Top 10: End of The World Post-Apocalyptic Movies
In light of promising, new post-apocalyptic movies such as Oblivion, After Earth and This Is the End (which stars Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, James Franco and every other young comedic actor out there) we’ve decided to put together a little list of the end of the world ourselves. We all love a good movie that showcases how our evil ways will lead to our eventual doom. But unfortunately, we’ve all been wronged before with awful movies like 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow. But let’s not forget that, time after time, great movies and TV shows have offered great post-apocalyptic stories and managed to wow and bewilder us. Here’s my Top 10 for my favorite post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows of all time.
Disclaimer: Many zombies and a few spoilers ahead.
10. The Walking Dead
I want to make something clear. I HATE The Walking Dead. Everyone in that blasted show annoys me, and not in a good way like the way I simultaneously love and hate the characters of Breaking Bad. No, no, I hate every single person on The Walking Dead. To add to my confusion as to why this show is even remotely acceptable, all my friends who become obsessed with this show seem to hate all the characters too.
However, we all still watch it. Those of use who weren’t reading comic books now make monthly trips (or weekly ones, depending on how insane we are) to pick up the last issue. We follow the video games and wait for the next installment. In short, The Walking Dead has managed to captivate audiences due to complex situations and issues, and while I still groan every time all the characters point guns at each other and yell about rationing food or something, I must admit that The Walking Dead is quickly becoming a legend that deserves its place on this list.
On any given day, when I try to bring up this movie series to people, said people seem to want to flip a table in rage and tell me how much these movies suck. However, if that were truly the case, the numbers wouldn’t lie; the Resident Evil movie franchise has made $897 million worldwide, making it the most successful video game movie franchise. If people hated this movie so much, you would think everyone would stop tossing their money at it, right?
Yet, even if you aren’t a fan of the entire series, everyone has their favorite film in the franchise. The first movie that kicked off with the fantastic character Alice that brought down the Umbrella Corporations’s zombie-like infected was groovy and powerful. Even for those who were fans of the video game franchise, Alice’s character, who does not exist in any of the games, gave a new spin to the zombie-horror genre that everyone welcomed at some point in their life.
P.S. My favorite is Extinction. Apocalypse is pretty much unanimously the worst.
6. Children of Men
This is one of those movies that everyone needs to see, but not enough people will. Let me give you a brief setup; in a world where women can no longer have children, Clive Owen finds a girl who is pregnant and has to keep her safe from anyone who could have ill wishes towards her.
This movie has a top notch cast that includes Julianne Moore and Michael Caine and brings forward a new reason for apocalypse; the implausible possibility that humans could be a non-renewable resource. The movie also manages such great cinematography, that when the blood spurts on the camera, you feel like you are there. I can honestly say that I can not think of a better example of a truly submersive cinematic experience.
Oh, God, this was a huge tossup between Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. They are so different, but they shared the similarity that they booth took a comedic take on the zombie genre. Not only was this a fresh and welcome twist, but both movies succeeded on this count.
I chose Shaun of the Dead only because this movie did it first in such a hilarious way without just stopping at laughs. Over the course of the story, humor melds into horror which melds into healing. The surprising emotional ending brings such a great level of depth after such a simplistic comedic approach.
It also released Simon Pegg’s fame upon the Western World, something for which we will ever be grateful.
6. 21 Days Later
21 Days Later definitely deserves its place on this list. Originally released in 2002, I remember it was one of the few zombie movies that existed before the zombie craze that has virally taken over our country at the present moment.
As a result, 21 Days Later was able to do its own thing by presenting such a creepy story with jumps and panicky moments that caught everyone by surprise. People who you thought would survive would die seconds later, the Army was a manipulative mess, and, in the end, when Cillian Murphy is acting like a ninja to defuse the situation, the movie transforms into a viewing of realistic characters that mention why it is so important to cling onto life.
On a side note, in a recent viewing, it took me about 20 minutes before I finally realized that “that girl” in this movie was the girl who played Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean (and is now Moneypenny, awkwardly enough).
Yeah, you betcha! Terminator is nothing but apocalypse. Of course, the original didn’t actually show an apocalypse, but the entire story of a robot sent back in time to start an apocalypse and a human sent back to prevent one more than qualifies this movie for this list. Of course, once we got around to the actualy apocalypse in the third and fourth movies, I wasn’t as impressed. However, Terminator has always remained a classic in my mind.
4. I Am Legend
I remember that when I Am Legend came out, I was so confused because it was so different from the book. However, after viewing the movie, I decided it was great rendition of the classic, even though it didn’t bring to light the same end result.
What I Am Legend did so well was forge a brilliant character who was alone in their own world and make you feel their pain and need for survival. Heck, you even felt the dog’s need for survival. Toss in creepy creatures and opposition, and you have one post-apocalyptic nightmare that makes for a great and tense ride.
3. From The New World (Shin Sekai Yori)
Boy, am I EXCITED to talk about this one!
Anime is my secret passion, but this series is unlike anything I have ever seen. Set a thousand years in a future, you encounter the human race, which has evolved to a point that they have psycho-kinetic powers. I would tell more, but this series has so many twists up until even the very last 10 minutes of the entire series, where they have such a huge reveal it makes the actions of all the main characters seem like a cosmic joke.
Also, I must admit that even mentioning this series in this list is a bit of a spoiler. This is a series that seems like a bunch of kids having fun until, after a few episodes, you uncover the history the world has gone through and the ugly wars that have taken place that brought on the apocalypse. It’s a great show that you can catch over at Crunchyroll, and I suggest with all my might that you do.
When I mentioned the addition of this entry on my Top 10 list to some friends of mine, they cried out, “That isn’t post-apocalyptic!” Normally, if I were the uneducated nerd, then I would agree with them, but the history of Firefly begs to differ. The reason humans branch out to other parts of the galaxy in the first place is because Earth gets so overcrowded, it can no longer support human life. Not to mention that The USA and China are the only superpowers in Firefly lore, which denotes some kind of coup d’etat and overthrowing of governments. I consider that enough of an apocalypse to qualify Firefly as post-apocalyptic, which qualifies for this article.
Plus, it’s badass, amazing, and any reason to stick Firefly in a Top 10 article is as good as any.
Firefly was such a loved TV show, people complained when it was taken off the air mid-season by those damned Fox producers, and James Cameron managed to bring it back in a movie form as Serenity. Serenity gave us the closure we needed and let us all sleep better at night. It also kept us thankful for the gift that is given to some people like James Cameron that lets us receive such well-forged stories.
AND: *spoiler alert*
1. Planet of the Apes
Ta-da!! Planet of the Apes!!
When creating this list, I kept trying to think of a better movie that could deserve this spot on the list. For me, it pretty much came down to The Planet of the Apes and that one episode of The Twilight Zone where that one bookworm gets locked into the safe at the bank during a nuclear holocaust and emerges to find the library intact, then breaks his glasses. But Planet of the Apes takes the cake on the post-apocalyptic movie scale.
What never ceased to amaze me is how Planet of the Apes is such a captivating post-apocalyptic movie before you ever realize it’s post-apocalyptic. Few movies have been able to keep such a twist secret until the very end, and Planet of the Apes does it in such a way that, upon each viewing, it’s like discovering the truth anew when at the end in that pivotal scene, Charlton Heston sees the Statue of Liberty and cries, “Damn you! God! Damn you all to hell!” It just doesn’t get better (and by better, I guess I mean more post-apocalyptic) than that.