Volcano (film)

1997 film by Mick Jackson

Volcano is a 1997 disaster-action movie about a volcano growing out of the La Brea Tar Pits and wreaking havoc throughout Los Angeles.

Directed by Mick Jackson. Written by Jerome Armstrong and Billy Ray.
The Coast is Toast.(taglines)

Amy Barnes

  • [pointing out the blazing department store and melting bus to Roark] All right, the bus is just deflecting this, OK? It's coming back around, it's obviously got in the store, and we are dealing with very determined stuff here!

Emmit Reese

  • Moses couldn't reroute this shit, it's everywhere!


Mike: I can't leave you here after an earthquake.
Kelly Roark: Why not? I'm 13 years old. I know what to do.
Mike: OK. What do you do?
Kelly: Get in the door frame, stick your head between your knees, and kiss your ass goodbye.

Mike: If a dam breaks somewhere, the Mayor calls, I don't want you telling her Roark went fishing.
Emmit: Look, see, the mayor's in Aspen, okay? We don't pull her off of the slopes for only a 4.9. Besides, I'd cover for you.
Mike: I'm sure you would. You look very comfortable sitting behind my desk talking on my telephone.
Emmit: Yeah, it's kinda like I belong there or something.

Amy: Sometimes magma can find one of those fissures and rise up through it.
Mike: What's magma?
Rachel: Lava.
Mike: Lava? Right here in L.A?
Amy: It is one of several possibilities. It is unlikely, but it is a possibility.
Mike: We have a history of that here in the downtown area?
Rachel: Parícutin...1943 a Mexican farmer sees smoke coming out of the middle of his cornfield. A week later there's a volcano a thousand feet high. There's no history of anything until it happens. Then there is.

Amy: God, this is so stupid. The city's finally paying for its arrogance.
Mike: Which particular arrogance is that?
Amy: Building a subway under land that's seismically active.
Mike: Yeah, it was a foolish man that built his house upon the sand.
Amy: Matthew 7:26. Favorite among geologists.

Woman: Emmit, FAA’s on the line. They want an update.
Emmit: Where are we with the airports?
Marty: We shut down all outgoing. Everything incoming is being re-routed to Ontario.
Emmit: No, no, no, no. Marty, no... Look at that screen! That cloud is blowing due east. We gotta send everything to San Diego.
Man: Emmit, they got two gas lines burning on Fairfax. They can't get any hydrant pressure.
Emmit: Swimming pools.
Man: What about them?
Emmit: Pump out all the swimming pools. That's a thousand gallons a pop. That's all the water we need.
Man: Emmit, we just got a call from La Brea. There's total gridlock from Pico to Sunset.
Emmit: Didn't we send over all those damn traffic cops?
Man: That's who's calling; they're stuck at Olympic. Cars keep stalling out because of all the ash. It's clogging up the air filters.
Emmit: Chevettes, right?

[Mike Roark has just overseen the flipping of a bus to at least stem the lava approaching down Wilshire]
Mike Roark: All right we know that stuff is lava. What do we do next?
Amy Barnes: You have got to evacuate the West Side. This thing is going to burn through the city until it reaches the ocean.
Roark: The West Side, it's a million people!
Barnes: There will be a million dead or homeless people if we don't evacuate! This is going to destroy everything it touches!

[Roark breaks up an argument between the LA Fire Department chief and a DWP engineer on how to stop the lava flow]
Mike Roark: Knock this shit off! What is with you people? Chief, how long will it take this stuff to get to Fairfax?
LAFD Chief: At this speed, it'll about ten minutes, give or take.
Roark: Enough time to build a barricade? [everybody is blank] All right, look [flips map and starts drawing] Wilshire Boulevard, Fairfax. Eighty K-rails, double stacked in a horseshoe. OK? A cul-de-sac. That's gotta be a wall at least six feet high.
Dr Amy Barnes: D'you have any helicopters, water tankers?
Roark: Not yet, but they're on the way.
Barnes: All right great. Once you get this lava to pool ok, dump everything you've got on it, all at once, try to form a crust. Maybe it'll dam itself, it's what they did in Iceland.
Roark: [surprised at Amy's solution] Thank you.
Barnes: You're welcome.
DWP Official: This is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg.
LAPD Lt Ed Fox: I don't know how many men we should keep putting in front of this thing.
Roark: We're going to put as many people in front of it as it takes. Listen up, people! Let me tell you what's south of us: no more museums, no more department stores, just homes! People! If we turn and run now, they're gonna be defenseless! You don't like my plan? That's good. Give me another plan, but don't tell me we're backing out! Is everybody clear on that?
People: Yeah!
Roark: All right, let's go. Build a wall! [everybody scrambles to work]

Amy: [calling Roark on his phone] How fast can you get to the corner of Wilshire and Western, we got a problem.
Mike: No, no. Not anymore. We have got it stopped.
Amy: The volume of ash coming down is way too high to think that we're out of danger.
Mike: So, well how come it stopped?
Amy: Well, maybe it didn't, maybe it just went someplace else.
Mike: So, how do you know it didn't stop?
Amy: You know, I don't. But when Mount Saint Helens blew, the force was 27,000 times greater then that of the Hiroshima bomb. Do you think that vent released anywhere near that much energy yet?
Mike: No.
Amy: Well, lets just assume that we haven't seen the real bulk of the magma yet, okay? Trust me, get down here. [hangs up the phone] Shit.


  • The Coast Is Toast.
  • There are at least 1,500 active volcanoes in the world that we know about...and at least one that we don't.
  • Welcome to Los Angeles. It's hotter than hell.


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