Plot: A group of environmental activists plan to make a statement, targeting a massive oil silo to draw attention to the cause. But this plan is a peaceful one and they intend to hang a banner on the silo, not resort to violence or sabotage. Led by former firefighter Scott (Casper Van Dien), the group approaches the silo only to discover someone else was already there. The previous visitors left a bomb on the site and when it blows, it creates a tornado of flames. Now the activists have to watch in terror as the fire twister tears through the area, while also staying ahead of armed mercenaries on their trail and news reports that they were responsible for the blast. But Scott and the others don’t plan to just hide and survive, instead they want to put an end to the fire twister’s trail of damage, no matter what it takes.
Entertainment Value: I simply have to watch a movie that stars Casper Van Dien and involves a tornado made of fire, as that kind of magic just doesn’t happen all that often, right? This is about what you’d expect, following in the well worn footsteps of similar sci/fi mashups with one name talent and a boatload of terrible CGI, but that isn’t a bad thing by default. If you appreciate these kind of b movies, this one has some fun to offer, but at the same time, it doesn’t do much to win over those who aren’t fans of the genre, so it is a middle of the road prospect. The narrative is ridiculous of course, but piles in enough elements to keep things brisk. After all, just a flamethrower tornado wouldn’t be enough, so we have terrorism, mercenaries, a manhunt, media coverage, and of course, Van Dien’s Scott is a man with a controversial past. Van Dien is himself, fun to watch and he adds some star power, with a campy, enjoyable performance. The rest of the cast is not good, but bad in that special fun way that you want in movies like Fire Twister, so that’s good news. This is just silly fun, exactly what you expect from this kind of cheap, low end sci/fi disaster cinema.
No nakedness. No love scenes in the shadow of the fire twister, but these kind of movies don’t lean on sleaze, just bargain CGI visual effects. No blood. This one has some mild violence, such as gunfire and of course tornado damage, but keeps things light and non graphic when the hurt hammer strikes. The movie piles on the visual effects however, with a wealth of silly, low end, and ineffective CGI at work. The fire twister looks bad, but in a fun way and the various destruction scenes are also quite fun, even if they don’t look even close to realistic. I am no fan of CGI, but it is a core element of this genre and Fire Twister puts it to work just as you’d expect. The dialogue has some humorous bursts thanks to some atrocious lines and zingers, but most of the laughs come from the actors more than the material. So even basic lines sometimes cause unintentional humor, which is always welcome. Not as one liner or camp driven as some in the genre, but there’s fun stuff here. As for craziness, the premise of Van Dien vs. Fire Twister is a fun one, but the movie doesn’t go off the deep that much.
Overall Insanity: 1/10