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

Written by Jerome Armstrong and Billy Ray and directed by Mick Jackson.
The Coast is Toast. Taglines

Mike Roark

  • I enjoy motor sports, music and the company of close friends…sir.
  • [Responding to a phone call on his private line] Oh, that'll be my little girl wanting a tattoo.
  • 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 going to be defenseless! You don't like my plan? That's good. Give me another plan, but don't tell me we're backing out!

Amy Barnes

  • [after arriving at the Tar Pits] You would have loved this, Rachel.
  • It's a lava bomb. You don't do anything...until you know where it's gonna land.
  • When Mount St. Helens blew the force was 27,000 times greater than that of the Hiroshima bomb.

Emmit Reese

  • Bob, we need pictures. I need those choppers in the air now.
  • Sounded like you said "something like a meteor"?
  • I just got a little message here from Sindelar. He's stuck on the damn freeway directing traffic.


  • Roger Lapher: Freak accident on a storm drain job. They hit a steam pocket and got scalded. No fires, no explosions, no continuing threat. We'll copy you on a report.
  • Roger: You're not happy unless you’re declaring an emergency, are you!
  • Anita: Yeah, well, I'm doing him a favor, a big favor. I'm gonna miss my class. [phone rings and Anita picks it up] Hello? Mike! Oh, fine; a perfect little ray of sunshine like I was after my parents separated. Every couple of minutes her head comes off her shoulders, rotates 360 degrees, and then she starts watching TV again.
  • Chief Sindelar: Gonna be delayed. My damn car's stuck behind the damn gate cos we have no damn power!
  • Bud McVie: Hey, man, you know what they say. No pain, no gain.


  • 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.

  • Bud McVie: Oh-oh, we're cool now. It's LAPD.
  • Scared Man: Hey, officer! How about giving us a ride back to civilization please?
  • Bud McVie: What's up? You gonna come out or what? It's our 'hood!
  • Terry Jasper: Hey, you wanna calm down and tell me what this is all about?
  • Bud McVie: You wanna get outta my face?
  • Terry Jasper: Hey, if I'm in your face, you’re gonna know it, all right; bro?
  • Bud McVie: Huh, right!

  • Rachel: I can't. I can't.
  • Kevin: It's only couple of sentences, maybe a question or two.
  • Rachel: Then you do it!
  • Kevin: When the ground moves, people wanna hear from a seismologist, not a pencil pusher.
  • Rachel: If I go up there, I am gonna throw up.
  • Kevin: I don’t think that’s gonna send the sense of calm we're looking for.
  • Amy: Hey, you guys didn't feel anything this morning, did you?
  • Kevin: You're off the hook, Flash.
  • Amy: Oh, you weren't gonna make her talk to those nasty reporters, were you?
  • Rachel: I got some stuff I wanna show you later.
  • Amy: Okay.

  • 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.

  • Traffic Cop: I don't care what your supervisor said! Nobody ran a work order past me, and this vehicle is on public property!
  • DWP Worker 1: What are you gonna do, ticket us?
  • DWP Worker 2: You're the cute one.
  • Traffic Cop: How 'bout I tow your ass, honey?

  • Roger: You're not happy unless you’re declaring an emergency, are you!
  • Mike: No, actually I enjoy motor sports, music and the company of close friends…sir.
  • Stan Olber: 30,000 people think they're taking the train home tonight. What am I supposed to do for them?
  • Mike: Put on extra buses.
  • Stan: It's his mess. Let him take the shit for it.

  • Chief Sindelar: Tell him he's not in Kansas anymore.
  • Emmit: You're not in Kansas anymore Mike.
  • Mike: St. Louis, I'm not in St. Louis.
  • Emmit: [into phone] St. Louis, he's not in St. Louis.
  • Sindelar: I don't give a shit where's he's not! He has a desk now; that's where...
  • Emmit: [to Mike] You have a desk; that's where you work.

  • 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 the possibilities.
  • 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.

[Guards are moving paintings from the L.A. County Art Museum]

  • 1st Guard: Man, this Hieronymus Bosch is heavy!
  • 2nd Guard: That's because he deals with man's inclination towards sin, in defiance of God's will.
  • 1st Guard: I didn't mean it like that.
  • 2nd Guard: Oh.

[Mike ordered 200 K-rails (freeway dividers) to redirect the lava.]

  • Mike: Where's the rest of 'em?
  • Truck driver: What "rest of 'em?" This is it!
  • Lt. Fox: Hey, there only about eighty here!
  • Truck driver: Eighty-two; everything else is stuck on the 5 and the 10.
  • Lt. Fox: We're trying to keep the city in one piece, pinhead. Eighty rails ain't gonna do it!
  • Truck driver: So what are you blaming me for?
  • Lt. Fox: Convenience, ok?

  • Roger: Didn't you hear me? I said the lights are out in San Francisco.
  • L.A. Fire Chief: But this street's on fire. Nobody gives a shit about San Francisco!

  • 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 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?

  • 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 it stopped.
  • Amy: The volume of ash coming down is way too high to think that we're out of danger.
  • Mike: So, why did it just stop?
  • 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 twenty seven thousand 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.

  • Kelly: Rock beats scissor and scissor beats paper.
  • Tommy: I'm not paper; I'm lava. What beats that?
  • Kelly: My dad...I hope!

[last lines]

  • Text on screen: C.I.G.S. Volcano Databank
  • Text on screen: Name: Mount Wilshire
  • Text on screen: Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Text on screen: Status: ACTIVE


  • The Coast Is Toast.
  • There are at least 1,500 active volcanoes 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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