HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • English: Dolby Digital Mono

    The Cassandra Crossing

    Magna/Magna . R4 . COLOR . 123 mins . M15+ . PAL


    Egads! Yet more deceptive film titles. It wasn't enough that I was lumbered with the obscenely deceptive Ocean's Eleven (hint: it's NOT about an eleven year old boy named Ocean), but now I discover even older films, circa 1976, have practiced the same black arts. The culprit this time is The Cassandra Crossing.

    The title evokes images of a wistful young woman, going by the delightfully wistful name of Cassandra, wistfully traipsing her way through adolescence, until the fateful day she meets a vengeful scoundrel Count and is crossed, thusly giving us The Cassandra Crossing. It is at this point that I imagine that she takes up small arms training from a local militia and the film turns into a bloodbath, as she seeks revenge for her deflowering at the hands of the wastrel Count by blowing him and everyone he’s ever known away in a hail of slow motion gunfire.

    Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? But it's all a dream. Or maybe a bizarre fantasy on my behalf. I don’t know. It would have made a good sequel to The Sound of Music.

    Instead, we are lumbered with the story of a trainload of actors making their way across country. Unbeknownst to them, they are all infected by a plague of sorts, and are doomed not to reach their intended destination because the authorities have decided that the train would be better off plunging off a dodgy bridge, which just happens to be called... come on... you know the answer... come on... no, it’s not the Westgate Bridge. Give up? It’s The Cassandra Crossing! So, unless the doctor onboard can find a cure and convince the authorities otherwise the passengers are well and truly stuffed.

    Just who are these unlucky passengers on the train ride to oblivion that we’re asked to care so much about? Gracing our screens are none other than the incomparable Ray Lovelock, the unpronounceable Alida Valli, the constipated Stefano Patrizi and the confused Lou Castel. I’ve never heard of them either, but you may better know the other cast members: Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Martin Sheen, O.J. Simpson, Lee Strasberg and Ava Gardner.

    From this esteemed cast, you can quite rightly assume this was another entry into the grand disaster films of the time, when everyone would hop on board a burning building, a collapsing bridge, a crashing plane or an out of control shopping trolley all in the name of star-studded disaster cinema and another pay cheque to help with their cabana boy's salary.

    But don’t blame them if you don’t like this film. Blame George P. Cosmatos instead, he of Tombstone fame. Now, I think Tombstone was a kick arse film, and had all the elements down pat. But then again, he’s also responsible for other disaster flicks, such as Leviathan (underwater monster disaster movie), Cobra (psycho-cult disaster movie) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (Stallone acting disaster movie)...


    The gurus at the IMDB say that this film was originally shot at 1.66:1, and this DVD has it letterboxed at 1.78:1, meaning there’s obviously no 16:9 enhancement on this transfer. It starts out looking a bit dodgy, with plenty of scratches, hairs and various specks on the print and a bit of colour bleed on some red parts of a uniform, but it clears up after the opening sequence. Other than the lack of extra clarity afford to the slightly soft detail by an anamorphic transfer, it’s not too bad. Throughout there’s a bit of aliasing and shimmering, and colours are on the drab side typical for the time with flat blacks and so-so shadow detail.


    This film probably never had the best sound to begin with, and the Dolby Digital 2.0 mono at 192kbps audio does its best with a fairly flat sounding dynamic range with a bit of sibilance. The dialogue is always clear, but sounds a little harsh and tinny at times. You can forget any sonic fireworks such as gunshots, helicopters and such which just don’t have any real extra oomph in the mix, instead it just passes the effects by with little fanfare or dramatics.


    Zip, zilch, zero, nada, nothing, nought. It's as bare as a new born baby's backside.


    To best enjoy The Cassandra Crossing, you have to go into it with an “I’ve got a cold and I'm taking the day off work and there's nothing else to watch and the 12 Codrals I just took are kicking in big time” state of mind, and you might get a little enjoyment out of it.

    As for the quality of the DVD, it's an only just average looking and sounding effort at best, completely devoid of extras. This is not exactly a DVD to showcase the finer abilities of the medium. I could be nastier in my assesment, and at times I really wanted to, but I used up all my anger in my Santa with Muscles review and I'm in a fairly good mood right now, so we'll leave it at that.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1499
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
      And I quote...
    "This is not exactly a DVD to showcase the finer abilities of the medium..."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
    by Vince Carrozza

    20 Million Miles to Earth

    Earth Vs The Flying Saucers
    "The people of Earth face their ultimate threat – not from the DEVIOUS COMMUNISTS! Not from the WILEY CHINESE! Not even from the sinister ROTARIANS!"

    City Under the Sea
    "What, indeed, was the point of this film, and why did they write a part for a bloody rooster?"

    Santana - Down Under Live at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion
    "Fans can look beyond the flaws though and just revel in the Gold FM hits without the annoying ads."

    Phantom of the Opera (1925)
    "It’s your typical ‘lovesick masked psycho meets girl, girl unmasks psycho, psycho goes on rampage” story."

      Related Links
      None listed


    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5