Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Guide to Recognizing Your Apocalypses

For everyone who’s watched movies about aliens, dinosaurs, or vampires and thought to themselves ‘what if this really happened?’, here’s a list of your five common apocalypses to prepare for and the guides most appropriate for preparation.

1. Computers/Machines:

Perhaps the most likely apocalypse, one should always be wary of modern technology. As countless movies and novels warn us, given too much power, computers are nothing if not capable of becoming self aware and exterminating us with our own weapons. The best defense is acute suspicion – beware of how much power you give your electronics. And in the event that our government makes the mistake of trusting computers with sensitive information capable of destroying mankind – as I suspect they will - the following are essential for preparation:
- Terminator
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day
- iRobot
- The Matrix
- Battlestar Galactica
- Transformers (Decepticons, not Autobots)
- Eagle Eye

2. Vampires/Werewolves:

Vampires and werewolves, also called Lycanthropes, are one of the most deadly threats to humanity. They’re often depicted in conflict with one another, as well as the human race. Occasionally seen as benevolent (like Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), they’re by no means a friend to mankind. Should a strain of either species break out, it’s better to be prepared with stakes, crossbows, silver bullets, crucifixes and holy water than to fall back on the unlikely chance that beneath their terrifying exterior lies a mortal soul. In the event that you spent last decade living under a rock, and therefore unaware of what it takes to defeat these immortals, the best guides include:
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- The Underworld films
- The Blade series (both film and Marvel comic)
- John Carpenter’s Vampires
- Daybreakers
- Bram Stoker's Dracula
- Dracula 2000
- The Wolf Man
- Van Helsing (not a personal favorite, but worthy of mention)
- Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles

- Note: Despite their popularity, the Twilight novels are NOT appropriate reading material when preparing to face vampires or werewolves in an end of the world showdown. However, if you’re looking for a guide on how to become involved in a love triangle consisting of a member of each, let Meyers be your guide. Similar guides for forming romantic attachments with vampires include the television shows True Blood and Moonlight. On the other hand, J. K. Rowling gives some exceptional advice for potions to help werewolves become more human-friendly.

3. Zombies:
A popular motif in horror films, the zombie apocalypse has become a recent pop culture favorite – perhaps influenced by recent outbreaks of the swine flu and mad cow diseases, etc. Furthermore, between germs, overcrowding, genetic testing, and questionable fast food products, a healthy fear of zombies seems more and more reasonable. Unlike vampires or machines, which use seduction techniques or a cold and calculating intelligent design to kill, zombies are usually depicted as mindless, though no less threatening. Beware, or they might turn you into a “human happy meal” faster than you can say “ahhhhh”.- Zombieland
- 28 Days Later
- The Zombie Survival Guide
- Dawn of the Dead
- Night of the Living Dead
- Note: Zombieland suggests several rules for surviving in a post-zombie apocalypse world. I stipulate these rules are useful when facing all manner of apocalyptic horrors.

4. Aliens:
Considering the vastness of space, it’s naïve to assume that we’re alone in the universe; however, let me be clear. There is every possibility that aliens from outer space really are peaceful creatures with no intention of harming us (such as ET, the alien hotties from the show Roswell). And as much as I regret promoting an us/them, kill-the-aliens mindset, I still entertain the possibility that there could, one day, be an invasion where aliens wipe us out in order to take over the planet, steal our natural resources, etc. My general pessimism and phobias therefore insist that I prepare should such an event arise. So, guides to be used ONLY on vicious killer aliens and non-ET type personnel are:- Independence Day
- War of the World
- Alien
- Aliens
- Stargate SG1
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers
- Men in Black
- Battle: Los Angeles

5. Prehistoric Creatures/Dragons:

Though one of the less common and therefore less feared apocalypses, it should still be on your radar. Though we believe dragons non-existent and dinosaurs extinct, one should never underestimate how far modern science has come. They say birds, chickens and some species of frogs share common DNA with dinosaurs – and isn’t that something to keep you up a night? Better safe than sorry I say, so no matter how unlikely, the next time you have nothing to do on a Sunday evening, take a quick look at a few of the following:
- Jurassic Park (novels and films)
- Reign of Fire
- How to Train Your Dragon
- Godzilla

Disclaimer: There are many other novels, films and TV shows not mentioned in this article that are of the genre but not appropriate for battle preparations.


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