Hear ye! Hear ye! The end of the world is nigh! At least that’s what Hollywood wants us to think. For as long as their’s been movies, filmmakers have tried to come up with ways to bring our lovely little planet to its knees – either by invasion, explosion or celestial jiggery-pokery – and end the world for good. So far though, none of these ‘predictions’ have come to pass – thank goodness -but when did that ever stop the movies from trying?
With all this in mind, here’s our list of 10 Times Hollywood Tried To End The World … But Failed.
1February 14th, 2016 – Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
Let’s start with one of our favorite doomsday prophecies, that of Elaine (Chloe Webb) in Ghostbusters 2. According to the sultry-voiced loon, the end of the world would occur on February 14th, 2016. Elaine received this information from an alien she met at the bar of the Paramus Holiday Inn – a reliable source we’re sure you’ll agree.
A quick look on Google tells us that nothing of any real importance actually occurred on that day, especially not the end of the world – though we’d hope you wouldn’t need Google to tell you that much. Either way though, having the world come to its big climax on St. Valentine’s Day would have been – in the words of Dr. Peter Venkman – a “bummer.”
2May 26th, 1984 – Threads (1984)
As any good Yorkshireman can tell you, it can be grim up North. Especially when those pesky Russians drop 210 Megatons of sheer death upon your hometown, right before you were about to settle down to a nice cuppa and a rich tea biscuit.
The threat of 1984’s Threads – a co-production of the BBC and Nine Network – was very real, and still exists to this day. The world has so often been on the brink of a total nuclear war that it’s become almost the norm. But back in the early 1980’s the terror was something new, and we’re forever grateful that it has never come to pass.
3July 3rd, 1984 – The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
On the eve of Independence Day 1984, a medical supply warehouse foreman named Frank unwittingly brings about the apocalypse when he tampers with some drums of toxic gas that have a tendency to reanimate the dead. Before long, he and a group of punk kids find themselves trapped inside the warehouse as an army of cadavers comes looking for lunch, and brains are á la carte.
We got off lucky with this one. Realising that the threat of the zombie hordes was just too much to deal with, the US Air Force bombed the shit out of the area before things got too out of hand. Although would we even really notice these days if half the world was made up of the undead?
4August 29th, 1997 – Terminator 2 (1991)
Perhaps the most famous apocalypse in the history of movies took place on August 29th, 1997. According to Sarah Connor’s narration at the start of Terminator 2, on that date, 3 billion men, women, and children would be wiped off the face of the Earth by a great war, leaving the surviving humans prone to an attack by unstoppable killing machines known simply as Terminators.
It’s crazy to think that this bonkers prophecy was supposed to take place over 20 years ago, but with the ever-changing timelines of the Terminator movies, whose to say that it couldn’t still happen? The idea of a self-aware A.I. system may have been the stuff of fantasy back in 1991, but in today’s society that fear has never seemed so real.
5October 4th, 1982 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005)
According to the official documents located in the now obsolete filing cabinets of the Domicile Demolition Department, Arthur Dent’s home at 155 Country Lane, Cottington was due for demolition on October 4th, 1982. Ergo, when Arthur has his standoff with the council and shortly thereafter learns that the entire Earth is scheduled for demolition the same day, we can surmise that the end of the world as we knew it was this exact same date.
It seems that in our ignorance, the human race had omitted to challenge anyone over the decision to eradicate the Earth and build an intergalactic bypass in its place, and as such, we didn’t have a leg to stand on when we were completely wiped out.
Well, here we are 36 years later and there hasn’t been a single Vogon ship in our skies, which means someone must have managed to get the decision overturned. Thank goodness someone bothered to read the fine print!
6October 30th, 1988 – Donnie Darko (2001)
“28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds. That is when the world will end.”
As if being told when the world will end isn’t scary enough, being told this information by a six foot tall, creepy ass looking rabbit would be enough to push you over the edge. It’s no wonder Donnie Darko went completely off the rails during the month of October 1988 before single-handedly trying to catch a jet engine in his sleep.
7December 12th, 1996 – Twelve Monkeys (1995)
The timeline for Twelve Monkeys is far from straightforward, and you have to take into account the television series and its own timelines to work out what actually happened and when, but for the purposes of this list, we’ll focus solely on Terry Gilliam’s 1995 movie, starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt.
According to scientists in the year 2035, a terrorist organization known simply as The Army of the Twelve Monkeys would unleash a deadly virus upon mankind in the year of our Lord, 1996. To counteract this, they send Bruce Willis back in time (obviously having seen him in the Die Hard movies, and believing he could kick all kinds of ass) to prevent this from happening. In true Hollywierd fashion though, Brucey boy actually ends up being partly responsible for the release of the virus, which ultimately leads to the death of over 5 billion people. Way to go, Bruce.
Thankfully, as it’s 2018 and we’re all still here, we’re guessing they had second thoughts about sending Mr. Willis back in time after all. Maybe in that timeline, the scientists rented a copy of Cop Out instead of Die Hard and realized he wasn’t going to be much help after all.
8December 21st, 2012 – 2012 (2009)
According to the Mayan calendar, there would be a ‘phenomenon’ take place on or around December 21st, 2012 that would change the Earth forever. For many, this date signified the end of humanity as we know it, but it wasn’t known what form this apocalypse would take. Then in 2009, Roland Emmerich came along and scared an entire population into thinking that the year 2012 would bring with it megatsunamis and ferocious earthquakes. There would be monks atop vast mountains who would be swept away in the tides. But worse than all that … and we can barely bring ourselves to say it out loud … John Cusack actually manages to score with a hot chick. If that’s not a sign of the end times, we don’t know what is! Lucky for us all though, the Mayan’s obviously made a mistake when they printed their calendars! Let’s just hope that typo was missing a few extra zeroes!
9December 22nd, 2012 – The X-Files (Various)
According to The X-Files, December 22nd, 2012 would spell the end of mankind when the long-awaited alien invasion and colonization of Earth finally takes place. That date has since passed and The X-Files is still running on TV, yet there are no body-snatching monsters from space running amok. I wonder if anyone thought to tell Mulder?
10December 31st, 1999 – End of Days (1999)
Well, there had to be at least one movie doomsday event that occurred at the stroke of midnight at the start of the 21st century, and frankly, the Millennium Bug simply wasn’t going to cut it on this list. Sadly that movie happens to be End of Days, which was a horrible mess of a movie, in which suicidal, alcoholic, dog-kicking, littering, chain-smoking, dead-beat dad, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is forced to cock block Satan himself, in order to prevent the rise of the antichrist. It’s a bonkers concept, but let’s not forget how screwed we would all have been if Peter Hyams movie was the true prophecy of our literal end of days!
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