Yeah that’s right, I am going to forgo the usual movie of the day and give you ten movies of the day. Mainly this is in honor of the supposed world ending event tomorrow predicted by the Mayans and their calendar. Personally, I think they just ran out of room on that giant stone slab to put more dates on, but whatever. So in honor of the end of the world tomorrow or not, whatever, I decided to pick some of my favorite end of the world, apocalyptic movies.
I will admit, apocalyptic movies are my jam, even those shitty ones like Knowing or 2012, I will watch them all. I don’t know why, but something about the break down of society and humanity on the throes of having to survive in a completely changed landscape of civilization just hits the right spot for my movie loving ass. So I got us a mix of end of world movies and movies where life goes on I guess.
Here’s to the Mayans and their calendar scare! Cheers!
Also these movies are in no particular order.
10. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
If the world did come to an end, I would totally want to spend it with Keira Knightley. Who the hell wouldn’t want to do that? Anyways, I think that this is an underrated comedy movie that didn’t get a lot of business and some of the reviews were a bit harsh. I personally enjoy the idea of watching the last moments of humanity try and carry in some fashion, while others parts of humanity are just living it up. The two leads didn’t have the best of chemistry, but it’s the side characters that really just sell the shit out of this movie. Personally if I had my way, I would just watch an entire movie on Patton Oswalt’s character as he goes around to different Roman style end of the world orgies and drunkenly hit on women while drinking copious amounts of wine from a fucking carafe.
9. Six-String Samurai
Wandering the wasteland of torn apart America all the while battling hordes of roving gangs with your kung-fu abilities that are standing in your way of making it to Vegas. I did a review on this movie a while back which you can read here. I totally dig this movie and it’s rockabilly ways.
If the end of the world were to happen, I would want to go out in Lars Von Trier’s version of our demise. The end of the world never looked so artistic and slightly melancholy. This movie was just stunning to watch in theaters, Von Trier took a very big leap with this movie by showing us the end of the Earth in the first 10 minutes of the film and then jump back to show us the lead up of the world ending event through the eyes of a family. It was a lot deeper film than most apocalyptic movies, where we get two different sides of coping with the inevitable doom that awaits the people of Earth. Instead of focusing on the world at large, we get a closer character study, making the film far more personal and powerful.
You can read my original review of the movie here.
7. The World, The Flesh, and The Devil
If you have never seen this movie, you are missing out on a fantastic doomsday style movie. The World, The Flesh and The Devil is an amazing movie starring Harry Belafonte, Inger Stevens and Mel Ferrer, which is about the survival of the human race after a catastrophic event that wiped out almost all of the human population. Belafonte is an African-American coal miner that gets trapped in a mine in Pennsylvania, saving him from the doomsday that unfolds around the world. After getting out of the mine, he heads to New York to search for survivors and meets Inger Stevens’ character and the two form a bond very fast. Well Stevens develops feelings for Belafonte, but he is hesitant due to racial inhibitions he has been instilled with living in America. But they happen upon Mel Ferrer’s character who is nursed back to health and sees Belafonte as a threat to him because of his feelings toward Inger.
It is a tense movie where Belafonte and Ferrer square off because of an inherit fear and racism. A great commentary on society, but it is also a movie that manages to make an incredible point and message towards the end of the movie. The desolate locations of Manhattan is frightening to witness since it is completely empty, void of human life and activity. You definitely need to see this movie if you haven’t.
6. The Book of Eli
With a cast like Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis, I am already loving this movie. Take the fact that this is taking place in a landscape that has been changed by unknown causes and seeing the small bits of humanity clinging to the last vestiges of civility and I like it even more. Washington is amazing in this movie, a relative badass wanderer with a religious purpose for his quest to get to the coast. There is plenty of action to be had, but the best bits are the reason why Oldman is chasing after the book that Eli is carrying. It’s fascinating to think about how the book is the most valuable weapon in the wastelands of America once you realize what the book is.
Here is a link to my original post about the movie.
5. The Day the Earth Caught Fire
Another classic end of the world movie, The Day the Earth Caught Fire is a classic sci-fi movie in which Earth has been knocked out of orbit and getting closer to the sun. The effect of this is that water is evaporated and the Earth becomes this desolate, arid landscape which is done well with matte paintings that the director utilized in the movie. In a last ditch attempt to save the Earth, they detonate some nukes in Siberia in order to get the Earth back into a safe orbit. The best part of this movie is the ending which you have to check out.
4. The Road
Another phenomenal post-apocalyptic movie in which we aren’t certain about what happened to the Earth, other than shit has gone wrong and society is clinging to hope and insanity. The tension from the movie comes from Viggo’s encounter with a group of survivors that are hell bent on killing them and basically eating them as well. The father and son dynamic is also what propels the movie along with the father doing anything in his power to safely take his son to the south coast of America while shielding him from the atrocities of the world. It’s a dark film that offers no glimmer of happiness, desolate and fragile, this is a great post apocalyptic movie.
Here is the link to my original post on the movie.
3. A Boy and His Dog
Holy Hell this is just an insane, bizarre and completely awesome movie! Starring Don Johnson and a dog, this movie is just about a tale of survival and poon hunting as Johnson survives the post-apocalyptic America with his telepathically linked dog. This movie is just insanely great and I picked it because of how off the wall this is. A script written by Harlan Ellison, this is just bonkers and a movie that has to be seen to be believed.
2. Children of Men
I absolutely adore this movie. Not only because it is another stellar film from Alfonso Cuaron, but the story of a world with no future what so ever is just to damn intriguing and involving. The world is stricken with the inability to have babies, meaning no new generation of humans to carry on with life. Without a certain future, society and the world begins to fall apart. No new technology is created, people try and carry on with life, and riots happen around the world because there is nothing left. Clive Owen is amazing in this movie as he tries and get humanities last hope for survival to the Human Project location in order to safely birth a child from a fertile woman.
The most incredible aspect of this movie is Cuaron’s directing as the single take battle scene is a technical thing of beauty and one of the most moving aspects of the film. Truly incredible apocalyptic movie.
1. The Day After
Fuck this movie man. Even now, this movie makes me frightful of a nuclear attack and the aftermath of having to survive in a nuclear wasteland. This movie came out during the 80s, right at the height of the cold war and this was probably the most pants shitting thing anyone ever saw. But the weight of the movie comes from the survival aspect where the citizens are just looking to survive the fallout. It’s harrowing and one of the scariest movies around considering that threat of nuclear attacks are very real.