Originally posted, by me on June 25th 2015 on Buzzfeed HERE
They are clichéd, over the top, badly acted, and that’s exactly why we love them. You will survive Armageddon longer (both the movie and real-life event) with these tips
I was raised on disaster movies. My dad used to get us to watch them with him when we were little. No wonder we’re as messed up as we are. I refuse to go in an elevator made mostly of glass or runs along the outside of a building (Thanks Towering Inferno). For years, my sister would not go to the movies (Earthquake). I love them, the worse the better. They are clichéd, over the top, badly acted, and that’s exactly why I love them.
For a good disaster movie you have to stick to the formula. To survive a disaster movie there are some rules to follow.
The odds are already against you
Mother Earth hates us, and will constantly try to kill us. She will even throw stuff at us from another planet. Accept it and move on.
You have at least 30 minutes
The first 20 minutes (or in 2012‘s case – 40) will be normal and boring while they establish your character and the morally ambiguous among you. Then people start to die, one or two at first, then in greater numbers.
So use that time wisely, charge your phone, plan a bug out bag or just start running.
Find a four legged friend
Animals will not die, there are heaps of disaster movies where the dog survives at the last possible second without even a singed hair, whereas people burn to death. In Dante’s Peak the dog somehow manages to dodge the molten lava engulfing the entire mountain and manage to jump into a fast-moving truck with zero visibility. Independence Day – dog escapes a giant fireball. And the rat dog thing in 2012 lived too. So when in doubt, follow the pooch, they will get you to the other side. Not 100% sure on cats as they are known to be evil, they may lead you into a trap just for the fun of it. And then eat your face.
Broken Families are sometimes the best Families
If you’re a deadbeat dad, get yourself in a disaster, it worked wonders for John Cusack and Tom Cruise (War of the Worlds) It gives you the opportunity to make your kids love you again, and possibly hit that one more time with your ex (Fair chance her new husband will die in the disaster, so bonus points for you).
Though at the same time, you wouldn’t almost die several times over if you didn’t have to trek across three states to take your kids home
Bring ear plugs, your kids will scream a lot.
Stay away from national monuments and major cities.
If disaster movies have taught you anything, is that the Opera House, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty are disaster magnets.
Actually just stay out of New York altogether.
Fair chance you will die. See – Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrow, Cloverfield, NYC – Tornado Terror, Earthquake in New York, I Am Legend, Omega Man, When World’s Collide, Endgame, 2019: After the Fall of New York etc.
Nowhere is safe
Natural Disasters occur anywhere, anytime, so be prepared. You could be standing on Uluru in the middle of the outback and be wiped out by a tsunami.
Pre Obama, black Presidents mainly existed in Disaster Movies
Before Obama – the only time black guys got to be president was in a disaster movie or the TV show 24 (and SPOILER ALERT – he died in that too). Danny Glover and Morgan Freeman can’t save us. Morgan Freeman played God and he still couldn’t save us. And was anyone else hoping throughout the whole of 2012 that Danny would say he was too old for that shit?
Stock up on sausage rolls and pies
There is a surprising amount of tomato sauce in a disaster movie so you won’t go hungry.
How to spot a male scientist in a movie
If they are a man, they usually have a beard or are rather rugged and woodsy.
How to spot a female scientist
Most of the time they are stunning women (and in real life too!) Possibly a former Supermodel (Rachel Hunter in Miami Magma) or a former cast member of Baywatch (Erika Eleniak in Absolute Zero or Alexandra Paul in Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York).
Avoid Brunch/Dinner Parties
If you have ever been stuck in a horribly awkward dinner party, now you have an excuse not to go. In the great film ‘It’s a Disaster’, a lunch with a group of friends goes horribly wrong when the end of the world hits before appetizers. Better dead than sitting next to the Vegan or the couple pretending that they didn’t just have a massive fight in the car on the way over.
Don’t look back
Never look behind you – whenever you do, you then see the giant 300 foot wave of shit coming to kill you and you will try to run (usually down a lane of cars in New York) but it will be too late and you will be a) engulfed in a giant fireball/wall of water or b) hit by a flying car (normally a yellow cab)
Know your Tornado
There are several types of tornado. Learn them, fear them, respect them.
The government is trying to kill you
Always listen to the scientist, not the government, the government will kill us all. They will ignoring all scientific evidence handed to them, declare said scientist a nut, have them ostricised and their standard defence is to throw bombs at whatever’s coming at them.
This man will save us all.
Randy Quaid will normally die saving the world but he will save us (if he’s not too busy making sex tapes).
Same rule that applies for zombies, applies for disasters. Run Forrest, Run, if you want to live. At some point you will have to run from the disaster. At the very last second, you will make it, so chill. But wear a Fitbit so you can at least tell how many calories you burned running away.
Be proud to be an American. Even if you aren’t
There will be a speech about how great it is to be American. All well and good unless you’re not American, then you are probably a terrorist. Best not to voice that fact because they carry guns. A lot of guns.
Good triumphs over evil (most of the time)
Stay away from morally corrupt people – they will die in spectacular fashion and you don’t want to get splattered with their guts. If they are embezzling, greedy, having an affair, or like Nickleback, they will meet their maker by the start of the 3rd act.
Volcanos are sneaky
Lava can be contained inside a house, car, train tunnel. Until you open the door and then you burn burn quicker than microwave popcorn. See Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York This movie covers off several tips in 1 hit. Set in New York and stars ex Baywatch Beauty Alexandra Paul.
Steaks are gifts from heaven.
If someone tells you to stay put for your own safety, probably best not to. Didn’t work out too well for those on the Poseidon
You’ve got to move it, move it
The immediate reaction of anyone in the path of something life threatening is to stand completely still and stare at it. DO NOT BE THAT PERSON
Those characters who talk about what they’ll do after the movie ends never live long enough to do those things. So if you are 2 days from retirement, keep your mouth shut
Be a Nevernude
Remember the line from Jaws ‘Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water’. It’s not. Hot springs, late night skinny dips and waterfalls all look good for a sexy rendezvous, but have the potential to cook you faster than a lobster in a pot.
Public transport is not your best option
Walk, rollerblade, catch an Uber, drive a limo or fly a conveniently placed light aircraft, but don’t even thing of catching the 614 downtown. Buses and trains fall in 2 categories, they are either the ones hurtling out of control (usually loaded with a virus or a bomb big enough to kill everyone) or they get smashed up easily during the actual disaster. Trains seem to cop it more, so stay away
Get close to the scientist, but not too close
There is always a connection in the story between the hero and the scientist. Which is great. Except scientists have a nasty habit of dying by the escalating destruction just before they can tell you a critical piece of information. They probably mentioned that they were two days from retirement. Then ‘Splat’
I like big boats and I cannot lie (pity they don’t like you back)
They will fuck you up. Either the boat will try and kill you (Poseiden, Titanic) or the ocean will throw a boat at you (Any movie with a tsunami)
Darryl Hannah now kinda looks like John Travolta. No real story here, I watched Hurricane Hunter the other night and I happened to notice it.