back when disaster movies levelled up

Disaster movies have been around since ... well, since people made movies.  In the '90s, the genre took great new leaps as filmmakers employed CGI to create more realistic (and disturbing) effects.  Disaster flicks were churned out one after the other, and often, two or more with similar themes were released within a few months - or weeks - of each other.

Top Ten Calamities in '90s Disaster Movies

(10) Equipment error

As obvious from the title, Apollo 13 (1995) was about the unsuccessful lunar mission. Moviegoers couldn't help joking that the reason it failed was because the spacecraft was piloted by Forrest Gump.

Event Horizon (1997) was more of a horror flick / thriller than a disaster movie actually, but it started out with a disaster before all the supernatural stuff started happening.

(9) Meteorological Phenom...menamena

White Squall (1996) and Twister (1998) were just two of the movies featuring storms, tornadoes or hurricanes released that decade.  As a matter of fact, there was a TV-movie on the Hallmark Channel entitled Tornado!, which had a plot that was suspiciously similar to that of Twister.

(8)  Epidemics

When I watched Outbreak (1995) at the cinema, I remember thinking that it was very similar to another flick I saw just a few months earlier; I can't remember what that movie was though.

Here's something interesting:  As I searched for Virus to find out what year it was released (1999), Outbreak appeared at the top of the search results.  Ha.

(7) Volcanic Eruptions

Volcano (1997)  was released less than two months after Dante's Peak (1997).  One was about a volcano being born right smack in the middle of a city; the other is about a volcano thought of as dormant, nestled in a happy idyllic community.

(6)  Mega-explosions that occurred just when an action star happened to be around

So what is it about action stars and big explosions? Fire Down Below (1997) and Daylight (1996) -  one had Steven Seagal, the other had Sylvester Stallone. There were a few other movies on the same theme, including another one starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

(5)  Human error that resulted in a violent crash

Of course, the biggest movie of the '90s, Titanic (1997), is a humongous disaster movie.

Alive (1993) is the true story of an Uruguay rugby team whose plane crashed into the Andes back in the '70s.  I caught a docu-drama on their ordeal on History Channel a couple months ago -- amazing story.  Amazing.  All the survivors are still alive to this day, including the guy who was played by Ethan Hawke in the movie.

(4)  Evil Giant Synthetic Reptiles

Jurassic Park came out in 1993, and its sequel, The Lost World was released 4 years later.

The Japanese monster movie franchise, Godzilla, was re-imagined by the Americans in 1998 and set in Manhattan.  This spawned a re-release of the original classic and as well as its several mutations, of course.

(3)  Meteors

Deep Impact  and Armageddon were both released in mid-'98, just within weeks of each other.  To this day, I can't recall one without thinking of the other.  Their release dates were so close, people couldn't help comparing them.  I remember arguing with a friend about which one was better, which was more realistic and so on.  Our eventual verdict: they're both major productions with major movie stars and superb CGI; they both delivered too much top-notch drama, and they're both quite silly.  I suppose the Armageddon people did a better job at publicity though - getting Aerosmith for the CBB soundtrack meant publicity each time the song aired on MTV, since the music videos displayed scenes from the movie. Oh yeah, you know which song I'm talking about.

Up until now, I can't recall either movie without playing that Aerosmith song in my head.

Around that time, a made-for-TV B-movie called Asteroid and and a miniseries called Asteroids were on cable channels, showing scenes in which chunks of rock shot down from the sky.   Which is really funny, because asteroids are stationary.  Maybe they mean meteors, or meteorites.

Also worth mentioning is this TV-movie that I don't know the title of.  It shows no cutting-edge effect or anything, but it was presented in the style of one breaking news report after another.  The "reports" covered a monstrous meteor shower that threatened to end the world, and they came complete with  "reporters" on-location in several parts of the world, even "resource speakers from the scientific community".  It really looked like an actual news report, you'd think it was actually happening at that moment.  And because none of the actors were famous, it wasn't easy to tell that it was a just movie.  Anyone know the title of that?

(2)  Hijacking

The movie that made Sandra Bullock famous - Speed (1994).  Its sequel came 3 years later.

Passenger 57 (1992)

There were a lot of movies about hijacked planes through the '90s; these were just a few of them.

Executive Decision (1996)  |  Air Force One (1997)

Con Air (1997) also had an LSS-worthy hit song in its soundtrack.

(1)  And the top '90s disaster movie disaster - Alien Invasions

Species (1995)  |  Species 2 (1998)

Mars Attacks! (1996)

Bill Pullman delivered one of the most rousing fake Presidential speeches ever in Independence Day (1996).  Some people suspected ID4 contained secret Bill Clinton propaganda, but -- meh.  

In Men In Black (1997), Will smith saves the world from aliens for the second time in twelve months (the first time was in ID4, in case you didn't know)

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