14 Really Stupid Things People Always Do In Apocalypse Movies8
By Steven Novak
14 Really Stupid Things People Always Do In Apocalypse Movies
Whether it’s a plague brought on by unethical experimentation, or mother-nature fighting back with meteors and tsunamis, or even a simple zombie outbreak, there is absolutely nothing more satisfying than a fantastic apocalypse movie. Although it may be an outrageous scenario, there is something incredibly familiar about people running around trying to stop an apocalypse – mainly because those who try to stop it, always seem to work from the ‘Things Not To Do When Confronted by an Apocalypse’ playbook.
Still, we love to watch and yell out at the screen, “No! Just keep running! No, don’t turn around to save the dog! No! No! No!” Anyway, it’s amazing how much fun it is to watch the world end in apocalypse movies, even though we always see people doing things they shouldn’t be doing.
Can the same be said about KoldCast TV’s new zombie thriller series, The Last Stand, where an airborne virus spreads through the population like wildfire, before mutating to leave millions dead, and only 7 uninfected survivors to fight-off the remaining infected, who rage through the city like rabid animals? Watch a micro-short Teaser for The Last Stand, and then check out our list of 14 stupid things people always seem to do in apocalypse movies. Then you decide.
The Last Stand: Teaser
1. THEY DECIDE TO SPLIT UP
More often than not, there is safety in numbers – it’s as simple as that. Despite the obviousness of this statement, characters in apocalypse movies, action films and horror flicks, decide the best way to get out of a sticky situation is to split up and do some individualized investigating. One hundred percent of the time this plan proves to be a monumental failure – soon the corpses of their pals start popping up or, worse yet, they return as a flesh-eating zombie, alien, or simply wailing and pointing to Donald Sutherland.
THE LESSON: Always bring back-up.
2. THEY THINK THEY’RE SAFE IN ONE PLACE
At first, the idea of fortifying a single position, in defense of whatever caused the apocalypse in the first place, might seem like a pretty solid idea. In many ways, it actually makes a lot of sense. The problem is that when movie characters stay in one place for too long, that place starts to feel like home. And when a place starts to feel like home, you begin to get comfortable. And, when staring head-on into the dangers of an apocalypse, comfortable is not a good thing.
THE LESSON: Drop your guard and you’ll become zombie lunch.
3. THEY TRUST THE GOVERNMENT
It doesn’t really matter whether there’s been a zombie outbreak, a meteor rushing toward Earth, or a viral plague killing the human race – believing in the idea that government will be there to save the day is generally a mistake. The government looks out for the government. Period. If the government needs to round up some people and perform experiments, that’s just what the government will do. And, if the government needs to drop a bomb on a town to save the town next to it, you better believe that bombs will get dropped.
THE LESSON: Fend for yourself – in the eyes of the machine, you’re just a number, and a contaminated host.
4. THEY WANT TO PLAY THE HERO
When apocalypse movies characters get the itch to play the hero, things can end one of two ways. Sometimes they wind up saving the day, getting the girl, and become a savoir to their species. Other times they just plain end up dead. Spitting in the face of danger and putting it all on the line for the safety of others takes guts, and the line between guts and stupidity is so thin it barely exists.
THE LESSON: Run. For every successful hero there are fifteen less than successful corpses.
5. THEY FALL IN LOVE
In the aftermath of an apocalypse, simply surviving from day to day can be a struggle. But juggling the problems associated with a relationship, while also evading viral contamination, is next to impossible. Over the years more characters than I dare count have come to this conclusion the hard way. With love comes emotion, and with emotion comes the lack of a clear head. And the lack of a clear head most often results in a very messy, and very bloody path to the afterlife.
THE LESSON: You’ve got enough things to worry about. Keep your pants on.
6. THEY INVESTIGATE STRANGE NOISES
As a general rule, investigating strange noises should generally be avoided. In a world ripped to shreds by an apocalypse of some sort, unrecognizable sounds should at all times remain unrecognizable and uninvestigated. There are far too many unknowns, and far too many dangers in such a world, to go mucking about in darkened streets, or a mysterious forest, or that burnt up building… that was once a top-secret military lab.
THE LESSON: Answers are overrated.
