Run time: 91 mins
In Theaters: Friday 4th October 2002
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
IMDB: 3.6 / 10
Director: James Seale
Producer: Paul Hertzberg
Starring: Mark Dacascos as Ryan Beckett, John Rhys-Davies as Dr. Matthew Sallin, Tamara Davies as Julie McGrath, Mark Rolston as Kellaway, Rutger Hauer as US Präsident Nelson, Rayne Marcus as Faith Beckett, G. W. Bailey as General Moore, Thomas F. Duffy as Anderson, Sam Lloyd as Fingers, Michael Jace as MacVaughn, Jeffrey Johnson as Styles, Billy Maddox as Norris, Alex Datcher as Janet Hill, Cathleen Kaelyn as Tara Beckett, Joel West as Zero, Josh Hammond as Matt, Beth Riesgraf as Krissy, Ivonne Coll as Mayor Salizar, Frank Novak as City Engineer, Blair Hickey as Technikan, Tom Billett as Officer
Say what you will about using lame source material, Scorcher is laughably bad in its own right. As with Core, our meddling has caused some kind of tectonic trouble, and if the gap between two plates opens wider than 44 centimeters (yeah, whatever), then we will literally have "hell on earth" as earthquakes and volcanoes sprout up all over the planet. Uh huh. And so our hero geologists (including John Rhys-Davies, whoa nelly!), under the direction of President Rutger Hauer(!!!), are tasked with finding a solution. Naturally, that involves setting off a nuclear bomb somewhere. In the case of Scorcher, it means detonating the nuke in central Los Angeles. Sounds like an improvement to me, but whatever, after quietly evacuating the tens of millions of people who live there, a wrench involving our military co-hero (Mark Dacascos) and a kidnapped daughter gets thrown at us, not to mention crossed signals between the military dudes tasked with getting the nukes set just so.
Whether it's a soldier hoisting a nuclear warhead with his bare hands or all eyes on that count-up meter as the hole approaches 44 cm, Scorcher is a real howler through and through. It's almost bad enough to merit watching simply for kitsch value (did I mention President Rutger Hauer???), but not quite. In fact, the special effects are a little too good, believe it or not, to pass for a strict B-movie. When L.A. gets nuked, I really, truly believed it was happening.