9 of the most ludicrous disaster movies ever made

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New found-footage flick Into The Storm looks to be a gritty, powerful portrait of what being in the middle of a tornado onslaught is actually like. But we’re not interested in that.

No, we’d much rather indulge in the cod-science, exploding cities and unintentional stupidity of the more outlandish films out there – so here are 9 of the most ludicrous disaster movies ever made. There will be Roland Emmerich…

John Cusack 2012
[So startled: John Cusack in 2012]

The Core (2003)

After nefarious military experiments stop the Earth’s core spinning and doom the entire population to destruction, a rag-tag team of scientists and military pilots embark on a mission to the centre of the Earth to ‘jump-start’ the planet. Yes – really.

Adopting a grim, sombre and po-faced approach to the preposterous concept, The Core is all the funnier for its complete lack of self-awareness. If you can watch the trailer without bursting out laughing, you’re a stronger soul than us.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Roland Emmerich’s first entry on this list sees the disaster-king in typically ridiculous form. The movie actually has a lot of heart and neatly-built suspense to it, to be fair; but that doesn’t make its most eyebrow-raising moments any less stupid.

Yes, that really is Jake Gyllenhaal sprinting away from spreading CGI ice – because you can apparently outrun the cold. We highly doubt the planet would get plunged into a new ice age within a matter of weeks, either.

The Happening (2008)

One of the most entertainingly terrible films of recent times, M Night Shyamalan’s crazily mis-judged farce sees humanity forced into mass suicide when trees decide they don’t like us very much anymore.

Cue Mark Wahlberg pleading with a potted plant, unintentionally comic dismemberment in a zoo, and perhaps the weirdest accusation/denial of planned murder in cinematic history.


Doomsday (2008)

If you’ve ever wanted to see armoured horsemen vs machine-guns, you’ve come to the right place. Neil Marshall’s deliciously nuts thriller sees Scotland quarantined behind a newly-rebuilt Hadrian’s Wall after a deadly virus breaks out.

Behold a post-apocalyptic Glasgow complete with crazed bandits! Marvel at Malcolm McDowell playing a medieval -style Lord in his very own castle – in the future. This is schlocky B-movie nirvana.

Hard Rain (1998)

This genuinely bizarre disaster-action crossover sees a small town in the rural US hit by insane floods, just as Morgan Freeman and his gang of crooks attempt to rob an armoured truck.

Chase scenes with boats and jetskis are more awkward than thrilling, there’s a completely unnecessary sub-plot about Minnie Driver doing up an old church, and a series of stupid mid-movie twists require a suspension of disbelief far beyond any normal human mind.

Titanic II (2010)

What’s that? James Cameron made a long-awaited follow up to his $2 billion box office smash?! Er…no actually. The Asylum gave it the mockbuster treatment instead.

Despite the title, it’s not a direct sequel that starts with Jack wondering why he didn’t just share that wooden panel with Rose. Rather, it’s a badly-acted quasi-remake set 100 years later on board a replica of the original vessel. Same boat, same result – only this time with awful computer-generated effects.

Arachnoquake (2012)

Edward ‘John Connor’ Furlong  is a bus driver forced to team up with cheerleaders to fight a new deadly menace – when fire-breathing giant spiders emerge from rifts in the ground.

Probably the most downright terrible entry on this entire list, even the cheerfully crazy premise can’t save a baffling experience that’s overloaded with wooden acting, atrocious dialogue and irritating comedy music.

Sharknado 2 (2014)

Well, we had to include it didn’t we?

Much like its predecessor, there’s not much to say other than that it’s a film about a tornado full of sharks – though the silly stakes are enhanced even further this time through numerous cameos, gorier deaths, and a scene where someone hits Jaws for a home run.

2012 (2009)

“The neutrinos…have mutated!” Not content with merely targeting The White House, New York and much of the Northern Hemisphere, Mr Emmerich finally says “f*** it’ and blows up the entire world in a 158 minute orgy of rampaging eruptions, explosions and seismic destruction.

Completely lame-brained but undeniably entertaining, it’s basically two and a half hours of John Cusack running, driving and flying away from CGI chaos with a startled expression on his face.

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Mark is the content manager for WOW247 in Leeds. When he isn't waxing lyrical about Ben Wheatley and Caravan Palace, he's landing news, assembling guides and penning features.

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