Sure, it’s cheesy, melodramatic, and the epitome of Michael Bay spectacle, but Armageddon has all the makings of a shallow guilty pleasure. It boasts an all-star cast, including Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan, and a Bruce Willis that was still a few years away from looking bored in everything he acted in. Throw in a excruciatingly catchy ballad from Aerosmith and some top-notch effect work, and it is a decent time waster.
A classic in video gaming history, Asteroids deserves to be somewhere on this list. There isn’t really a plot – you go around shooting at asteroids – but it’s an intensely addicting game and it’s simplicity is part of it’s charm.
#3: Night of the Comet
Two high school girls wake up one morning to find just about the entire Los Angeles population has been vaporized by a passing comet. The movie has become a cult classic, and rightly so. It’s goofy, but the way that most 1980’s horror/sci-fi movies are. It’s a fun post-apocalyptic movie that is impossible not to enjoy.
#2: The Simpsons, “Bart’s Comet”
A classic episode. In this one, Bart gets semi-famous around town by discovering a comet, but things turn grim when it happens to be on a collision course with Springfield. The show has put the townspeople on the brink of destruction a few times, and this one is probably the best episode dealing with it. It’s a nice episode where the value of one citizen, Ned Flanders, unites the entire town in the face of fear.
#1: Maniac Mansion
This was one of my favorite video games on the NES growing up. It’s so offbeat, so much fun, and just plain weird. A point-and-click adventure, you are in control of a group of teenagers breaking into the house of Evil Dr. Fred to rescue the main character’s girlfriend. Turns out that Dr. Fred is under the influence of the psychic powers of an evil meteorite. The game is a fun puzzler with an outstanding 8-bit soundtrack and it’s really interesting to try and figure out all the ways you can beat the game.