Eric’s Bad Movies: ‘Volcano’ (1997)

My choice for this week’s edition of Eric’s Bad Movies at was easy. With “2012” coming out tomorrow, the 1997 disaster flick “Volcano,” which has been on my list of possibilities since the column began, immediately sprang to mind. It’s actually one of the more agreeable entries in the EBM canon — stupid, sure, but not painful to watch. It’s the kind of bad movie that doesn’t do any serious harm to the viewer.

To be fair, I should mention one exchange of dialogue in “Volcano” that legitimately made me laugh AND was actually supposed to be funny. (Usually it’s one or the other with these movies.) Two grunt workers are struggling as they carry large paintings out of a museum that’s about to be absorbed by lava, and they say this:

ONE WORKER: This Hieronymus Bosch is heavy!
OTHER WORKER: That’s ’cause he deals with man’s inclination toward sin in defiance of God’s will.
ONE WORKER: That’s not what I meant.


With “Volcano,” the year 1997 pulls ahead of 1987 for most movies featured in EBM. This is the eighth 1997 entry; 1987 has only seven. The two years have been neck-and-neck the whole time, each vying to be crowned Worst Year in Film History.

Also, please do not forget my new Tuesday column at, called What’s the Big Deal? This week’s entry is “Touch of Evil,” Orson Welles’ classic B-movie noir from 1958.