In 1996 there was a film released called Tornado! The ! at the end of that sentence is because the title of the movie was Tornado! with the ! included, not because I was excited in any way to deliver you that information. I’m not even sure if I needed a period at the end of that sentence.
Tornado! was a bad attempt to piggyback on the success created by another 1996 movie Twister. Twister did not feel the need to include a ! in their name. The movie was a flop despite the fact that Bruce Campbell played the lead role of Jack Thorne; the rugged cowboy storm chaser who’s friend has developed a machine that detects tornados. Enter the sexy auditor Samantha, who has to decide if the project is worth the money, and Jake has his hands full trying to prove that the machine works and that he is indeed rugged all as he dodges killer tornados. I know, sounds like a can’t miss proposition. The only review I could find on his performance was ” he is just a big block of wood that delivers his lines with all the charisma of bookcase and the urgency of a dead badger”. A bit rough I’d say given that Bruce Campbell a cinematic treasure. Did this reviewer really want Bruce to act the part with the urgency of a live badger?
For the record I thought Twister blew. I hope you will ignore the irony of the term I used to describe my lack of enthusiasm for it. Bottom line though, it was a big hit and made a lot of cash at the box office.
Tornado! did not.
Was it the exclamation point?
There are so many proverbs about the little things being the big things or the little things becoming the big things that you have to wonder if there were numerous marketing meetings that centered around whether or not to add the ! at the end of Tornado. You can almost hear the raised voices from both sides pleading their case. “Without the ! we’ve got nothing! Twister will eat our lunch!” someone might have bellowed while another screamed about movie titles and any punctuation other than the occasional : being bad bedfellows.
Given that tornados can generate wind speeds of over 300 mph, tearing off roofs and leveling buildings, can stretch 2 miles wide, create a deafening roar and can stay on the ground for miles at a time I wonder if the ! in Tornado! is even necessary. I would almost assume it is implied. Has anyone ever seen one and said “Look. A tornado.”?
Now Waterworld, there was a flick that needed a ! in the title. Maybe Waterworld! wouldn’t have been such a bomb. I think the Beatles would have done ok even if it was Help… although Help? might have not done so well.
But I’m sure that there are still people in the marketing department at Von Zerneck Sertner Films who to this very day have strong opinions about Tornado! and where it went wrong. Is there someone that still has a lingering doubt that it could have been a hit if they dropped the exclamation point?
See what I did there? I spelled it out as opposed to using the symbol ! because it was the end of the sentence and it ended as a question so otherwise you’d have had to read it as !?. I was being considerate. Now you could make the case that I should have ended the sentence proceeding the last one by saying exclamation point question mark because it ended up ending with a period and thus invalidated my original effort to be considerate but fuck you and fuck your Mom.
No ! needed there.
Is there anyone involved with the movie that still harbors a deep regret it wasn’t titled Tornado!! and feels that would have put it over the top?
If my keyboard was able to type the upside down ! in front of Tornado I could have asked how the film did in Mexico.