Movies

See if you can you tell if these are real or fake disaster movies

March 9, 2018

This weekend sees the release of the new movie “The Hurricane Heist,” which has the welcome manners to not go screwing around with some precociously clever English grad-student title. Oscar or no Oscar, no one here at The Loop is remotely going to the “The Shape of Water” or “Darkest Hour” without some CLARIFICATION, or at least someone telling us how and when Black Panther is involved.

Anyway, in addition to being this weekend’s No. 4 movie, “The Hurricane Heist” is something more: The latest and probably wettest entry in the field of Damp and/or Apocalyptic and/or Cattle-Flinging Meteorological Catastrophes, a genre that stretches back to the 1897 silent-film classic “Remarkable Day of Wind in Tulsa!” There have been so many of these films that Hollywood has physically run out of planet-splattering meteorological phenomena to base them on, which is why they’re just making “Avengers” movies and films described as “sea creature romances,” ugh, whatever.

As such, we decided to take over and write a few of our own: See if you can separate the four VERY REAL DISASTER MOVIES below from the ones that we invented by deep-diving into the clickbait suggestions on the Weather Channel site for like 10 minutes. (To make things fair, we’ve excluded the super-easy go-tos, like "Titanic" and "Deep Armageddon" and "Twister". Everybody laughs when the cow goes soaring by, but I’m from Indiana, man, those are no joke. Airborne cows crash into the Mellencamp’s infinity pool like three times a spring, but you never hear about it because of how he controls the media.)

Anyway, find the fake ones!

1. An archaeologist and divorced father is forced to search for his estranged family in a labyrinth of catacombs after a sandstorm buries the entire site where he’s been digging for the lost mask of Tutankhamen. Yet no amount of research can prepare him for the horrors he finds underground: huge scorpions, cursed scarab beetles and the undead remains of a very angry Egyptian pharaoh, who also wants Tutankhamen’s mask so he can ACHIEVE IMMORTALITY and then go get like a glass of water.

2. As prophesied by the Mayans and all those billboards in northern Florida, the sinful world is speeding to an apocalyptic end in the winter of 2012. The Earth’s core is being roasted by solar flares, its surface is endlessly subjected to seismic terrors and only John Cusack as a … heroic …. novelist? … can save the day. Also stars Woody Harrelson as a less-fat Glenn Beck.

3. Two armored truck drivers find themselves stranded in a small town during a VERY RAINY RAINSTORM of RAIN, one that does bad things to electrical transformers and church floorboards and — because you’ll never see this coming — the NEARBY DAM that’s about to BURST ANY MINUTE. Includes both an exciting jet-ski race through the streets of a southern Indiana town and Betty White.

4. Two comets are rocketing to the Earth, and the only man who knows how to stop them is a recovering alcoholic who owns a hometown bowling alley to cover up the fact that he was booted out of M.I.T. for smuggling whiskey into his particle accelerator labs. But when two NASA scientists drop by to recruit him and play a game of candlepin, he knows it’s time to activate the only solution: A secret laser, buried deep underneath the pin-reset machine.

5. California is about to BREAK OFF and FALL INTO THE OCEAN, and I guess this is a bad thing, because Dwayne “Stone Cold” Johnson is dispatched to stop it, or save people from falling into the crack between Old Terrible America and New Floating Sun-Kissed Beach Utopia. Sorry, it’s hard to watch thing one and not think, “RUN, CALIFORNIA, RUN!”

6. In a film where the true enemy is CLIMATE CHANGE and thus MAN, catastrophes triggered by global warming erupt all over the globe, bringing on the advent of a new and very inconvenient ice age. Dennis Quaid plays a man who will stop at nothing to get to his son despite insane amounts of airport delays; elsewhere, a global warming-denying vice president ends up — wait for it — fleeing to Mexico. God, even this synopsis contains like 12 metaphors.

7. ROACHES. ROACHES EVERYWHERE, ROACHES WITH BUZZING WINGS, ROACHES IN THE VEGETABLE CRISPER, ROACHES IN THE PANTS DRAWER, ROACHES IN THE PLUMBING, which leads to an exceedingly unsettling scene involving a bath. An Texas farm family is forced to survive indoors when a plague of roaches descends upon its hardscrabble dirt-mining town, blocking out the sunlight and making it very hard for everyone to drive to high school football games. With Brendan Fraser as a priest with a secret past, and Steve Buscemi as a Navy vet and exterminator with some … unorthodox weaponry.

8. A young gladiator-slave falls for a gorgeous aristocrat. But forbidden love is hard enough without having to juggle it with the ERUPTION OF POMPEII, and the way all your good make-out spots are getting suffocated under crushing mountains of ash. Jon Snow stars as the fierce-yet-vulnerable slave man-boy, who must decide between the woman he loves and keeping his skin on.

9. If you thought "The Perfect Storm" was damp, just WAIT for what happens when a whole mountain collapses into a fjord, setting off a tsunami wave that will arrive at a sleepy coastal hamlet in OH GOD TEN MINUTES. Who could have POSSIBLY seen this coming? The GEOLOGIST WHO CALLED IT THIS WHOLE TIME, who will get back to gloating as soon as he’s done saving his trapped and submerged family, that’s who.

10. A crew of career criminals is getting together for one last big score, but their plans are thrown into confusion by a WORLDWIDE EBOLA OUTBREAK that is laying waste to the population and making it hard for these stealthy masterminds to sneak around, what with all the coughing. Can they steal three masterpieces from the Musee d’Orsay before they start bleeding from the eyes? Starring Pierce Brosnan as a man who may or may not be immune to the virus because he’s a robot.

11. A malfunctioning series of climate satellites ends up laying waste to Earth in a buffet of disasters: A hailstorm in Tokyo! A deep freeze in Rio de Janeiro! Only Gerard Butler, as a satellite designer and International Climate Space Station commander, can stop the guy who’s trying to take over the world using hail, and sweet weeping Jesus, yes, they actually made this, it’s called “Geostorm,” people drove to a set and acted in it and everything. I watched like 10 minutes of this, and you know what? Bring on the sea creature romances.

ANSWER KEY

  1. MADE UP

  2. "2012"

  3. "Hard Rain"

  4. MADE UP

  5. "San Andreas"

  6. "The Day After Tomorrow"

  7. MADE UP

  8. "Pompeii"

  9. "The Wave"

  10. MADE UP

  11. "Geostorm"

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