As we solemnly give thanks for the blockbuster holiday movie season, it seems fitting to take a moment to celebrate the comfort food of our favorite disaster flicks. From mysterious plagues to hostile extraterrestrials, Hollywood loves to clean the slate and watch the handful of survivors do terrible things they never imagined they'd be forced to do, while uttering lines like, "We can't just wait here for sharks to rain down on us."
So pass the popcorn!
In no particular order…
Night of the Comet (1984). Highlights: Bitchin' eighties outfits, gun-toting valley girls, zombies that talk.
Best line: [When her MAC-10 jams while target shooting] Samantha: Daddy would have gotten us Uzis.
They Live (1988). Highlights: Alien President Reagan, Roddy Piper's mullet.
Best line: Nada: I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.
Dawn of the Dead (2004). Highlights: Birth of undead baby, nightmare-inducing credits, zombie Burt Reynolds.
Best line: [when the survivors have barricaded themselves inside the mall and zombie hordes are gathering outside]
Ana: Why are they coming here?
Kenneth: Memory, maybe. Instinct.
War of the Worlds (2005). Highlights: The sound that alien ray gun made when it zapped people into a mist of pink goo was one of the most horrifying things I've ever heard.
Best line: Robbie Ferrier: What is it? Is it terrorists?
Ray Ferrier: These came from some place else.
Robbie Ferrier: What do you mean, like, Europe?
Ray Ferrier: No, Robbie, not like Europe!
Poseidon Adventure (1972). Highlights: With an all-star cast and high-concept plot (escape from a capsized luxury liner), this is just 1970s big-budget disaster movie royalty.
Best line: Mrs. Belle Rosen: You see, swimming through corridors and up and down stairwells, I'm the only one trained to do things like that.
Linda Rogo: Will you shut up?
Sharknado (2013). Highlights: Do I even need to answer that question?
Best line: Baz Hogan: Storm's dying down.
Nova Clarke: How can you tell?
Baz Hogan: Not as many sharks flying around.