It's another beautiful day in the Caribbean. Pleasure cruises, planes coming and going to the island paradise, and a small, glass-bottomed boat taking tourists on a scenic tour of the local scenery. Then the cyclone hits.
The glass-bottomed boat takes a beating and is left stranded many miles off course without land in sight. A plane that was diverted from the airport due to the cyclone is caught in the ensuing storm and crashes into the sea, killing almost everyone on board except for a rag tag group of survivors. As this is happening a fishing boat is swamped by the turbulent ocean and the small crew is forced to abandon ship in what must be the worst looking life boat in history.
It doesn't take long before the three separate storylines converge as the fishermen save the plane crash victims from a vicious man-eating shark. Then it's the glass-bottom boat's turn to rescue them. Now, they are all together and forced to withstand the elements while battling thirst and hunger as they stay adrift on the merciless ocean for days.
Rene Cardona Jr.'s Cyclone is another addition to the disaster film genre of the seventies, but, where most filmmakers would have been happy with any one of the elements in this film, Cardona blends them into a fascinating hodge podge. We get the killer storm, the watery plane crash (done to classic perfection in Airport '77), the boat adrift on the sea and killer sharks. Spielberg made a career of killer sharks. Cardona just throws them in for good measure. And he uses real sharks to give it that authentic look.
And the cast he manages to get together (regardless of the fact that it was the seventies and every B list actor in the world could get a part in one of these things)! We get Arthur Kennedy (The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue), Carol Baker (Giant), Lionel Stander (probably best well know as Max in the Hart To Hart TV series) and Olga Karlatos (Zombi 2). What was she doing in there?? For those of you who are among the uninformed, Olga Karlatos is the woman who takes the huge, nasty splinter in the eye in Zombi 2. This time around she's just very pregnant and extremely whiny.