I’ve been going through a disaster movie phase recently. It started when I picked up the “Airport” Franchise Collection and devoured it while working late at night. I then moved on to “Earthquake,” “The Towering Inferno,” and others. I even moved into the late 1970s, the 1980s, and the 1990s by taking in “Meteor,” “The Day After,” and “Daylight.” Imagine how delighted I was when Warner Archive sent me what most would consider one of the most unnecessary sequels of all-time.
Irwin Allen’s “Beyond the Poseidon Adventure” does the unthinkable in this follow-up to his blockbuster 1972 film. Instead of people trying to get off the sinking luxury liner, he has two crews trying to get on to it for different reasons. Michael Caine leads one group into it to claim salvage rights to what’s been left behind. At the same time, Telly Savalas heads up a team of murderous plunderers in search of a cargo of plutonium. Along the way, they both happen upon survivors frantically trying to get off the ship. Will Caine and Savalas find their treasures and a way to get back off the ship before it plummets to the depths of the sea?
I have to give props where they’re due, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. The fact that Irwin Allen had the audacity to attempt a sequel to “The Poseidon Adventure” deserves a strange amount of reverence. Can you imagine the power of suggestion he must have controlled. He walked into the offices of studio executives six years after the original left theaters and said, “Hey, I have an idea for a sequel to that movie where the ship sinks. What if people tried to get on the ship instead of off of it?” “Beyond the Poseidon Adventure” is proof he convinced them to do it!
“Beyond the Poseidon Adventure” is nowhere near as bad as you’d think it would be. It has everything a great disaster movie should. An ensemble cast fighting for their lives as water levels rise. Escape routes becoming blocked as the people fight their way back to the surface before the ship’s hull becomes completely submerged. People who you don’t want to die do and others you wish would but don’t. I wasn’t disappointed in it by any means.
A PG rating was given to “Beyond the Poseidon Adventure.” It contains violence, language, and intense sequences of peril.
I was surprised that Warner Archive included special features with their newest DVD release of “Beyond the Poseidon Adventure.” They don’t usually provide bonus material for their manufacture-on-demand products. It contains a vintage featurette entitled “Behind the Scenes: ‘Beyond the Poseidon Adventure'” and a gallery of disaster movie trailers.
“Beyond the Poseidon Adventure” is one of those movies that never should’ve happened. All I can say is thanks to all the studio executives with dollar signs in their eyes who greedily greenlit this wonderful piece of cinema history. For those of us who love unnecessary sequels and crave a little 1970’s cheese, it’s a rare gem that’s been found and preserved for us to enjoy over and over again.
“Beyond the Poseidon Adventure” is available now on DVD.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
December 13: Audiences Embark on ‘The Poseidon Adventure’
Experience the “End of the World” in Hi-Def
Blu-ray Review: “Snowmageddon”