On this day in Film History: Twister!!! (1996)


Believe it or not, on this day in film history, Twister was released TWENTY YEARS AGO in 1996. To this day, I personally blame this movie for reinvigorating my near-phobic terror regarding tornadoes, because it has some moments that are downright terrifying (like when the twister destroys the drive-in theater *shudders*)

Twister follows meteorologist and storm chaser Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) as she seeks to deploy a device named DOROTHY (based on a real-life device named TOTO) to study a tornado from the inside and help develop a more advanced warning system (her father was killed by an F5 tornado). As a huge storm system begins to develop, Dr. Jo is tracked down by her estranged husband Bill (Bill Paxton) who needs her to sign divorce papers so he can marry his new fiancee (Jami Gertz). But before Jo can sign the papers, the Hardings discover that a rival storm chaser has created a storm analysis device of his own (and it’s clearly ripped off of DOROTHY’s design), prompting Bill to help his estranged wife so that her rival (Cary Elwes) can’t take the credit for someone else’s work.

I last watched this movie in college, and I’m still surprised I made it all the way through. If there is one type of storm I fear above all others, it’s tornadoes, and for someone afraid of that type of storm, Twister is your worst nightmare turned reality. There are moments when characters see the monster funnel bearing down and it’s like, the ultimate “Holy S**T” moment! The effects for the tornado itself were state of the art at the time, and the film won a lot of praise in that area.

Honestly, I hope this is one movie they NEVER remake, I’d be scared to see what it would look like. But if you’re into killer storms, this is the movie for you!

*poster is the property of Amblin Entertainment

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