Crash: The Mystery of Flight 1501 (1990)

Do you have a hankering for a flick starring an ex-Angel helmed by a director who gave us a 1977 Dracula adaptation starring Louis Jordan (Swamp Thing (1982) as the Count? Oh, and you may remember him for Shadey (1985), an ’80s rental favorite about a clairvoyant wanted by the Feds as result of his ability to impress his premonitions on photographic film.

Acclaimed British and BBC-TV director Philip Saville was hired by NBC-TV and given a cast headed by Jeffrey DeMunn (yes, who you currently know for his work on Billions and The Walking Dead) and Cheryl Ladd — and a plane load of you-don’t-know-their-name familiar TV series guest stars.

The hijack twist: Our disgruntled hijacker isn’t out for money. He wants to stop abortions and, to that end, he’ll save the children if he kills a U.S. Senator — with outspoken opinions on abortion — on the flight. The plan’s glitch: the Senator missed the flight. And when the bomb is discovered by Cheryl’s pilot husband, he decides to make an emergency landing — in a severe thunderstorm. As you can see from the TV ad below, the flight crashes and kills almost everyone on board. And Cheryl — who, despite ill feelings towards her husband for leaving her as result of her two miscarriages — fights to clear her husband’s name.

Courtesy of Made for TV Movie Fandom/Wiki

As with most airliner disasters of the TV Movie variety, the critics gave this telefilm a shrug as result of its overuse of mismatched, stock aerial footage. And don’t be duped by the DVD represses that proclaim the film is “based on true events.” It’s a complete work of fiction that later “became true” in 1996 when a Miami-based ValuJet DC-9 — like the one in the film — crashed in the Florida Everglades as result of an in-flight fire ignited by illegal, flammable cargo — similar to the plotting of the film.

You can watch the full movie on You Tube.

About the Author: You can read the music and film reviews of R.D Francis on Medium and learn more about his work on Facebook. He also writes for B&S Movies.

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