Directed, written and produced by Larry Savadove (the executive producer of In Search of Ancient Mysteries, The Outer Space Connection and In Search of Ancient Astronauts and the writer and director of the UFO religion film Contact), Catastrophe is similar to the Sunn Classics films that were a big deal in the 70s. If you wonder what they’re like, just watch any of the UFO, cryptozoological or conspiracy shows that are all over basic cable today as Sunn walked so they could run.
Back. in 1977, you couldn’t pick the show you wanted to watch. So if you wanted a movie filled with disasters, you had to head to the theater. This delivers everything from the Hindenburg and the Xenia, Ohio tornado to Hurricane Camille. the Great Depression Dust Bowl, the Joelma fire in Brazil, Mount Etna erupting, the sinking of the SS Andrea Doria and accidents at the Indianapolis 500 all in one burst of death and horror, narrated by William Conrad.
It’s not perfect — when discussing the Xenia Tornado, Conrad recites the poem “Who Has Seen the Wind?” and claims that it’s by Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s not. It was written by Christina Rossetti. That said, today you’d just watch whole series about these things. But in 1977, we had this. It’s kind of a mondo, except it doesn’t have racist journeys into seeing native tribes or tries to shock you with sex. Mondo kind of makes a move from world travelogue to disasters to outright death by the VHS era, as Faces of Death faked out the world.