BluRay/DVD Reviews

SONIC IMPACT

By • Oct 23rd, 2001 •

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2000, 94 minutes,
Presented in both 1.33 ratio (in which, the box claims, the film was shot, though I wonder if it was the desired ratio for projection) and 16:9 for widescreen tvs.

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Which cast member had a pierced penis, and showed it to production personnel off- camera? Which two extras – who didn’t know each other prior to shooting – ended up having sex in an unused set by the end of the shoot? Which actor broke his own nose during filming, but valiantly stayed on schedule in heavy makeup which doesn’t quite cover the dark circles under his eyes (check the shot 50 minutes in)? Whose trailer did people gravitate to because the occupant was constantly running Abbott & Costello videos? How many takes were required for an early scene wherein James Russo walks prisoner Michael Harris away from a warehouse under arrest – the problem being that Russo wouldn’t keep his hands on Harris as directed, claiming he thought it made him look gay?

Sonic Impact, a highly enjoyable B programmer, has an equally enjoyable commentary track featuring director Rodney MacDonald and the villain of the piece, Michael Harris. The director explains the logistics and errors of the shoot, and compliments his co-commentator by saying “Michael Harris can tell a dirty joke better than any man I know”. Harris reveals all the titillating behind-the-scenes dirt to us, something he might be less willing to do in a few years if his career accelerates (which it deserves to based on his performance here.) Way back when, Harris was in Slumber Party Massacre III and Satan’s Princess. Then followed appearances on ER and Law and Order. He starred in the tv series The Burning Zone, and recent features include The Horseplayer and The Headhunter’s Sister.

As the commentary proceeds we learn that the screenplay, as filmed, ended up being 80% improvised, an example being J. Kenneth Campbell, an ex-marine and pilot who was hired to play the pilot of the plane because of his real life experience and ended up re-writing all the pilot’s dialogue to make it more realistic. (Campbell was also the pilot in Turbulence) There’s some good info on Ice-T also, who had a small window of time available to essay his role, and played it very cool…

Plane crisis flicks have a high ratio for being fun. Sonic Impact is no exception, and the commentary track makes it more of a keeper.

And as a double bill? How about two B plane-disaster flicks: Sonic Impact and Submerged (Paramount Home Video), which is an equally enjoyable, quality exploiter. Or you could opt for Airplane…but I’d save that to double bill with Galaxy Quest.


Cast:
James Russo,
Ice-T,
Mel Harris.

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