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Not Rated
Copyright 1999 Monolith Productions.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Dr. Mark Stratton - Our hero, probably because he owns the pickup truck. You're going to see a lot of the pickup truck.
  • Susan - Mark's girlfriend, she keeps saying stuff like "Yes dear, I mean Dr. Stratton." and playing it off badly.
  • The Sheriff - Somebody teach him how to use an iron and buy him a badge for goodness sakes. Killed by the monster.
  • Neuman - Mean land developer who hates signs. Dies.
  • The Prospector and the Physicist - One in the same person and both are crushed by the monster.
  • The Tumbleweed - A huge mutant form of this plant bent on world domina..., rolling around.

The Plot: 

You would expect any film with a running time of twenty-five minutes to be lacking in the stock footage department, but you could be wrong. There are goodly amounts of stock footage from nuclear tests and "filler" footage of a Ford F150 pickup in this one. If you watch this you will start to hate that pickup... ...I had no real problems with the nuke test stuff, but somebody's truck?

What is the film about in the first place though, right? The premise is that nuclear testing has created a giant radioactive tumbleweed that is just sort of rolling around the empty spaces of America's Southwest. By giant I mean big, the size of Epcot Center big. Somehow this menace is propelled like any other tumbleweed, by the wind. Needless to say, any wind strong enough to move around ten stories of plant matter (dried out or not) is going to be out of the ordinary.

The film's creators were looking for a classic b-movie feel. Unfortunately the attack scenes are very abrupt, one moment the prospector is looking at rocks and then he notices the cameraman is attacking him. Kinda a, "Grunt. Huh? Ahhhh!" thing. I wanted to see something novel, like an effect produced by mounting the camera on a stick between two people, then they run toward the doomed actor while spinning it. Presto! A tumbleweed's point of view! Alas, it was not to be.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Sheriffs do not wear uniforms or badges.
  • The government has been selling off land that was used for nuclear weapons testing.
  • Make sure people know their lines before you say "action!"
  • Geiger counters sound just like a metronome.
  • Attacking a ten-story tumbleweed with a hatchet is not advised.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 1 min - Bonanza?
  • 4 mins - I hope this truck is not going to be an issue.
  • 8 mins - Okay, the truck is officially an issue.
  • 15 mins - One warning sign for acres of contaminated land.
  • 18 mins - Why did the evil developer drive out here? Looking for the physicist? Maybe?
  • 20 mins - Go away truck. If I'm lucky this thing has Firestone tires on it...
  • 23 mins - And suddenly we are watching a cruise missile instead of a bomb.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note terrorwind1.wav Susan: "Atomic test site! Won't that be dangerous Mark? I mean... ...Dr. Stratton."
Green Music Note terrorwind2.wav Sheriff: "Yes, there's been an unexplained death up in that area you are headed to. So I just wanted to let you know you that should be careful."
The Physicist: "Oh Sheriff, you know I'll be careful. In fact, I'm putting on some sunscreen right now."
Green Music Note terrorwind3.wav Mark: "Sheriff, there's a giant tumbleweed heading straight towards town!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipterrorwind1.mpg - 2.0m
Of course this scene features the ever present Ford F150, but there is also the spine-chilling image of someone dragging a dried out plant along the ground! Eeeekkk!

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