7. THEY GO BACK FOR SOMETHING THEY LEFT BEHIND
Unless it’s entirely necessary, going back for something left behind is generally a terrible idea. Seriously, this never ends well. Heck, even when one character tells another character that it’s a horrible idea to go back into the burning building, or back into the house now filled with an angry post-apocalyptic biker gang, more often than not, the advice is ignored and someone winds up dead.
THE LESSON: Unless it’s the serum that could possibly save your life, leave it behind!
8. THEY BELIEVE THERE’S A MIRACULOUS SAFE-HAVEN SOMEWHERE
All too often, characters in apocalypse films are traveling across the country on their way to “a safe haven in the west,” or a “zombie-free zone back east,” or to “the place where humanity is rebuilding itself up north.” Usually these tall tales of apocalypse-free zones in which the human race is thriving are exactly that – tall tales. When found, they are usually a disappointment, or a trap of some sort, or a little bit of both.
THE LESSON: Chances are good that everyone is dead. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can move past it.
9. THEY THINK SCIENCE WILL SAVE THEM
In the movies, it’s usually science that lit the match that started the fire that started the apocalypse. Believing that the very thing that caused the problem in the first place will be what puts an end to it is almost as stupid as crawling through the sewers to investigate a mysterious sound. Not only is it stupid, it generally only makes matters worse. Instead of simply dealing with a viral outbreak caused by genetic research on chimps, the chimps now somehow have bazookas and they know how to use them.
THE LESSON: The most basic solution is the right one.
10. THEY THINK MONEY WILL SAVE THEM
When the basic social structure of society has been uprooted, tossed into a blender, and pureed into a fine paste, money and those who have lots of it are suddenly a lot less important than they once were. Still, it’s a pretty common occurrence in apocalypse movies for the rich guy to try and buy his way onto the ship that will save humanity, or into the last protected stronghold in the center of the city. But it almost never works.
THE LESSON: You’ll have better luck offering sexual favors. Burn the money for heat.
11. THEY THINK GOD WILL SAVE THEM
Characters who believe in an all-powerful God, who controls the moon and the stars, almost always find themselves disappointed when that very same God doesn’t come to their rescue. Think about it. If God controls everything, then it’s God who brought forth the apocalypse in the first place. Believing that the omniscient movie God doing the killing is also going to be the one doing the saving is flawed logic on the most fundamental of levels.
THE LESSON: When the clouds are dropping acid rain, take cover.
12. THEY JOIN THE ESTABLISHMENT
Joining forces with a large group might actually seem like the way to go at first. After all, there’s usually strength in numbers, right? (See #1) While it’s true that the chance of survival might raise significantly after putting on a spiked leather jacket, strapping a little person to your back and joining that gang of marauders operating out of the Thunderdome, there are a wide variety of other problems that immediately arise once you’ve done so. First and foremost is the fact that with a large group comes a group consciousness. The group’s choices become the only choices. What’s that? You have no desire to pillage, murder, and rape? Too bad – start pillaging.
LESSON: Individuality is important. Nonetheless, find a couple of trustworthy friends but keep away from the hoards.
13. THEY DON’T BRING ENOUGH AMMUNITION
Bring a lot of ammo. Bring so much of it that you can barely carry it all. This one should really be the most obvious of all – but far too often characters in apocalypse movies seem to forget ammo and find themselves staring down a horde of flesh eating, post-apocalyptic freaks while wielding an empty shotgun.
THE LESSON: You can never have enough bullets.
14. THEY SHARE THEIR HIDING PLACES
The best way to keep a hiding place hidden is to not tell anyone about it. Duh. Though that might not sound like a remarkable bit of thinking, it’s one the characters in apocalyptic movies too often forget. It takes only one slip of the tongue to turn a hiding place into a beacon for every murderer, infected weirdo, or flesh-eating zombie in the city. Once that happens, there’s no turning back.
THE LESSON: If there’s anything these types of films have taught us, it’s that helping those in need can often have disastrous results. Don’t trust anyone.
The Last Stand is a dramatic zombie thriller series now playing on KoldCast TV.
Watch Episode 1: Our Heroes
Watch Episode 2: Dearly Departed
Steven Novak is a writer, illustrator, graphic designer and admitted lifelong nerd with an embarrassingly large DVD collection. He is currently working and living in the Southern California desert. His most recent fantasy/action adventure novel, “Forts: Fathers and Sons,” is available everywhere books are sold.