Disaster movies have traditionally come in three types: The "plague of rogue creatures" movie, the "hubris of the humans" film, and the disaster porn epic.
Unfortunately, these genres have been tapped and drained by the insatiable appetite of cinema audiences for scenes of swarms of maddened animals fighting back against the human race for undisclosed crimes against nature; buildings, ocean liners, and science experiments going wrong in ways that involve killing lots of people; and natural disasters turned up to fifteen. Sometimes human hubris results in genetically engineered animals running amok, or causes a huge disaster. The wells have run dry.
Or have they?
I have noticed there is one distinctly lacking angle in disaster movies. There seems to be no film where a natural disaster is crossed over with the swarm of animals genre to provide just the right mix of gory scenes of people being devoured alive liberally distributed between epic shots of cities being brought low by the wrath of the special effects department.
Well, the answer is clear to me. What is needed is simple: A film about a volcano. Filled with starving bears.
The movie can open with a plucky young geologist doing research on some strange earth tremors in a major US city. She will have a wild theory that this is a sign that a volcanic eruption is imminent. Meanwhile, a gung-ho bear wrangler is in town to deliver a rare specimen to the zoo. Someone will be mauled by the savage beast, and only expert bear-wrangling can subdue it.
Suddenly a huge earthquake will knock over several buildings in slow motion, and a huge cone will rise from the ground. Somebody exclaims: "It's a volcano!" - But the volcano is not erupting yet, and our plucky geologist must descend into its gaping maw to assess the danger. Inside she finds... Bears! Starving bears! From the dawn of time! What's needed here is a bear specialist.
The renegade bear scientist we saw earlier is called in to deal with the ursine menace in the crater. The terrifying nature of the starving bears is revealed when some of the science team are eaten, but the bears are quickly herded into a side passage and contained there, allowing time for the plucky geologist to determine that the volcano is going to erupt soon!
Suddenly, foolish environmentalists try to free the bears! Their misguided hippie ways are their undoing, as the starving bears devour them and escape into the city, wreaking havoc. Only the bear expert can save the innocent people from a gristly death. But mere minutes into the anti-bear initiative, the volcano also erupts! Chaos, rampaging bears, and fiery doom ensue for the final two hours of the film (total running time: 135 minutes).
Most of the remainder of the film consists of people trying to flee the seemingly endless horde of starving bears as the city burns. People will fall from helicopters into lava. Bears will spring out of nowhere to attack people the audience either hate or care about, in roughly equal numbers. At some point a dog leaps to safety, barely escaping both a blazing inferno and flaming boulders plummeting from the sky - doing so by jumping between two starving bears which miss clawing the brave, loyal family pet by inches. Then the bears start fighting.
The bears are destroyed in the inferno, and the city is levelled. As the film closes the plucky geologist and maverick bear expert, brought together by their ordeal, stare across the vista of smouldering rubble and wonder... could it happen again?
Of course it can. That's why I'm already plotting out Volcano Full of Starving Bears 2: Hurricane Season.