Wednesday, December 13

The Best Post-Apocalypse Movies

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10. Quiet Earth

The Quiet Earth is a 1985 New Zealand science fiction doomsday film directed by Geoff Murphy and starring Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge and Pete Smith as three survivors of a cataclysmic disaster. It is loosely based on the 1981 science fiction novel of the same name by Craig Harrison. July 5 begins as a normal winter morning near Auckland, New Zealand. At 6:12 a.m., the Sun momentarily darkens and a red light surrounded by darkness is briefly seen.

9. Mad Max 2

Mad Max 2 (also known as The Road Warrior  in the U.S., and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior) is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. This sequel  to Miller’s 1979 film Mad Max is the second film in the Mad Max franchise. It was a worldwide box office success that launched the career of lead actor Mel Gibson. The film’s tale of a community of settlers moved to defend themselves against a roving band of marauders  follows an archetypal “Western” frontier movie motif, as does Max’s role as a hardened man who rediscovers his humanity when he decides to help the settlers.

8. Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead (also known as Zombi internationally) is a 1978  zombie film, written and directed by George A. Romero. It was the second film made in Romero’s Living Dead series, but contains no characters or settings from its predecessor, and shows in larger scale a zombie  epidemic’s apocalyptic effects on society. In the film, a pandemic  of unknown origin has caused the reanimation of the dead, who prey on human flesh, which subsequently causes mass hysteria. The cast features David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger and Gaylen Ross as survivors of the outbreak who barricade themselves inside a suburban shopping mall.

7. Delicatessen

Delicatessen is a 1991  French black comedy film, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, starring Dominique Pinon and Karin Viard. It is set in a post-apocalyptic apartment building in a France of an ambiguous time period. The story focuses on the tenants of the apartment building and their desperate bids to survive. Among these characters is a newly arrived tenant, who arrives to replace a tenant whose reason for departure is initially unclear. The butcher, Clapet, is the leader of the group which strives to keep control and balance in the apartment building.

6. On The Beach

On the Beach (1959) is a post-apocalyptic drama film based on Nevil Shute’s 1957 novel of the same name featuring Gregory Peck (USS Sawfish captain Dwight Lionel Towers), Ava Gardner (Moira Davidson), Fred Astaire (scientist Julian—John in the novel—Osborne) and Anthony Perkins (Royal Australian Navy lieutenant Peter Holmes). It was directed by Stanley Kramer, who won the 1960 BAFTA for best director. Ernest Gold won the 1960 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Score. It was remade as an Australian television film by Southern Star Productions in 2000.

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5. La Jetée

La jetée (English: The Jetty  or The Pier) (1962) is a 28-minute black and white science fiction film by Chris Marker. Constructed almost entirely from still photos, it tells the story of a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel. The film won the Prix Jean Vigo for short film. The survivors of a destroyed, post-apocalyptic Paris in the aftermath of the Third World War live underground in the Palais de Chaillot galleries. They research time travel, hoping to send test subjects to different time periods “to call past and future to the rescue of the present”. They have difficulty finding subjects who can mentally withstand the shock of time travel, but eventually settle upon a male prisoner whose vague but obsessive childhood memory of witnessing a woman (Hélène Chatelain) during a violent incident on the boarding platform (“The Jetty”) at Orly Airport is the key to his journey back in time.

4. Logan’s Run

Logan’s Run is a 1976 science fiction film based on the novel of the same name by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. It depicts a Dystopian  future society in which population and the consumption of resources are managed and maintained in equilibrium by the simple expediency of killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty, preventing overpopulation. The story follows the actions of Logan 5, a “Sandman,” as he “runs” from society’s lethal demand.

3. Day of the Triffids

The Day of the Triffids is a 1962  British film adaptation of the science fiction novel of the same name by John Wyndham. It was directed by Steve Sekely, and Howard Keel played the central character, Bill Masen. The movie was filmed in colour with monaural  sound and ran for 93 minutes. Triffids  are strange fictional plants, capable of rudimentary animal-like behaviour: they are able to uproot themselves and walk, possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting, and may even have the ability to communicate with each other. On screen they vaguely resemble gigantic asparagus  shoots. day of the triffids 81/day of the triffids PDVD_010.jpg

2. The Omega Man

The Ωmega Man is a 1971 English science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and released in 1971. Starring Charlton Heston, it is based on the novel I Am Legend (1954) by American writer Richard Matheson. The screenplay is by John William and Joyce Corrington, and it was filmed in Technicolor  with monaural sound, with a running time of 98 minutes. The story was first filmed as The Last Man on Earth  (1964) featuring Vincent Price. A third adaptation of the novel, I Am Legend featuring Will Smith, was released in 2007, and an unofficial fourth, I Am Omega, featuring Mark Dacascos, was also released in 2007 (though neither Matheson’s name or novel were credited as source material for this version).

1. Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes is a 1968 epic  science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner based on the novel La planète des singes by Pierre Boulle. The film stars Charlton Heston and features Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, veteran Shakespearean actor Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison. The script was originally written by Rod Serling but had many rewrites before eventually being made. Changes included character names and a more primitive ape society, instead of the more expensive idea of having futuristic buildings and advanced technology. The film was ground-breaking for its prosthetic makeup techniques by artist John Chambers, and was well received by critics and audiences, launching a film franchise, including four sequels, as well as a short lived television show, animated series, comic books, various merchandising, and eventually a remake in 2001. Roddy McDowall, in particular, had a long-running relationship with the Apes series, appearing in the original series of five films (one only via stock footage from an earlier film), and also in the television series.

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