No offense to Steven Seagal but On Deadly Ground’s potential oil disaster (which Seagal probably exasperated by blowing up that oil refinery) is small potatoes compared to some of Hollywood’s other disasters. Here are our picks for the five most ridiculous.
Ah, Volcano, it came out at the peak of the 90’s disaster movie craze that started with Twister. The La Brea tar pits of Los Angeles become a volcano as molten lava starts to spew out along with molten bombs, steam, etc. and it’s up to Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche to stop it and save the city. It’s an OK movie but like most of the others on the list the makers of it just gave a big middle finger to science and did whatever the hell they wanted. Two scenes in particular jump out as insanity. One is the subway scene where rescue workers are helping people trapped in a subway train with lava bearing down on them. Everyone is rescued except the conductor so Stan, one of the rescue workers goes back and gets him. What follows is so over the top it’s hilarious; check it out below:
Yes, that actually happened. The other scene is the end where Tommy Lee Jones’ plan is to blow up a building to divert the flow of lava to the ocean. His daughter just so happens to be near the building when it blows up and Tommy Lee has to run and grab her and outrun the falling building. This would be ridiculous enough, what with the slo-mo and such, but afterwards is a mind boggingly unnecessary message with Keith David’s police officer helping a little boy look for his mom. The kid notices that “everyone looks the same” because of the gray ash on everyone’s face. So I guess the lesson is that volcanoes can solve racism.
What can you say about Waterworld that hasn’t already been said? The polar ice caps melt and flood the Earth which would probably kill almost everyone normally. However, some people survive and have floating forts and jet skis somehow. It’s like Battlefield: Earth and it’s fighter jets, where do they get gas for the jet skis? Where do they get bullets and harpoons and shit? How come Dennis Hopper is always evil? Also some people like Kevin Costner develop gills but that apparently doesn’t matter because they never explain it. Add in the fact that this POS cost 175 million dollars to make and you can see why it’s one of the worst movies ever made and one of the most ridiculous disasters.
3. The Core
Now we get to some pure insanity. So follow me if you can, the US develops a secret weapons system called Project DESTINI which allows us to target any country on earth with earthquakes. The testing of this weapon somehow causes the core of the Earth to stop spinning. So now super electrical storms are destroying cities (only famous ones though!) and the entire planet will be dead in a year due to cosmic radiation. Wow, that is some awesome Hollywood bullshit but it gets better, to get the core spinning again the government commissions the building of a huge drilling machine that will travel to the core and detonate a nuclear bomb to jump start it. There’s mountains of ridiculousness going on in this movie, the fact that they make up some crazy new super metal called Unobtainium, the fact that blowing up the core of the Earth is a sensible solution and the fact that they have a computer hacker called Rat who “hacks the Earth” to prevent any information from leaking out onto the Internet.
Leave it to Michael Bay to piss on Issac Newton’s grave in the name of explosions. We still love him though, although Armaggedon is definitely one of his lesser efforts. A ginormous asteroid the size of Texas is on a collision course with Earth and the only way to stop it is to send Bruce Willis and his roughneck oil drillers to it and drill a hole to drop a nuke in. The result of the nuke going off would be to split the asteroid in two and have each half pass along opposite sides of the Earth The inaccuracies of this movie are numerous, even for Michael Bay (who admits this is not even remotely realistic), with NASA showing it at management training to see how many the trainees can spot. 168 impossible things have been found so far. Michael Bay definitely delivers his usual explosions but all the things that go wrong really stretch your ability to suspend belief. They stop at what I believe is the ISS to refuel and it explodes, they get to the asteroid and one of the shuttles explodes, they land on the asteroid and they are in the wrong spot, William Fichtner has some sort of alternate plan where he has to kill them if the plan isn’t going to work, they get to the right spot and Steve Buscemi goes crazy, they get the hole drilled but the detonator doesn’t work remotely so Bruce has to stay behind. Affleck overacts his ass off as they leave and then cue up the Aerosmith, which is probably the most cheesy thing of all in the movie.
1. The Day After Tomorrow
And so we come to it, the most ridiculous disaster movie, The Day After Tomorrow. I’m sure Al Gore got a massive hard on while watching it but most of us just felt a whole lot dumber. So the oceans temperature starts to drop and Dennis Quaid believes that a climate shift could occur that will cause a new Ice Age. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the planet the climate shift occurs not in a century but in a few weeks. There’s giant hail in Japan and tornadoes in Los Angeles (which I’ll admit is a pretty cool sequence) and NYC floods due to a massive tidal wave. Then everything starts to freeze and the stupidity begins. Apparently you can fucking outrun freezing temperatures and hike from Philadelphia to NYC in two days. Also wolves from the zoo turn feral in a matter of hours. There’s so much drama shoved down our throats it’s suffocating between Quaid’s family, the British researchers, etc. And to cap it all off there is an insanely heavy handed speech at the end that could have been ghost written by Seagal about how we should have changed our ways (WE DIDN’T LISTEN!!!) and thank god for the third world countries for taking us in, c’mon! I’m so glad we have South Park who have done two pitch perfect parodies of this movie (Two Days before the Day after Tomorrow and Lice Capades).
Honorable Mention: Twister
It kick-started the disaster revival, starred Bill Paxton and had evil “corporate” scientists and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a hippie Van Halen fan but it was just a little too small of a disaster to compete with these others .
So that’s it for this list, we’ve learned that Hollywood isn’t always the most accurate place in the world and that Los Angeles should be a smoking crater by now. Come back tomorrow for this weekend’s big movie releases and some trailer goodness.