Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies to watch

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Apocalyptic movies or post-apocalyptic movies are a sub-genre of science fiction film, dystopian or horror film in which the civilization of the Earth is ending, and include some must see movie. The cause of armageddon could be weather, environmental change, nuclear holocaust or resource shortage, a pandemic, man-made or natural; the Last Judgement, the Second Coming or Ragnarök, a zombie armageddon, a cyber riot, a technological disaster or an alien invasion.

The story could include efforts to prevent an apocalyptic event or survival in a post apocalyptic environment. The narrative may be soon after the disaster, focusing on the psychology of the survivors, the method of keeping humanity alive and united, or much later, often consisting of the presence of pre-apocalypse civilization being mythicized. Post-apocalyptic stories often occur in a non-technological future world or a world where only a few aspects of society remain.

Several ancient societies produced apocalyptic literature and folklore such as the Epic of Gilgamesh written 2000-1500 BC Modern apocalyptic books have existed since Mary Shelley’s The Last Man (1826) was published. This type of literature gained mainstream interest after World War II, when the possibility of worldwide annihilation by nuclear weapons entered public awareness. The ancient remnants of a technological past in a primitive landscape of a destroyed Earth are among the most powerful icons of science fiction.

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The Origins of Apocalyptic Movies

apocalyptic-movies

Apocalyptic movies have their roots in the story of Noah and his ark. Noah is given the task of building the ark and conserving life forms so as to restore a new post-flood world. The biblical story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah also has post-apocalyptic aspects. Lot’s daughters, who think that the disaster has engulfed the whole world think that in such a scenario it is justified to make love to their dad to ensure the survival of humanity. Such scenarios and problems play out in modern post-apocalyptic fiction and apocalyptic movies.

The Epic of Gilgamesh, from 2000 – 1500 BC, tells a story in which the gods send floods to injure mankind, however the ancient hero Utnapishtim and his family are saved through the intervention of the god Ea. A story comparable to the flood story of Genesis is in the 71st chapter of the Quran. In the Hindu Dharmasastra, the apocalyptic flood also plays an important role. According to the Matsya Purana, Lord Vishnu’s Matsya avatar warned King Manu of a destructive flood that was soon to come. The king was encouraged to build a large boat that housed his family, 9 kinds of seeds, groups of all animals and the Saptarishi to repopulate the Earth, after the flood was over and the seas and oceans diminished. Variations of this story also appear in Buddhist and Jain bibles. The apocalypse offers an angelic vision of Judgment Day, expounding God’s guarantee for redemption from suffering and strife through Heaven and a new Earth. 

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Apocalyptic movies to watch

Here is a list of the best apocalyptic movies to watch, strictly in chronological order. 

End of the World (1931)

It’s a science fiction 1931 French Abel Gance based on the short story Omega: The Last Days of the World by Camille Flammarion. The film stars Victor Francen as Martial Novalic, Colette Darfeuil as Genevieve de Murcie, Abel Gance as Jean Novalic and also Jeanne Brindau as Madame Novalic. The story is about a comet hurtling towards the planet during a collision, and the answers people need for the impending calamity. Researcher Martial Novalic who discovers the comet, seeks a solution to the problem and becomes a fugitive after authorities accuse him of starting a mass panic.

The film was panned by both critics and audiences. Director Abel Gance himself described the film as a work destroyed by the producer who took the film away from him so that he could edit it himself. End of the World’s lack of success required Gance to rely on even more commercial work to continue working as a director. 

Deluge (1933)

Deluge is a 1933 American apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Felix E. Feist and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film is based on the 1928 book of the same name by S. Fowler Wright, with the setting changed from the United Kingdom to the United States. It tells of a small group of survivors after a series of natural disasters emerge around the world, including a huge tidal wave that engulfs New York City.

The searchers discover that a storm is heading towards New York City and initiate the warning procedure throughout the city. A sudden solar eclipse confirms the predictions. Telegraphs from Rome and London speak of endless earthquake days and state “The end of the world is near.” Large earthquakes hit the Pacific coast, killing millions, and the entire west coast of the United States is said to have been destroyed. The earthquakes have also triggered significant tsunamis in the oceans and catastrophe is minutes away.

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Things to Come (1936)

It is a 1936 British black and white science fiction film by United Artists, written by Alexander Korda, directed by William Cameron Menzies and also created by HG Wells. The film stars Raymond Massey, Edward Chapman, Ralph Richardson, Margaretta Scott, Cedric Hardwicke, Maurice Braddell, Derrick De Marney and Ann Todd.

HG Wells developed it as a new short story to present the political and social forces and possibilities that he had actually described in his 1933 publication The Shape of Things to find. The film was also influenced by earlier works, including his 1897 short story “A Story of Undiscovered Days” and his 1931 treatise on business culture and economics, Work, Wealth, and Also the Happiness of Mankind.

