80s Movies The Best '80s Disaster Movies  

Ranker Film
13 votes 3 voters 27 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite disaster movies that were released between 1980 - 1989.

These are the best disaster movies from the ‘80s. Disaster films can impact the whole world a select group of people such as on an airplane or in a city. These disaster films from the 1980s are edge-of-your-seat thrill rides that still hold up today and are certainly fun to watch. With famous actors such as Mel Gibson in The Chain Reaction and Leslie Nielsen in the satirical disaster movie Airplane!, 1980s disaster movies are some of the most exciting and memorable films in the genre. This list includes man-made disasters like The Day After and natural disaster movies like When Time Ran Out.

Other great disaster movies from the nineteen-eighties include films such as Anxious Sunday and Cave-In!.

Now it’s time to determine the greatest ‘80s disaster movies. Vote up the good 1980s disaster movies to make sure that the right film makes its way to the top of the list. Don’t see your favorite ‘80s disaster movie? Feel free to add it to the list.

list ordered by
1
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Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman
Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and ...more
2
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The Quiet Earth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Bruno Lawrence, Pete Smith, Alison Routledge
The Quiet Earth is a 1985 New Zealand science fiction post-apocalyptic film directed by Geoff Murphy and starring Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge and Pete Smith as three survivors of a ...more
3
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The Day After is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
John Lithgow, Steve Guttenberg, JoBeth Williams
The Day After is a 1983 American television film that aired on November 20, 1983, on the ABC television network. It was seen by more than 100 million people during its initial broadcast. It is ...more
4
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Threads is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Reece Dinsdale, Jane Hazlegrove, David Brierly
Threads is a 1984 BAFTA award-winning British television drama, produced jointly by the BBC, Nine Network and Western-World Television Inc. Written by Barry Hines and directed by Mick Jackson, ...more
5
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Night of the Comet is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Geoffrey Lewis, Mary Woronov, Catherine Mary Stewart
Night of the Comet is a 1984 disaster-comedy film written and directed by Thom Eberhardt and starring Catherine Mary Stewart, Robert Beltran, and Kelli Maroney. The film was voted number 10 in ...more
6
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Miracle Mile is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Mare Winningham, Anthony Edwards, Denise Crosby
Miracle Mile is a 1988 American apocalyptic thriller cult film written and directed by Steve De Jarnatt, and starring Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham that takes place mostly in real time. It ...more
7
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Virus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
George Kennedy, Robert Vaughn, Glenn Ford
Virus — literally "Day of Resurrection" — is a 1980 post-apocalyptic science fiction movie directed by Kinji Fukasaku and based on a 1964 novel written by Sakyo Komatsu. It starred ...more
8
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Impulse is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Bill Paxton, Meg Tilly, Tim Matheson
Impulse is a 1984 science fiction thriller film.
9
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The Night the Bridge Fell Down is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Leslie Nielsen, Eve Plumb, Desi Arnaz
The Night the Bridge Fell Down is an American action film starring James MacArthur, Desi Arnaz Jr., and Leslie Nielsen. The movie was produced by Irwin Allen in 1979 in association with Warner ...more
10
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Cave-In! is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Cave-In! Leslie Nielsen, Ray Milland, Susan Sullivan
Cave-In! is an American action film starring Dennis Cole, Leslie Nielsen, and James Olson. The movie was produced by Irwin Allen in 1979 in association with Warner Bros. Television for NBC but ...more
11
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Condominium is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Condominium Barbara Eden, Steve Forrest, Dan Haggerty
Condominium is a 1980 action drama thriller film written by Steve Hayes, Robert A. Cinader and John D. MacDonald and directed by Sidney Hayers.
12
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The Chain Reaction is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley
The Chain Reaction is a 1980 Australian independent action/disaster/thriller film directed and written by Ian Barry. The film stars Steve Bisley, also starring in the film Mad Max and Arna-Maria ...more
13
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When the Wind Blows is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
John Mills, Peggy Ashcroft, David Dundas
When the Wind Blows is a 1986 British animated drama film directed by Jimmy Murakami based on Raymond Briggs' graphic novel of the same name. The film stars the voices of John Mills and Peggy ...more
14
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When Time Ran Out is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bissett, William Holden
When Time Ran Out is a disaster film released in 1980, starring Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bisset, William Holden, James Franciscus, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Burgess Meredith, Valentina ...more
15
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Anxious Sunday is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Anxious Sunday
16
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Express on Fire is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Express on Fire
17
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Testament is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Kevin Costner, Rebecca De Mornay, Jane Alexander
Testament is a drama film based on The Last Testament by Carol Amen, directed by Lynne Littman and written by John Sacret Young. The film tells the story of how one small suburban town near the ...more
18
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Airplane II: The Sequel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
William Shatner, Leslie Nielsen, Sonny Bono
Airplane II: The Sequel is a 1982 sequel to the 1980 American comedy film Airplane!. First released on December 10, 1982, the film was written and directed by Ken Finkleman and stars Robert ...more
19
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Countdown to Looking Glass is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Scott Glenn, Michael Murphy, Helen Shaver
Countdown to Looking Glass is a Canadian made-for-television movie that premiered in the United States on HBO on 14 October 1984 and was also broadcast on CTV in Canada. The movie presents a ...more
20
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Def-Con 4 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Maury Chaykin, Lenore Zann, Tim Choate
Def-Con 4 is a 1985 post-apocalyptic film, portraying three astronauts who survive World War III aboard a space station and return to earth to find greatly changed circumstances.
21
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Air Crew is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Aleksandra Yakovleva, Komaki Kurihara, Georgiy Zhzhonov
Air Crew is a movie produced by Mosfilm in 1979. Inspired by Airport movies series, it was the first catastrophe movie shot in the Soviet Union.
22
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Starflight: The Plane That Cou... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Kirk Cameron, Lauren Hutton, Lee Majors
Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land is a 1983 made-for-television film directed by Jerry Jameson. The film stars Lee Majors, Hal Linden, Lauren Hutton, Ray Milland, Gail Strickland, George ...more
23
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St. Helens is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Art Carney, Albert Salmi, Henry Darrow
St. Helens, aka St. Helens, Killer Volcano, is a 1981 made for cable HBO film directed by Ernest Pintoff and starring David Huffman, Art Carney, Cassie Yates, and Albert Salmi. The film centers ...more
24
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Runaway Train is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Jon Voight, Rebecca De Mornay, Eric Roberts
Runaway Train is a 1985 American action-thriller film, directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. The screenplay by Djordje Milicevic, Paul Zindel and Edward Bunker was based on an original screenplay by ...more
25
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Kolilakkam is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s Disaster Movies
Kolilakkam Jayan, Madhu, Sumalatha
Kolilakkam is a 1981 Malayalam film directed by P.N.Sundaram, and starring Jayan. This was Jayan's last film before his death. His death happened during the shooting of this movie in which he ...more