- CAUSE: Giant Falling Rocks
As Seen In: Armageddon & Deep Impact
Meteors can start falling from the sky at any moment to crush Paris, create tidal waves, and cause a worldwide panic. When this happens, the best thing to do is assemble a rag-tag band of Texas mavericks, put them on the Space Shuttle with a couple of Aerosmith albums, and hope that their horse sense and elbow grease can blow the mamma asteroid into tiny, harmless chunks.
What You Can Do: Avoid living in cities with easily recognizable landmarks.
Armageddon | Deep Impact
- CAUSE: Viral Outbreaks
As Seen In: 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later & I Am Legend
Next time the guy in the nearest cubicle sneezes, beware. It might be a common cold, or it could be the start of a vast pandemic -- most likely due to a scientific experiment gone wrong -- that will wipe out most of humanity. Even worse, it could also turn people into brainless, sunlight-averse monsters, leaving survivors no one to talk to but dogs and mannequins.
What You Can Do: Vitamin C. A lot of Vitamin C.
28 Days Later | 28 Weeks Later | I Am Legend
- CAUSE: Satan (and Son)
As Seen In: End of Days & The Omen
Theology states that the Devil is the overlord of Hell who tempts humans to stray from the path of righteousness.
But according to Hollywood, Lucifer is only interested in one thing: fathering more children than Kevin Federline. Adoptive parents of Satan's spawn tend to have terrible accidents, so it is best to leave these biblical matters in the capable hands of Austrian bodybuilders-turned-politicians.
What You Can Do: Challenge Satan to a fiddle contest.
End of Days | The Omen (1976) | The Omen (2006)
- CAUSE: Nuts With Nukes
As Seen In: Dr. Strangelove
Nuclear bombs in the hands of European madmen bent on world domination will never bring about the end of civilization. We have James Bond to make sure of that. What we have to watch out for is the chance a deranged, fluid-obsessed Army general like Jack D. Ripper will decide to start a war and unknowingly trigger a Russian doomsday machine. And you shouldn't count on an underground facility with 10 females for every male to keep you safe.
What You Can Do: Drink plenty of bottled, non-fluoridated water.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
- CAUSE: The Dead Rising
As Seen In: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of, Day of & Land of the Dead
If a deceased relative of yours shows up for Sunday dinner hungry for warm brains, then the mortal world may be playing host to Hell's overflow population. The best thing to do in this circumstance is to hole up with a band of disparate strangers in a farmhouse, mall or futuristic high-rise and hope that they finish that new expansion of Hades soon.
What You Can Do: Practice your aim -- the head is a small target.
Night of the Living Dead | Day of / Dawn of / Land of the Dead
- CAUSE: Greenhouse Gasses
As Seen In: Waterworld & The Day
Every day your neighbor's SUV is spewing carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air, trapping the sun's radiation and heating up the atmosphere. This may result in either a) the polar ice caps melt, forcing mankind to live on boats with Kevin Costner or b) the gulf stream stops, turning New York City into an enormous icecube. Either way, it's your neighbor's fault.
What You Can Do: Reduce your carbon footprint. Beat up your neighbor.
Waterworld | The Day After Tomorrow
- CAUSE: Alien Bureaucracy
As Seen In: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Alien invaders will never succeed in taking over the Earth. They will always be stopped by microbes, Macintosh computers or glasses of water. Alien pencil pushers like the Vogons, however, will stop at nothing to decimate the planet to clear the way for a hyperspace expressway. So while resistance to their mindlessly bureaucratic ways may be futile, getting blown up is still preferable to listening to their poetry.
What You Can Do: Lodge a formal complaint at the local intergalactic planning office on Alpha Centuri.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- CAUSE: Angry Robots
As Seen In: The Terminator &
The Matrix Trilogies
Nothing says human obsolescence like an army of ruthlessly efficient, sentient robots. Sure, now it's impressive when you only have to say a person's name to get your cell phone to dial them, or when TiVo records "Seinfeld" for you without having to ask. Soon enough, though, computers will become so smart they will surely rebel against all living beings. And do we really want to entrust the future of our species to Keanu Reeves?
What You Can Do: Watch your iPhone to see if does anything suspicious.
Terminator / 2 / 3 | The Matrix / 2 / 3
- CAUSE: Angry Monkeys
As Seen In: Planet of the Apes Series
Humanity may have been to blame for the apes rising up and the disaster that turned the Statue of Liberty into beach- front property. Still, after the hairier varieties became the dominant primates on Earth, did they have to be such jerks about it? They wiped out our species to the point of extinction, keeping a few survivors locked up in cages to be examined and taunted. How heartless do you need to be to do such things to creatures who share 99% of your DNA?
What You Can Do: Stand up for yourself and the whole human race. If a chimp at the zoo flings feces at you, throw some right back.
Planet of the Apes (1968) | Planet of the Apes (2001)
- CAUSE: Angry Bunnies
As Seen In: Night of the Lepus
When extinction comes for humankind, it will be with nasty, big, pointy teeth. That's right, giant carnivorous rabbits -- the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodents the Earth ever known. Grown to the size of houses by medical researchers playing God, they replaced their hunger for veggies with a mad craving for live flesh. As they go forth and multiply (like rabbits, obviously), they will eat your cows, your pet dog, and will most assuredly eat you. Their feet don't seem so lucky now, do they?
What You Can Do: Nothing. The bunny-pocalypse is inevitable.
Night of the Lepus