I have a theory as to why post apocalyptic movies are becoming more and more popular. One reason, is that the author or director can create a whole new world for their characters. Then they have the creative freedom to express their ideas however they like. The other reason is people have become too overwhelmed with their jobs, technology, and whatever else is keeping them from the simple things. Nobody wants to just give it all up, but everyone wants life to be simpler. We are so addicted to our current lifestyle that the only way a simplified lifestyle can happen is if we are forced into it. I think people truly are curious as to what what would happen if we had to start over. I have had numerous conversations with friends where we discuss the perfect post apocalyptic car, boots, living situation, weapons, jacket… We have even talked about the first place we would go to get supplies. The first three places I am hitting are the pharmacy, liquor store, and any place that sells camping and hunting supplies. If you’re a daydreamer like me, then you have often wondered if you have what it takes to survive a nuclear or zombie apocalypse. Here are 10 movies that aren’t just entertaining, but can also serve as guides.
10. Mad Max: The Road Warrior (1981) R
This is one of those rare times when the sequel is better than the original. Nomad Warrior+grunting kid+crazy leather clad marauders+value of oil in a post apocalyptic Australia= bad ass movie with tons of action. The chase scene at the end is worth the price of admission alone.
9. Dawn of The Dead (1979) R
Where do you go when the world goes to the zombies? A mall, of course. Lock the doors are enjoy the excesses of consumerism without spending a single penny. Dawn is probably the best of Romero’s Dead series as well as the best zombie film of all time. This movie might be a little gory for some folks, but still a great flick.
8. The Road (2009) R
This is by far the most depressing and slowest movie on the list. I have only seen The Road two times, but it is a great movie. I never read the book. From what I hear, both the movie and book are equally bleak. We never find out what event that caused the apocalypse, but it doesn’t really seem to matter. Instead, we get to see a man’s will to survive and protect his son. As dark and intense as the movie is, there is still a glimmer of hope that his son will go on to do something meaningful.
7. World War Z (2013) PG-13
I did read this book. It seems Brad Pitt didn’t pay for the rights to the book so much as the right to name his movie after the book. Either way, it’s still a pretty good flick. The action is great, and I enjoy watching Brad try to locate the source of the disease. My only problem with the movie is Brad and his military friend being the sole survivors of a massive plane crash. The seat belts aren’t that great.
6. I Am Legend (2007) PG-13
From what I understand, this is another movie that is nothing like the book. Man tries to do something good and ends up causing the apocalypse. The cure for cancer turns 1% of the world’ population into a zombie/vampire hybrid that almost completely wipes out the planet. I like movies about being alone. Will Smith is alone for about half the movie. The only company he has is his dog, memories, and the feeling of guilt that he helped cause the demise of everyone on the planet. If you want to watch this movie, I highly recommend the extended edition with alternate ending. The original ending sucked the life out of a good movie.
This is one of those hidden gems you can find on Netflix. Scientists tried to reverse global warming and ended up freezing the whole planet. The only survivors on earth are stuck on a train that goes around the world non-stop. There is a staunch class system set up that leaves everyone on the back of the train living in pretty crappy conditions. They decide to revolt and head to the front of the train assuming there are better conditions there. This movie manages to pack in tons of action in a small space, considering the whole thing takes place on a train. If I say anything else, I will be giving away what makes this film awesome.
4. Waterworld (1995) PG-13
You can knock this movie all you want, it still one of my all time favorites. I don’t care that it went over budget and was a bust at the box office. Dennis Hopper and Kevin Costner were awesome. The whole world is covered in water?!?! Brilliant!! Be careful who you choose as your leader when the world goes to crap, y’all. You could end up with Denis Hopper on an oil tanker.
3. 12 Monkeys (1995) R
I know most of this movie takes place before the apocalypse, but technically it’s a post apocalyptic film. You have Bruce Willis jumping around through time trying to figure out who caused the end of the world. Then, you have Brad Pitt as the lovable maniac with daddy issues. Doesn’t get much better.
2. The Book Of Eli (2010) R
Again, we have no idea what caused the world to change. But that’s not important. What we do have is two men that understand the importance of faith and the Bible. One man wants protect the Word of Gad and the other wants to use it to gain power over the remaining survivors. Great movie with tons of action and intensity. My only complaint would be the ending. After all that work, faith, and guidance from God to get The Bible to a safe place, they just stick it on a shelf with all the other religious books. Why couldn’t the movie just be about one religion?
1. The Postman (1997) R
According to Rotten Tomatoes, this is an awful film. I could not disagree more. One of my favorites, The Postman has everything I need in an epic film. Unlikely hero finds postman outfit and uses it to stay warm. Then, he fakes being an actual postman to get food and lodging, consequently reestablishing the government. Throw in some pretty cool action scenes, a great villain, and a love story, then Boom!! You have my favorite post apocalyptic movie of all time.
“Wouldn’t it be great if wars could be fought just by the assholes who started them?”
Kevin Costner in The Postman