Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Listed variously as a 1975, 1979 and 1981 release, the Japanese Deathquake was originally titled Jishin Retto. Hiroshi Katsuno, Toshiyuki Nagashima, and Kayo Matsuo star in this lengthy but worthwhile speculative drama. In the 21st century, a Tokyo seismologist predicts that the city is due an earthquake that will make the 1923 ground-shaker seem like kindergarten stuff. So obsessed does our hero become with his foreknowledge that he distances himself from his family. Just as he's found happiness with a young woman, the earthquake strikes with awesome, apocalyptic force. Perhaps drawing parallels to Hiroshima, the film makes the point that the petty problems of human beings won't matter much in the wake of an all-consuming catastrophe. Deathquake has also been released as Magnitude 7.9, Earthquake and Earthquake Archipelago.