Movie goers love good disaster movies but some movies are disaster themselves. Over time, Disaster movies have attempted to sink the most secure ships, send mile-long meteors hurtling toward earth, unleash population-wiping plagues, and generally bring the world’s worst horrors to life on the silver screen.
Check out these event films are heavy on shock value, but lack solid storytelling, compelling characters, and special effects that don’t look like they’ve overdosed on CGI.
Despite starring new James Bond Pierce Brosnan, and beating Volcano to the box office,Dante’s Peak‘s mindless plot, poor pacing, and sub-par special effects couldn’t hold a candle—or handful of lava—to the competition. While Tommy Lee Jones’ take on corking a volcano wasn’t very good either, it at least provided the guilty pleasure of watching self-absorbed LA residents attempt to outrun hot liquid magma.
The year of competing comets-colliding-with-earth movies, 1998 gave us Armageddonand Deep Impact. The former, more successful film featured Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, and enduring Aerosmith power ballad “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, but its hokey performances and dumb-as-a-space-rock plot made the slightly better latter entry look like an Academy Award winner.
Bloated with mind-numbing CGI effects and tired tropes, San Andreas’promising premise quickly devolved into a disaster movie with more hackneyed ideas than heart.
1972’s The Poseidon Adventure is considered one of the great granddaddy’s of the disaster film genre, but this forgettable update is a water-logged mess. Trading the smart script and tight pacing of the original for what feels like a series of stitched-together set pieces, Poseidon reminds us that remakes—especially ones that waste the considerable talents of Richard Dreyfuss and Kurt Russel—are rarely a good idea.
Following a series of failed comedies and action-flick flops, Sylvester Stallone tried his hand at the disaster genre with Daylight. While Sly’s performance was solid, the premise just wasn’t that thrilling; we’re sure being trapped in a tunnel is all sorts of terrifying, but on the big screen it came off as a pretty tame experience compared to, well, the invading aliens and planet-swallowing natural disasters featured in other such films.
Like The Rock and other successful athletes-turned-actors, Howie Long could have been a big screen action hero. Instead, he starred in Firestorm, a disaster-film-meets-Die-Hard-mash-up. Among its numerous problems—bad script, poor performances, low-rent special effects—it suffered, much like Daylight, from a noticeable lack of nail-biting moments.
The success of 1996’s Independence Day cemented Roland Emmerich as the disaster genre’s got-to director. Sadly, his pair of genre follow-ups favored shallow, shock-value special effects over the personality, charm, and campiness that made his alien-invasion flick work so well. Both films offer an eyeful of impressive CGI, but largely lack vision in all other respects.
This forgettable save-the-world entry unabashedly—albeit admirably—aims to deliver a so-bad-it’s-good experience, but sadly winds up just being bad. From its forced attempts at camp to its bargain-basement effects, The Core feels like a film that’s trying too hard to become a cult classic—basically a B-movie that barely registers a C.
In addition to its avian attackers, this extremely low-budget attempt to make birds frightening features a software engineer protagonist and his fashion model girlfriend. While its laugh-out-loud premise has earned the foul fowls a cult-following, the movie makes this list for liberally borrowing from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds, and, worse, spawning a sequel.
This is the winner: Delivering just the right amounts of camp, cheese, charm, and C-list actors, Sharknado absolutely nailed the so-bad-it’s-good formula. Rather than going out with a shark-swirling bang, however, the series decided to ride this rare beast all the way to the bank. With Sharknado 4 about to take another chomp out of fans’ goodwill, this franchise is destined to be remembered as one that overstayed its welcome rather than a cult-classic.