must watch post-apocalypse movies

My co-worker Jachin has started a blog called Survive The Apocalypse, and when it came to our attention today that he had not seen The Road Warrior, we set out to make a list of MUST WATCH movies for him as “research” for his project.

It turns out that there is already a wikipedia page for Listing Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic fiction, and that was a good place to start, but it would probably be hard to wade through all those movies, so here is my (much shorter and much less definitive) list of the ones that I highly recommend, specifically in relation to apocalypse survival:

  • The Road Warrior (1981)
  • Children of Men (2006)
  • 12 Monkeys (1995)
  • Fido (2006)*
  • Shaun of the Dead (2004)*
  • Six String Samurai (1998)
  • The Postman (1997)
  • District B-13 (2004)
  • A Boy and His Dog (1975)
  • Escape from New York (1981)
  • 28 Days Later (2002)*
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)*, Dawn of the Dead (1978)* (Honestly, I haven’t yet seen Day of the Dead (1985)*, Land of the Dead (2005)*, or Diary of the Dead (2008).)
  • Waterworld (1995)

Two that get nods even though they are far-future, in a world nearly unrecognizable (and, coincidentally, both animated), and because they both rate highly on my list of favorite films of all time:

  • Nausicaa, Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Wizards (1977)

Note that the *s indicates zombies present in the film. While researching, I also found this awesome Wikipedia page for zombie comedy films. Also interesting to note that City of Ember is on the first wikipedia list. I haven’t read the book (although I understand it’s young-adult), and have been meaning to catch it before it leaves the theaters.

Update: It occurs to me that I should take this moment to plug the comic book series The Walking Dead, which I have only just recently read to date. (It’s still coming out, and is full of super good zombie excitement.) Also, I just read The Road, a novel by Cormac McCarthy, which is being turned into a movie of the same name that will be released late November (next month). The Road doesn’t have zombies in it, but it’s solidly post-apocalypse.

9 Replies to “must watch post-apocalypse movies”

  1. I Am Legend *
    The Terminator movies
    The Matrix Trilogy
    Bio Zombie *

    Movies I haven’t seen but am curious about: Natural City
    Deepwater Black

    Not sure if it’s “must-see” but there’s The Day After Tomorrow.
    Also? I’m nervous as hell about the Y: The Last Man film adaptation. Rumor has it Yorick will be played by, ack, Shia LeBouf.

  2. Hehe… I totally thought of Wall-E this weekend, and wanted to add it to my list! I haven’t seen Natural City or Bio Zombie. I’ll have to check those out sometime. Haven’t even heard of Doomsday or Deepwater Black. Looks like Doomsday is from 2008, and Deepwater Black is quite a bit older.

    I hope you’re wrong about Shia LeBouf, but I don’t think he’s as bad as everyone else seems to think. Yes, he’s been in some real stinkers, but he hasn’t been the worst part about them, I don’t think.

  3. The Quiet Earth
    Steel Dawn
    Day of the Dead
    City of Ember
    Soylent Green
    Planet of the Apes
    28 Weeks Later
    Running Man

  4. I have since both seen and read City of Ember! I recommend both. They’re not terribly “survive the apocalypse” related, since they involved the pre-apocalypse society having fully set up the city for survival, but they’re still totally interesting. There are sequels to the book, and I am curious about them, but not curious enough to put them high on my “to read” list.

  5. After a tiny bit more research I have more to add to the list to check out:

    The Last Man on Earth
    Reign of Fire
    I Am Legend
    Tank Girl
    The Stand
    Solar Babies
    A Wind Named Amnesia
    Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
    The Day After
    Death Race
    Death Race 2000
    Day of the Triffids
    War of the Worlds
    one of those Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes with “The Homega Man”
    and also checkout Fallout 3…

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