Avalanche on Blu-ray

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

avalancheRock Hudson stars in the 1978 film Avalanche. This was one of Hudson’s last feature films. He passed away in 1985.

Avalanche joined the ranks of the disaster films of the decade, among them are The Poseidon Adventure (1972), The Towering Inferno (1974), Airport (1970), and Earthquake (1974).


In Avalanche, Hudson plays David Shelby, a New York developer who transforms a quiet Colorado mountain into a stunning winter wonderland. But he does so without any thought to what his actions might do to upset Mother Nature. The film takes place over a few days when sports figures and high-powered folks gather at the resort for the grand opening.


Mia Farrow co-stars as Shelby’s ex-wife with whom he desperately wants to reunite. Robert Forster is Nick Thorne, a man in tune with the mountain who warns Shelby of his reckless behavior.


The guests include plenty of flawed characters, and they’re all looking for a good time either on the slopes, the ice rink, or in the bar or, most importantly, the bedroom.


When an avalanche (I’m not giving away the plot…just read the title of the film!) buries the entire resort, it is a fight for survival to find anyone left alive.


The film relies on special effects, which are really quite amateurish by today’s standards. The falling snow is definitely fake and the avalanche itself is not what today’s movie goers expect. It’s pretty evident that Styrofoam was used to make the chunks of snow. Effects have come a long way since this film was produced, but at the time this is what audiences were used to.


The movie is hokey, to say the least. And the acting and effects are not top notch, by any means. Besides being a story about flawed people, it is a film about how people and their greed overtake common sense and the need to care for the land instead of using it for personal gain.


On this new Blu-ray edition, producer Roger Corman discusses how the film was made on a limited budget and how the television rights for it were bought even before the movie was filmed. He also discusses how the effects were disappointing and the avalanche snow looks blue, to his chagrin.


There is something interesting about watching this edition because it reminds us of how movies were produced on limited budgets decades ago. Today this movie would cost over ten times as much to make as it did in 1978. And it would probably be better. Nevertheless, at the time it entertained movie audiences.


I remember going to the theater when it was released and thinking it was a horrible movie, yet there was something about it that stuck in my mind and I really wanted to see the new Blu-ray edition. The movie hasn’t gotten better over time. But I am glad I saw it on Blu-ray. For a not-so-good movie, it’s fun (and funny) to watch, and the interview with Roger Corman puts it all into perspective.
Avalanche is rated PG. There are scenes of disaster, sex and nudity.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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