ByKaty Rochelle, writer at
Speaking in movie quotes and pretending I'm not a Muggle.
Katy Rochelle

If you're a fan of the action genre, you're sure to love Twister. In fact, who doesn't love Twister? The 1996 film stars Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton as storm chasers determined to create an advanced weather warning system by putting themselves as close as possible to the weather phenomenon.

From its ability to believably mix CGI and impeccable on-set special effects to an awesome cast and adventure-esque story, the movie continues to entertain fans over and over. The epic movie joined classics like The Poseidon Adventure, as well as pave the way for other natural-disaster flicks.

May 10th, 2016 will mark the movie's twentieth anniversary since it first swept away audiences in theaters. To celebrate, here are five epic facts you didn't know about Twister.

Uncredited Script Doctors

The official screen credit for Twister is science fiction, medical fiction and thriller genre author Michael Crichton and his wife Anne-Marie Martin. Their talent for supporting fiction with fact gave layers to the storm chasers on paper as their quest to perfect a data-processing instrument translated to the big screen.

However, a few uncredited script doctors could have a hand in the film's development as well. Script doctors are hired by a studio to polish or consult on a script in the works. The writers listed on a 1995 draft of the screenplay includes Joss Whedon, Jeff Nathanson, and Steven Zaillian. It's not known if they worked on the script before or after Crichton joined the project.

Twisters Land at The Oprah Winfrey Show

Twister was such a huge hit when it was released that the cast and director were guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The legendary talk show host dedicated an episode entirely to storm-chasing. Stars Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt, Jami Gertz, and director Jan de Bont appeared in person to talk about the extremities of the film's shoot, their stunt work, and how they prepared for the film. The show also gave tips on how to survive a tornado and the realistic dangers of storm-chasing. The tv special can currently be viewed on YouTube.

photo source: Katy Rochelle
photo source: Katy Rochelle

Was Had Its Own Theme Park Ride

In 1998, Universal Studios Orlando opened a Twister-themed attraction. Guests walked through a series of pre-shows leading up to a survivalist-esque finale. The queue had a mock-up of Wakita, Oklahoma (where the film is set), and Aunt Meg's damaged house after it was struck by an epic twister just like in the film. Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt appeared overhead on television screens talking about their experiences while filming and the real-life damage twisters can cause.

For the epic send-off, Paxton and Hunt challenged guests to "hold on for their lives". The last soundstage was completely decked out like the film's epic scene where an F-5 tornado rips through a drive-in theater. Intense wind effects including a spiral-like twister, rain, and a flying cow gave the illusion that a tornado was approaching theme park guests who safely stood on an observation deck.

In November 2015, Twister: Ride It Out! was permanently closed. Fans showed up in solidarity dressed as characters from the film to "ride" the attraction for the final time. The previous space will be replaced by Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2017.

photo source:
photo source:

Has It's Own Museum

To give the effect that a portion of Wakita was destroyed by a tornado, the crew actually decimated eight blocks of the small town. In the actual filming location, the building where the actors prepared for filming was turned into a museum.

Items on display include a Dorothy 1 storm-tracker, storm sensors, and official studio t-shirts. Available to purchase are salvaged and engraved bricks from buildings that were reduced to rubble. Bill Paxton also donated a Twister pinball game to the museum, which was originally given to him by Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Studios.

You can learn more about the museum at their official website.

We Got Cows!

All of the tornado-chasing sequences in Twister are memorable in their own way. Perhaps the most quoted scene is when Jo, Bill, and his fiance Melissa are trapped on a back country road by sister twisters and come across flying cows. You know you're in the presence of a true fan when they quote, "I gotta go Julia, we've got cows!" Though the scene may seem like a far cry from reality, this scene isn't the hokey fiction we'd believe it to be.

A one-time consultant and real-life storm chaser Vince Miller once revealed, "...there was a tornado in South Dakota in the '60s filled with flying rocks. It turns out the rocks were a herd of cattle."

Anything is possible with or without movie magic - even flying cows.


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