Apocalypse How: 10 Popular End-of-the-World Scenarios
We dare to make fun of Doomsday.
(SPOT.ph) Alarmists and their ilk interpret the last date on the ancient Mayan calendar as the date of the Apocalypse. In case you haven’t been clued in yet, that’s on December 21, 2012. (Save the date!) Then again, some people have been obsessed with the idea of the world being obliterated long before there was any buzz about the Mayan calendar. Various Doomsday scenarios have been featured in TV shows and movies. As such, we’ve listed 10 of the most popular horrific settings wrought from our collective imagination.
Obviously, we don’t believe that the world’s going to end. (Or else we wouldn’t be featuring the Top 50 Planners for 2013.) So please, take everything we say about the subject with loads of salt.
The story of Noah’s Ark is a classic. But we’re not sure if exposing kids to this Apocalyptic scenario is wise. Movies that feature The Great Flood are A.I. (2001), The Day after Tomorrow (2004), and 2012 (2009).
The Great Flood
Scary-corny tagline: Noah-body can save you now.
Unreliable science: This is a hypothetical result of global warming and other natural or man-made disasters that are either spawned by it or simply aggravate it. In the Bible, the flood was considered punishment for a world that had become very dirty in terms of morality. However, we all know that literal dirt (garbage clogged in waterways) and filthy practices (illegal logging and such) cause flooding.
Doomed projection: The world will turn into one huge watery graveyard as the people who barely escaped from the mercilesss onslaught of water eventually die from various diseases. Many of their bodies are disposed in the water so the already-contaminated fishes and other remaining water-based life forms will be exposed to even more contaminants. Those who don’t perish from diseases will eventually attack each other in the mad scramble for resources. People will attempt to find dry land and they will fail.
Unlike other Doomsday scenarios, this one could get real...like...right now.
Scary-corny tagline: Until "Kaboom!" do us part.
Unreliable science: We all know that anything nuclear will do a lot of damage. Nuclear events usually come in the form of bombs. We don’t know how exactly these bombs are made or why they’re even made in the first place. As Boy George sang so long ago, "War is stupid."
Doomed projection: If all the countries with nuclear bombs started fighting each other, there’s a good chance that the entire world would go up in smoke. In this scenario, you’re one of the lucky ones if you die a quick death. If you survive the blasts, you’ll have your injuries and possible mutation to worry about. Mutation may be cool if you turn into Wolverine or any of the X-Men. But it’s not so cool if your DNA gets mixed up with that of a cockroach and you turn into a giant ipis.
The Omen is perhaps the most popular film series tackling the coming of Satan.
Scary-corny tagline: My number is 666...so call me, maybe.
Unreliable science: In this case, science has nothing do to with it. Religious documents predict that there will come a time when an incarnation of "The Beast" will rule the world. In fact, evil politicians around the world are actually part of Satan’s advance party.
Doomed projection: Those who won’t pledge allegiance to the Devil will be put to death in the most ghastly ways. We’re talking months of torture and hard labor. Then again, the victims of martial law torture already experienced this sort of hell.
Armageddon (1998), which offered a silly solution to the killer asteroid, was a box office hit. This isn’t sci-fi. It’s fantasy. Other Apocalyptic scenarios involving heavenly bodies include Deep Impact (1998) and Sunshine (2007).
Heavenly Body Horror
Scary-corny tagline: Death is heaven-sent.
Unreliable science: When it comes to disaster involving planetary elements, you have a whole range of (for lack of a better term) sub-scenarios. First, a comet, a meteor, or an asteroid could smash into Earth. Then, the Moon could lose its gravitational power. The Sun could also explode. Many movies have toyed with these set-ups.
Doomed projection: In this scenario, the Earth will simply be wiped out by forces that none of its inhabitants could control. This drives home the point that we’re all just like specks of dust in the cosmos.
Contagion (2011) presents a realistic "horror" story. Outbreak (1995) is another movie that dramatizes a similar threat to humanity.
Scary-corny tagline: One sneeze can kill us all.
Unreliable science: There are all sorts of new viruses that are spawned by God-knows-who-or-what and suddenly we could get infected with any or all of them. Of course, we fear their dreaded capacity to "shut down all all vital organs."
Doomed projection: People will get sick and they’ll drop dead like flies in a matter of hours. Before they die, their insides will turn into a bloody goo and they’ll expel all sorts of crazy-colored body fluids. You get the picture. There will be no graceful deathbed scenes.
Hopefully, the zombies we encounter would be kinda slow, like the ones in The Walking Dead. There are too many zombie movies out there. Some of the more recent ones are 28 Days Later (2002) and I Am Legend (2007).
Scary-corny tagline: Good news: You don’t need a third eye to see dead people.
Unreliable science: This most likely is an off-shoot of the global pandemic. Some viruses will be capable of reanimating dead bodies. These reanimated corpses or zombies are often hungry for live human flesh so, naturally, they’ll go after the living.
Doomed projection: Widespread panic ensues as zombies go on a feeding frenzy. Civilization will quickly disintegrate in this "dead person-eat-live person" world. In any case, you might as well be dead since criminals will also have a field day amid the chaos.
Mars Attacks (1996) warned against not-so-friendly aliens. Movies like War of the Worlds (2005), Cloverfield (2008), and Skyline (2010) also had the same takes on extra-terrestrials.
Scary-corny tagline: When E.T. phoned home, you don’t know what he told his friends.
Unreliable science: There are other life forms out there and they’re not friendly. In fact, they hate Earthlings and they want to kill us all. They either want to suck out our planet’s resources or just plain want us out of the way. They’re into "species cleansing."
Doomed projection: The aliens come in, look around, and just decide to wipe out the human race. It’s all in a day’s work for them. We’re nothing but primitive life forms who won’t teach them anything new.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) was very unsettling. Other movies about animals (not as smart as the apes though) taking over or destroying the world include Piranha 3D (2010) and Eight Legged Freaks (2002).
Scary-corny tagline: Treat animals well; you never know what they’re thinking.
Unreliable science: There’s a good chance that the animals around us may be smarter than we think. They may even be capable of speech or fond of Quantum Physics. One day, they may just start a revolution and put us all in cages for a change.
Doomed projection: You better pray to God that your pets really love you. In this setting, you get to live if your former pet vouches for the goodness of your heart. Otherwise, you’re either killed or turned into a slave.
Volcano (1997) took on this hot hypothesis.
Scary-corny tagline: It’s getting hot in here.
Unreliable science: Due to weird things happening underneath the Earth, there may come a time when all the volcanoes in the world will explode at the same time. (Don’t ask us how it will happen, it just will according to some Doomsday fans.) New volcanoes may suddenly just shoot up in the middle of cities.
Doomed projection: It’s death via hot lava for one and all. And, yes, once again the lucky ones are those who die quickly.
Terminator: Salvation (2009) shows us why we shouldn’t trust machines so much. The Terminator series is all about evil machines biting the hands that built them. Another scary machines-take-over series is The Matrix.
Scary-corny tagline: No, you cannot turn them off...ever.
Unreliable science: We’ve let so many machines run our lives. Somewhere out there are servers that know us so well that they could be our best friends. Our phones and our computers know who our friends are and what we like. One day, these machines will come to life and use this information against us.
Doomed projection: Imagine your iPad refusing to do as you command just because it’s sick and tired of you poking it. That’s just for starters, though. Just wait until the real fun begins, when robots hunt you down just because they can.
Art by Warren Espejo, with screenshots of images from movie trailer and publicity posters.