From Nostradamus to Miss Cleo, predicting the future has proven to be endlessly fertile ground for entertainers. The problem is, most of these bold predictions come with a finite shelf life. Take these once visionary cinematic glimpses into the future, now existing well past the due date:

• Parasite (1982)--Mixing social satire with oodles of disgusting 3-D grue, this early Demi Moore vehicle posits a 1992 America where gas costs 40 bucks a gallon and armed politicians mow down elderly civilians. A vision of the future perhaps not too far off the mark from reality, except for the perverted snot-monsters that like to burrow through people's pants.

• Escape From New York (1981)--John Carpenter deserves major points for envisioning the Big Apple as a sealed-off prison state, but really should have considered setting the construction deadline a tad later than 1988. Regardless, this remains a seminal example of compelling future shock, with Kurt Russell as the ultimate badass mofo. James Cameron would go from producing the truly special effects here to depicting his own apocalyptic look ahead with The Terminator.

• Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972)--This fourth installment in the mind-clutchingly circular series takes place in 1991, as humanity begins to adopt gorillas as their pets and slaves, thus setting the stage for chaos, upheaval, and eventually, Chuck Heston's monumental beachfront discovery. Nervy, shuddering pulp that--shoddy monkey masks aside--stands as perhaps the only instance of Hollywood ever having the stones to envision a global race war.

• Destroy All Monsters (1968)--The time: 1999. The place: Monster Isle, where mankind has gratefully provided a tropical paradise for Godzilla, and all the other oversized critters of the world, to kick back--complete with live volcano and fully stocked porpoise pond for Rodan's late-night munchies. Everything is Zen, with the exception of the occasional appearance of Venusian Invaders in skin-tight jumpsuits. Heck, is it possible to adopt this as our future? ANDREW WRIGHT