Night of the Twisters
is a made for TV movie released in 1996. The movie follows a family struggling for survival during a long night full of violent tornadoes and the relationship building that comes from it. The movie is based on a novel by the same name by Ivy Ruckman which loosely is based on the Grand Island Nebraska Tornado outbreak. Much of the movie omits these facts and alters them.
The plot follows a teenage boy Daniel Hatch his mother, Stepfather and brother along with his best friend find themselves in the middle of a unusual violent tornado outbreak at an unusual time. While at home babysitting Dan's father leaves to check on the grandmother and soon after a monster tornado bears down on the home. After the tornado has passed the Dan struggles to reunite his family as the night wears on and more tornadoes ravage the town.
This Film Provides Examples Of:
- Anachronism Stew: The Tornado warning sirens are old stock sound effects of air raid sirens from World War II
- Possibly Truth in Television, as "used" sirens might well have been installed from Army Surplus.
- A Storm Is Coming: Done often with seeing tornadoes on a rampage with mileage distance from the town where the movie is set.
- California Doubling: The movie was filmed in Ontario, Canada but is set in Nebraska.
- Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: The last part of the movie violates this trope egregiously. The heroes outrunning a tornado's funnel cloud that was literally right on their bumper during the finale. The film almost averted this during an earlier scene had a tornado tear a wall off the protagonist's house while the funnel cloud was hundreds of yards away.
- Dueling Movies: Came out the same year as the big budgeted theatrical movie Twister.
- Jerkass: The father's response to his son avoiding a pedestrian, crashing his bike into a curb, and nearly cracking his head open on a fire hydrant? "You are not going to avoid finishing this race! You drag your bike across the finish line!"
- Shout-Out: "It's Twister Auntie Em!"
- Truth in Television: Tornadoes are often associated with early spring but can happen all year round. This film is set in Autumn.
- The characters opening windows when the sirens sound off. It has often been thought (but thoroughly debunked) that opening windows equalizes air pressure reducing damage to the house.
- Taking shelter under an overpass, also a common and potentially dangerous tornado myth but played straight in this.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also does advise hiding in a windowless room with some form of padding. While the Hatches' home did have a basement, any windowless room and/or interior hallway or closet is also safe places for a home that doesn’t have a basement. Hiding under the stairs is effective as well.