FanatiskFilm.se eventually! :-)

You're inspireing!

dfordoom said...

So is the original Japanese version available on DVD?

Ninja Dixon said...

Oh yes! The complete version is out in japan - no subtitles. Theres a slightly shorter version in Hong Kong (I own that one) which has subtitles. Dddhouse.com might have it or search in eBay after Submersion of Japan :)

Anonymous said...

And I have looked for Tidal Wave, and have been hoping for the grace of Torrent - but, hm, is there any chance of being a little more specific ´bout it´s whereabouts - really want to see this version....

Ninja Dixon said...

Of course! Do you have an email where I can reach you?

dnbrddck said...

The original 1973 WS stereo 143 min. version is available from SCI FI STATION for $13.00. I own a copy and it is great!
Subtitles and in english dialog
Don Braddock
Atlanta
Sorry...no Lorne Greene in this one.

Anonymous said...

Yepp, å så bor jag på söder! humble.martin (@) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I own a 16mm color print of the American Version. It is flat and runs about 82 min., not a bad film, I have the Japanese laserdisc original version aslo, it is MUCH longer than the New World film version that I have.

New York Yeti said...

Great little article, sir! Love the original and I, too, have wanted to see the Corman-dubbed version any chance you can point me to where you found it? My e-mail is gregor_haz_opulence@yahoo.com