Truck drivers need downtime just like the rest of us, even when they’re on the road. Watching a movie can be an entertaining way to pass the time, and several memorable films have been centered around weather. In a FreightWaves Twitter survey, this is how drivers ranked four popular weather-themed flicks.
‘The Perfect Storm’ (2000)
Before Wolfgang Petersen remade the classic “Poseidon Adventure,” he already created one visually dynamic weather movie set on the high seas. Based on the novel by Sebastian Junger, “The Perfect Storm,” which topped our survey with 50% of the votes, stars George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg as members of a commercial fishing crew caught in a severe cyclone at sea.
The film was based on an actual event — the remnants of Hurricane Grace merging with a low-pressure system over the Canadian Maritimes — which lasted from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2, 1991. The storm produced a serious surge and huge waves along and just offshore of the Northeast coast, with wave heights near 40 feet.
The storm killed 13 people and caused more than $200 million in damages. The movie tells the story of the small crew aboard the Andrea Gail as they try to make it back to shore.
Coming in second place with 38% of the votes, “Snowpiercer” is based on the French comic book of the same name and was directed by Bong Joon-ho (“The Host”). The story takes place seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland due to climate change. The governments of Earth knew it was coming and prepared accordingly by building a self-sustaining train that runs perpetually on a globe-spanning track.
They sell spots on the train to the wealthy and affluent, who sit up front, and the middle class in the middle. When a group of poor people rushes the train, they are allowed to board, but only in the rear cattle cars. The movie shows how the class warfare, social injustices and politics of survival play out.
So, maybe other movies better fit this survey than “Sharknado,” which only got 6% of the votes in the survey. However, this disaster movie was so successful that it needs mentioning. The idea is simple, albeit a bit ludicrous.
Ian Ziering and Tara Reid lead the cast as a husband and wife who encounter a freak hurricane that swamps Los Angeles, leading to thousands of sharks terrorizing the waterlogged city. The storm’s tornado-like winds fling sharks through the air, with their mouths open and ready to eat anything in their path.
As crazy as the concept is, the Sharknado franchise now consists of six movies featuring cameos from some pretty famous people — David Hasselhoff, Charo, Fabio, Jerry Springer, Carrot Top and Nichelle Nichols, just to name a few — and has earned several million dollars in video sales.
‘The Poseidon Adventure’ (1972)
“The Poseidon Adventure” is about a luxury ocean liner, the SS Poseidon, that was on its final voyage before heading to the scrap yard. Like most “one last mission” movies, things do not go well. A tsunami strikes and the ship capsizes, with the survivors frantically seeking a way to safety before it is too late.
The movie was a huge success, receiving two Oscars — one for best original song for “The Morning After” and the other a special achievement award for technical effects — and a Golden Globe for best supporting actress (Shelley Winters). However, it didn’t rank high in our survey, tying “Sharknado” with 6% of the votes.
Much of the film’s box office success was due to the fantastic cast, which also included Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Red Buttons. In 2006, Peterson directed a remake called “Poseidon,” which earned a rating of only 33% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer.