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1990 – Joe Versus the Volcano


Directed by: John Patrick Shanley
Written by: John Patrick Shanley
Produced by: Teri Schwartz
Production year: 1990
Original release: 9 March 1990 (USA)
Running time: 1 Hour, 42 Minutes
Other cast: Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack
Misc: IMDB | Amazon | iTunes

Joe versus the Volcano is a fable which opens with somewhat surrealistic scenes of the dehumanization of Joe Bank’s job and work environment (at a company whose product rather literally screws people) with imagery that seems to have been inspired by the classic film Metropolis. Joe is diagnosed with an incurable disease, quits his dehumanizing job, and accepts an offer to briefly “live like a king, die like a man” – but to fulfill his agreement he must willingly jump into a live volcano on the island of Waponi Woo in order to appease the volcano god. En route to the island, Joe meets a series of interesting characters in NYC and LA, then boards a yacht, captained by Patricia Graynamore. During the voyage Joe and Patricia survive disaster, fall in love, and finally arrive at the island where they face their destiny.