Oddly prescient in its depiction of a dystopian future, the film’s special effects may be quite dated, yet its powerful concepts haven’t aged one bit. Among the first true works of art of science fiction cinema in which Wells’ message, namely that human lives are irrelevant when compared to the progress and destiny of all humanity, is a film with an anecdotal structure that anticipates films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick

Five (1951)

It is an apocalyptic film by science fiction horror film that was written, produced and directed by Arch Oboler. The film stars William Phipps, Susan Douglas Rubeš, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin and also Earl Lee. The film’s story includes 5 survivors, a woman and 4 boys, of an atomic catastrophe that seems to have wiped out the rest of humanity. The five live in an isolated house, where they try to figure out how to survive. 

The five people are so sad that they have little interest in their fate. Despite its low budget, it’s a beautiful and extraordinarily atmospheric film, and Oboler produces a ghostly feeling of isolation with simple methods.

When Worlds Collide (1951)

It is a 1951 American science fiction apocalyptic film released by Paramount Pictures. It was written by George Pal, directed by Rudolph Maté and starred Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen and John Hoyt. The film is based on the 1933 science fiction book of the same name, co-written by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie. The story of the film concerns the imminent destruction of the Earth by a celebrity named Bellus and the ventures to build an ark to move women and men to Bellus’ lonely world Zyra. 

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Day the World Ended (1955)

It is a 1955 black and white post-apocalyptic science fiction film, produced and directed by Roger Corman, with Richard Denning, Lori Nelson, Adele Jergens, Paul Birch and Mike Connors. The story of the film centers on a courageous researcher who, with a small group of other survivors, faces radioactive anomalies in the aftermath of an atomic war that appears to have damaged most of human civilization.

World Without End (1956)

It is a 1956 science fiction apocalyptic film directed by Edward Bernds and also starring Hugh Marlowe and Nancy Gates. As a B-movie, World Without End has received several criticisms. In a 1986 meeting Taylor recalled, “I loved having a substantial role in an American film. It gave me the confidence to understand that I could collaborate with established experts in Hollywood

The Lost Missile (1958)

It is a 1958 American science fiction apocalyptic film composed by John McPartland and science fiction author Jerome Bixby. It was to be directed by William Berke who was also the executive producer, but after Berke’s untimely death, his son Lester Wm. Berke ended up directing the film. It stars Robert Loggia among its first appearances. A low-budget film that carried a Cold War-era message about the importance of the work done by researchers and the military in protecting the United States from external dangers.

Teenage Caveman (1958)

It’s a drama and film made by Roger Corman. The film was originally registered under the title Prehistoric Earth and was later changed. Lead star Vaughn said in a meeting that he thought it was the most horrific film ever made. A primitive people live in an arid and harsh swamp and fight for survival, despite a rich river full of plants as an old legend tells of a god who kills those who cross the river.

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On the Beach (1959)

It is a 1959 American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film by United Artists, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, with Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins. This black and white film is based on Nevil Shute’s 1957 story of the same name which shows the aftermath of a nuclear war. Unlike in the novel, no one is held guilty for starting the war. 

In telling this extravagant story of Mr. Shute, Kramer and his collaborators have actually strongly emphasized this factor: life is an incredible prize and man must do everything possible to prevent destruction while there is still time. To this end he has made some sharp and vivid images that create admiration for his style. 

The Last Woman on Earth (1960)

It’s a 1960 American science fiction film also created and directed by Roger Corman. It tells the story of 3 survivors of a strange armageddon, which seems to have wiped out all human life in the world. Harold Gern (Antony Carbone), a powerful New York entrepreneur who is continually in legal troubles, is vacationing in Puerto Rico with his glamorous partner, Evelyn (Betsy Jones-Moreland), whom he married “between trials and ‘other”. Martin Joyce, Harold’s lawyer, arrives at the scene and Harold welcomes him on a boat trip during which all 3 use some recently purchased diving devices. They are unable to breathe without using their scuba tanks when they surface from the sea. They get back on their boat and discover Manuel, the crew member, who has died of asphyxiation. After paddling ashore, they enter the jungle and find that the foliage releases oxygen which they can breathe.

The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

It’s a British science fiction disaster film starring Edward Judd, Leo McKern and also Janet Munro. It was directed by Val Visitor and released in 1961, and is one of the best apocalyptic films of its era. The film, which was partially shot in and around London and Brighton, used dull colors to photograph deserted cities and barren landscapes. His interest in the inner and outer life of his main characters makes the film an allegory of life, between hope and even misery.

