Gale Force (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The first 2002 movie to be reviewed.

This one is the output of one of the legendary directors in the grade-b world, Jim Wynorski, who you may remember from such screen classics as Screen Queen Hot Tub Party. To tell you the truth, Wynorski is pretty good at making these into what they are supposed to be. If the film is supposed to be babes and bullets, he delivers. If it is supposed to be jokes, makes 'em jokey. If it is supposed to be action, he crams in a lot of action. His movies don't have the production values or the subtlety of "bigger" productions, but he does the job with the money at hand. (I enjoy Deathstalker 2, one of the all time champions in the "so damned dumb that it's great fun" category.

In this case, Gale Force is supposed to be an plot/action movie, and you couldn't ask for more plot.

A TV show something like "Survivor" strands eight people on a deserted island with ten million dollars buried in a pirate chest - winner take all. The cameras follow them around as they pursue the treasure.



So where's all the action and plot?

First of all, there are supposed to be a bunch of ex-special forces guys who are hunting them down with paintball guns and helicopters, just to make it more "fun".

Second, a corrupt producer and the special forces have joined forces to get all the money for themselves, and they're killing off the "Survivor" participants, as well as the camera crew, by using real M-16's instead of the paintball guns.

Third, the greatest storm in the history of the Pacific is about to destroy not only the tiny island, but also the television station in Hawaii that is broadcasting the show, with a tidal wave.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterbox, 1.85:1

  • full-length commentary!

  • no features

Is that enough plot elements and action for you? Treat Williams is an unarmed cop on leave from he LAPD to play the treasure hunt game, and he has to defeat a bunch of Navy Seals, 140 MPH winds, a tidal wave, venal TV executives who feel the participant's deaths would be good for ratings, and the treachery of his fellow contestants.

Actually, it's kind of fun in a silly larger-than-life way. I actually got kind of a kick out of it, despite the fact that it has too much premise, no relation to reality, and some pretty cheesy special effects. If you keep your expectations reasonable, it's an ok made-for-vid popcorn flick, and it even has a full-length commentary from the director and the DP.

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: not enough votes for a score 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. It's dumb, but kinda loveable in its own operatic way.

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