It’s bad enough when something comes to Earth to kill people. It’s worse when something comes to Earth to wipe out humanity. But when something comes to Earth to destroy the entire planet, that’s a real problem. Sometimes they succeed. Sometimes (more often, actually), they fail.
The new film â€œFantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surferâ€ features Galactus, a planet-eating cloud, and the Silver Surfer, an intergalactic beach bum ready to serve Earth up as an appetizer. This has inspired the Fat Guys at the Movies to list the top ten things that have tried to destroy planet Earth (in a movie… and one TV mini-series).
The following list was a featured discussion on this week’s episode of Fat Guys at the Movies. Take a listen below. The discussion begins at the 27:45 mark of Episode 14.
Listen to Fat Guys at the Movies (iTunes)
And now, on with the list…
10. The Warlock in â€œWarlockâ€ (1989)
Julian Sands solidified his position as a Euro-cheese actor in the late 1980s with this horror flick that ushered us into the 90s with a less slasher-oriented villain. His goal wasn’t really to destroy the Earth, but to destroy creation and remake it in the vision of the Devil. Thanks to Richard E. Grant and â€œFootlooseâ€ star Lori Singer, he is defeated, leaving things open for the dreadful â€œWarlock IIâ€ in 1993.
9. The Drej in â€œTitan A.E.â€ (2000)
Well, the movie really wasn’t about blowing up planet Earth, considering it bit the dust in the first couple minutes as the Drej incinerated the big blue marble. This film was left out of our recent list about great animated film, much to the chagrin of the fans. However, we honor the Drej here not just because they blew up Earth, but they also pretty much destroyed FOX animation studios as well.
8. Galactus in â€œFantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surferâ€ (2007)
Galactus may have been changed considerably from the comic books, but his M.O. was the same: Eat a planet, then move on. The Silver Surfer paves the way for his dinner, but thanks to the help of the Fantastic Four (and the vision of Jessica Abla in a tight blue leotard), the dude from the sky helps put Galactus in his place.
7. Ice 9 from â€œThe Recruitâ€ (2003)
Sure, not a lot of people remember this movie – probably because it stunk like a turd left in the toilet overnight. But we must keep it on the list for its literary significance. Al Pacino plays a CIA trainer who’s planning to steal a computer virus based on Ice 9, which will turn all water on the planet into solid ice at room temperature. It’s not “The Recruit” that makes the list for us, but Ice 9, which originally comes from literary legend Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 masterpiece “Cat’s Cradle.”
6. The Asteroid from â€œArmageddonâ€ (1998)
This ain’t no pussy seven-mile-across comet from â€œDeep Impact.â€ This is a Michael Bay-sized planet-obliterating big-ass piece of rock the size of Texas. If it weren’t for face men Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, and a little help from the Hollywood bad teeth patrol of Billy Bob Thornton and Steve Buscemi, we might have been reduced to a cloud of space waste.
5. The Daleks from â€œDoctor Whoâ€ (series, 1962â€“1989 and 2005â€“present)
Fat Guy Neil Miller has no idea who the Daleks are, but Fat Guy Kevin Carr has enough love for these psychotic salt shakers to force them onto the list. The ultimate nemesis for Doctor Who, these tin cans managed to wipe out the Time Lords only to be dispatched by British pop star hottie Billie Piper. The Daleks aren’t just trying to destroy Earth. They’re trying to destroy anything that isn’t Dalek. Exterminate!
4. The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, a.k.a. Gozer from â€œGhost Bustersâ€ (1984)
What other movie villain has struck fear into the hearts of men like a 200-story Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man tearing through the streets of New York? Gozer the Gozerian gave the Ghost Busters a chance to choose the bringer of their destruction, and Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Akroyd) couldn’t help but think of Mr. Stay-Puft because he was â€œthe most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us.â€
3. The Vogons from â€œThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxyâ€ (2005)
What’s worse than an intergalactic terror that sets its sights on the destruction of all human life on Earth? A bureaucrat who doesn’t even bother to worry about life on Earth while making way for a hyperspace bypass. One of the rare instances in cinema where Earth is destroyed at the beginning of the story, this comedy follows Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect as they leave the doomed planet for bigger and better things.
2. Human beings and automobiles in â€œAn Inconvenient Truthâ€ (2006)
Al Gore used American cinema to dip his toe in the water of a 2008 presidential run with this film. It may have won an Oscar for its message, that we are destroying the planet ourselves, with no help from the Vogons, the Daleks or an ass-kicking chunk of space debris, but this film nearly destroyed us all with boredom. After all, what’s worse than watching a Power Point presentation? Watching a movie about a Power Point presentation. (Or maybe it’s reading an article about a movie about a Power Point presentation…)
1. Marvin the Martian from â€œLooney Tunesâ€ (1948â€“present)
This space alien with a Napoleon complex is easily one of the most popular characters from the Warner Bros. cartoon universe. He first appeared in the 1948 short â€œHaredevil Hareâ€ trying to blow up the Earth because it obstructed his view of Venus. He has since become a sci-fi icon. Whether it’s Bugs Bunny who saves us or Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century, we’re glad that this little guy in the green skirt and tennis shoes is never completely destroyed.
Dr. Evil in the â€œAustin Powersâ€ films (1997â€“2002)
It’s easy to say that the James Bond villains wanted to destroy the Earth, but that’s not entirely true. Goldfinger just wanted money, and Hugo Drax from â€œMoonrakerâ€ only wanted to destroy the humans so he could repopulate the world with a master race. It is Dr. Evil from â€œAustin Powersâ€ who was prepared to drive a penis-shaped bomb into the liquid hot magma of the Earth in order to wipe out the world.
Black people in â€œBirth of a Nationâ€ (1915)
It still boggles the Fat Guys’ minds that a movie about the KKK lynching a black guy is one of the most influential films of all time. A white supremacist history lesson which presents the Ku Klux Klan as the â€œinvisible nationâ€ protecting â€œwhite womanhood,â€ it’s hard to watch considering the ludicrously racist overtones. â€œBirth of a Nationâ€ makes us wonder, considering its historical context, whether director D.W. Griffith and the filmmakers are a worse threat than the Daleks, the Drej and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man rolled into one.