An Extreme Tourist's List of 5 Things Not to Do According to "Chernobyl Diaries"


Let’s get one thing straight: if indulging in a bit of “extreme tourism” by visiting the site of the worst nuclear meltdown human civilization has ever known, don’t go to the one area where even professionals only visit twice a month for five hours at the most. There’s a reason they don’t stay longer, and the reason isn’t anything exciting like horrible mutants, it’s just good old fashioned radiation. And in the case of radiation, what doesn't kill you makes you ill, weak, and warps into a sickly shadow of life that dies soon thereafter. The net effect of radiation is death. Got it? However, Bradley Parker’s recent horror flick Chernobyl Diaries brings up a few additional points about extreme tourism (like mutants) that probably should be heeded and we’ll cover five of them below.

For those interested in the film, it's out on Blu-ray and DVD now, and you can pick it up over at Amazon.

Don’t go down the always popular “alternate” route.

Is there a group of soldiers blocking your entry to the most mysterious part of the island? Don’t turn back, just go around! What harm could be had in taking an alternate route deep into a territory supposedly devoid of human life? Well for one wild animals have probably reclaimed the area and, if you saw The Grey, you know full well that wolves are diabolical beasts that will hunt you down and rip out your throat. Feral dogs might not be as bad, but you still don’t want to mess around. Another issue involves no one knowing you’re there, which means that if you do get attacked or hurt yourself, no one with the capacity to help you would bother because, oh that’s right, they thought they sent you packing back home hours ago.

If you see mutated animals, go home.

While the X-Men have taught us that not all mutants are evil, the same can’t really be said for mutated animals. What’s an animal’s most basic primal instinct? Feed and breed. Now, imagine if a once docile fish without the capacity to successfully hunt something as large as a human has suddenly been dosed with radiation and is now bigger and has gigantic teeth. It might take this megafish a little while to figure out you’re officially a candidate as yum yum, but that won’t stop it from taking a bite. Hell, normal fish already have that spark of ambition, and anyone who’s ever swam in a lake can tell you fish aren’t too afraid to nibble on your toes if you let them. Mutant megafish won’t nibble. They’ll bite.

Don’t try to “sneak” by hungry, carnivorous animals by diverting through a field covered in dry leaves.

You know how obvious the sound of dry crinkly leaves is to you? It’s even more obvious to just about every other non-human animal in earshot. And keep in mind, earshot for them is a much greater difference than it is for you. Choosing this route is about as stealthy as yelling “Chugga chugga” and continuing forward under the pretense that you’re a train. It’s not fooling anybody, least of all the hungry animals with sharp teeth. Either back away or arm yourselves with weapons made from the sharpened bones of those animals’ previous conquests and prepare for war.

Don't go down into dark, abandoned tunnels (in the day or at night).

Remember those animals we talked about? Open man-made structures like subway, utility and maintenance tunnels become the equivalent of luxury condos for animals lucky enough to stumble upon them first and stake their territory. Then again, even if animals haven't made a home of the dark tunnels, maybe freakish man-mutants have. That's a thought. Something like that happened in the New York subways, except instead of mutants, it was just homeless people, and even they can be prone to violence. Of course, the greatest worry might be the lack of upkeep which might make some structures unsafe and subject to collapse. Really, there's no good reason to go into dark underground structures, and at least four good reasons (animals, mutants, hobos, dilapidation) not to.

Don’t walk up to inexplicably existent children in what’s supposed to be an abandoned nuclear wasteland.

Did you bring that small child with you? If not, then chances are it’s a trap set by mutants or Chris Hansen. This is especially a no-no once you’ve learned that a strange breed of creatures has been abducting your friends and generally terrifying you in the dark of night. Knowing that, seeing any person you don’t know standing in the middle of an open space staring away from you should be an instant clue to just move on. Should you choose to move on, it’s probably best to do it in a direction opposite relative to wherever that mysterious person is standing. If you’re really on edge, it might be tempting to just sneak up on the figure and try to kill it, but that might not be smart as it’s entirely possible you’re not the only group of morons abandoned in a nuclear waste land. You probably are, though, idiot.

BONUS: Oh yeah, don’t take tours off the beaten path into highly radioactive sections of a meltdown location.

This really can’t be stressed enough. Even if there aren’t mutants, there’s radiation, and that’ll get you every time.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.



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