#3 – Resident Evil: Afterlife [Zombie Apocalypse]
Though we aren’t privy to actually seeing the T-Virus outbreak unfold in Los Angeles (we see Tokyo instead), moviegoers did get an aerial tour of the aftermath – the scorched Hollywood Hills, dilapidated skyscrapers, not to mention a sea of undead bodies congregated in the streets.
While much of Resident Evil: Afterlife takes place inside a prison complex, thousands of zombies/L.A. citizens collect at the gates of the compound – a grim reminder of the lingering devastation that didn’t just destroy the physical L.A. infrastructure but turned everyday people into bloody-thirsty walking disease-bags.
There’s no doubt that an enormous city-wide natural disaster would be terrifying, and claim a lot of lives, but it’s hard to imagine few outcomes more disturbing than mindlessly chewing on the flesh of your family, friends, and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
#2 – Independence Day [Hostile Alien Invasion]
Los Angeles was only one of several cities that got wiped off the map in Roland Emmerich’s (noticing a trend) 1996 alien-invasion film, Independence Day. Obviously it wouldn’t be the first time that aliens had set their sites on Los Angeles, but Independence Day features one of the most sweeping depictions of aliens on human genocide ever put to film.
The ID4 aliens’ implementation of an enormous energy based weapon, that first pounds the Los Angeles area with a blast wave and subsequently scorches the debris in a firestorm, is a one-two punch that leaves very few of the area’s fifteen million metro residents alive.
Even without the foiled “ground invasion” being prepped inside the alien motherships, given the mass-casualties in ID4’s initial L.A. attack, Battle: Los Angeles will have to work pretty hard to top this “Hostile Alien Invasion” story. Even if Battle: LA succeeds, Emmerich isn’t even done with L.A. yet – as he’s still invested in the oft-discussed idea of Independence Day sequels.
#1 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day [Man-Made Sentient Machines]
While plenty of the films we’ve discussed here offered tales of survival and victory, in the face on unimaginable disaster, Terminator 2: Judgment Day prophesizes not just one of the most devastating attacks on Los Angeles – but also the bleakest potential outcome.
Sarah Connor may only experience Skynet’s Los Angeles nuke attack in a nightmare – but the prophecy comes true in the concluding moments of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Even though the series relies on time-travel events that are capable of creating an alternate future – things don’t ever appear to turn out well for L.A. In every potential future, the city has been reduced to rubble with Terminators, HK Tanks, and HK Aerials patrolling for human survivors. Not to mention Los Angeles serves as the location of the notorious Century Work Camp, a Skynet-run human concentration camp, where John Conner and Kyle Reese are eventually imprisoned.
In addition to the seemingly inevitable post-apocalyptic landscape, worst of all, the Skynet attack on L.A. (and other world cities) could have been entirely avoided. The nuclear assault isn’t the result of a solar flare that causes Earth’s core to increase or an unprovoked alien invasion – Los Angles suffers Judgment Day at the hands of a man-made machine that wages war against its creators.
Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant and let us know your pick for best Los Angeles disaster on film – as well as whether you think Battle: Los Angeles should take the top spot on future lists.
Battle: Los Angeles opens in theaters this Friday, March 11th.