I found myself being incredibly nit picky for this Tuesday’s Top 10, when I took a peak at what Google considered to be post-apocalyptic, I found myself disagreeing with a lot of the films included in that genre. I set myself some limits for this top 10, the films had to actually be POST-Apocalyptic, it couldn’t be only set during an apocalypse like The Day After Tomorrow (1976/2004). It had to involve the entire of Earth, and not just say Scotland, like in Doomsday (2008) (Go check it out on Google, these films are listed as post-apocalyptic, tsk). And NO Zombie films! I’m sorry to say I’m sick to death of that genre. So here you are, these are my top 10 favourite post-apocalyptic films.
10. Reign of Fire (2002)
Probably the most unexpected film on the list, it had to be included, as whilst the other films feature post-apocalyptic worlds caused by realistic disasters such as nuclear war, viruses and artificial intelligence, Reign of Fire depicts a world destroyed by Dragons, yes Dragons. Directed by Rob Bowman and staring Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey, Reign of Fire may not be the best film but I give it props for it’s unusual and unlikely subject matter.
9. Threads (1984)
Threads is a British TV movie docudrama directed by Mick Jackson. It is based in Sheffield, England and depicts Ruth and Jimmy’s fight to survive during and after a nuclear war. I was shown this film at a young age and I’m pretty sure it emotionally scarred me. Threads is a gritty and incredibly bleak look at how devastating the after effects of nuclear war are on the Earth, the human body, and civilization itself. World leaders should take heed of this film.
8. Waterworld (1995)
I have included this schlocky classic as it was much-loved by me in my childhood. Directed by Kevin Reynolds, Waterworld depicts a future where the world’s landmasses have been covered by water and a civilization that struggles to stay afloat. The mutated Mariner (Kevin Costner) is adapted to this new world but becomes roped into a desperate search to find the last piece of dry land.
7. WALL-E (2008)
I can quite confidently state that WALL-E is my favourite Pixar animated film, whilst the film follows the adventures of the adorable robot WALL-E, the film has a great deal more to say. This film is an important and poignant commentary on the greedy throw away mentality of humankind and what devastating effects it could and does have on our home planet.
6. Mad Max (1979)
How could I have made this list without it? I probably could have but you all would have asked where it was. Nevertheless, I respect this film greatly for what it did for the genre and the films that it inspired. Directed by George Miller and set in the future, Mad Max follows Max (Mel Gibson) a policeman seeking revenge for his murdered wife and son in a barren and dystopic Australia.
5. The Road (2009)
The Road, as directed by John Hellcoat, is set in a post-apocalyptic North America after some unknown cataclysmic event. We follow a dying father (Viggo Mortensen) as he attempts to protect his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) from the dangers of other humans as they travel on a perilous road to hope. The Road is unflinching in its portrayal of the dark side of the human condition.
4. I Am Legend (2007)
Francis Lawrence directs the live action adaptation of I Am Legend which follows lone survivor Robert Neville (Will Smith) as he attempts to find a cure for a plague that has wiped out and transformed nearly all of mankind. I hear you say, “But you said no Zombies?!” Well, if you know I Am Legend well enough, you’ll know that these monsters are not Zombies. Also, check this film out on DVD for some amazing animated shorts in the DVD extras.
3. The Book of Eli (2010)
I’m not a religious person, but considering the basis of the plot of The Book of Eli, I still found the film to be quite moving. This film was directed by The Hughes Brothers (Allen and Albert) and stars Denzel Washington as Eli, a lone man who has been travelling west across North America for 30 years, when villainous Carnegie (Gary Oldman) finds out Eli is travelling in order to protect a sacred book within his possession, Carnegie will do whatever it takes to use the book for his own ends.
2. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
In a future where humans have sought out safety by living underground to avoid a dangerous and incurable disease that has wiped out most of mankind. Prison inmate James Cole (Bruce Willis) is offered a chance at redemption when he is sent back in time to find the original source of the man-made virus in order to synthesise a cure. I’m a big fan of Terry Gilliam and Twelve Monkeys is one of his greatest works.
1. The Matrix (1999)
I can imagine you weren’t expecting to see The Matrix in the number one spot, but put aside all the cool fighting and ground breaking special effects, The Matrix is based in a post-apocalyptic future where Artificial Intelligence has taken over and harvested humans as their power source. The real world as we know it was destroyed in a fruitless war against the robots and humans are imprisoned in a virtual reality in order to sustain these machines. You may not agree with me but I still believe this film was The Wachowski’s (Lilly and Lana) masterpiece and one of the greatest films of all time.