The Creation of the Humanoids (1962)

It is a 1962 American science fiction apocalyptic film, directed by Wesley Barry and starring Don Megowan, Erica Elliot, Frances McCann, Don Doolittle and also Dudley Manlove . The film is not based on the story of Jack Williamson’s original The Humanoids, to which it bears little resemblance, but on the film’s screenplay created by Jay Simms.

In a post-nuclear war society, a human-like robot with blue skin and silver eyes has become widespread. A company tries to prevent robotics from replacing humans, fearing that robots will take over. A scientist experiments with creating human replicas that have genuine emotions and memories.

This Is Not a Test (1962)

It is a 1962 American low-budget science fiction apocalyptic film directed by Fredric Gadette. Created at the height of the Cold War, the film was just one of a variety of early 1960s and late 1950s productions based around the fear of nuclear war. The film makes a social discourse and reveals the shock ordinary people would feel in the face of an imminent nuclear attack. 

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La Jetée (1962)

It’s a French movie, post-apocalyptic and science fiction film from 1962 directed by Chris Marker and related to the Left Bank art movement. Created entirely from still images, it tells the post-nuclear story of a time travel experiment. It is 28 minutes long and is in black and white.

What the main character discovers is that the past is never as fundamental as we wish it to be. To return to it is to understand that we never understood it. Furthermore, the moral of the film states that one cannot escape from one’s time: we will be constantly drawn into the present moment and there is no escape from the here and now.

Ladybug Ladybug (1963)

Ladybug Ladybug is an apocalyptic film and docudrama directed by Academy Award-nominated director Frank Perry. The film is a discourse on the emotional impacts of the Cold War, the title comes from a popular nursery rhyme. It was the film debut of William Daniels, Estelle Parsons and Jane Connell.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, instructors at a rural elementary school are asked to escort students to their homes after an atomic bomb sets off the alarm system sounds. Unsure if the warning system was wrong, the educator and even the children walk through the countryside with a feeling of growing doom from the impending nuclear holocaust.

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

It is an apocalyptic film and black comedy chronicling Cold War anxieties and the nuclear threat between the Soviet Union and the United States. The film was directed, produced and co-written by Stanley Kubrick and starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden and Slim Pickens. The film was shot in the UK and is loosely based on Peter George’s thriller novel Red Alert.

The story concerns an insane United States Air Force general who launches a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. He is confronted by the President of the United States, his advisers, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a Royal Air Force police officer as they try to stop a B-52 aircraft, which was following orders from the base, from attacking against the Soviets and the start of a nuclear war. The film is generally regarded as one of best comedies ever made.

In fact there had never been anything quite as funny as Dr. Strangelove. All the gods to which paranoid 1950s America kneeled – the Bomb, the Pentagon, the National Security State, the President himself, Texan masculinity as well as the purported communist threat of water fluoridation – entered the relentless satire of this film.

Fail Safe, 1964

It is a thriller film 1964 Cold WarThe film chronicles a situation triggered by a major blunder that sends a US bomber squadron to destroy Moscow and the subsequent efforts to abandon the bomber squadron before it can release a nuclear bomb. The film stars Henry Fonda, Dan O’Herlihy, Walter Matthau, Frank Overton, Larry Hagman, Fritz Weaver, Dana Elcar, Dom DeLuise and Sorrell Booke.

The 1980s and 1990s book, as well as the film, received high ratings for preserving the meaning of the story. Over the years, both the novel and the film have been praised for their portrayal of a nuclear situation, despite numerous critics denying the idea that miscommunication on an international level could lead to the wrong action depicted.

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

The Last Man on Earth is a 1964 post-apocalyptic science fiction film based on the 1954 novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. The film was created by Robert L. Lippert and directed by Ubaldo Ragona and Sidney Salkow, and celebrities Vincent Price and Franca Bettoia. The screenplay for the film was written in part by Matheson, however the writer was disappointed with the cinematic outcome and chose to be credited as ‘Logan Swanson’. William Leicester, Furio M. Monetti and Ubaldo Ragona completed the script.

It’s 1968 and Dr. Robert Morgan lives in a world where all the others have been contaminated by a virus that has turned them into undead, vampires who can’t stand sunlight, fear mirrors and are driven away by garlic. They would take out Morgan if they could, however they are dull and weak. Every day Morgan performs the exact same ritual: He gets up, marks another day on the calendar, gathers his weapons, and then goes on a hunt for vampires, eliminating as many as he can and then burning the bodies to keep them from returning. In the evening he closes himself in his house.

The film was not considered a success upon its release, later gaining a cult horror film track record and deemed the best Vincent Price film ever made. It’s a low-budget indie film with some improperly recorded post-production voiceovers that produce an amateurish packaging, sapping the power of its story, but some consider this variation much better than the 1971 remake starring Charlton Heston, The Omega Man.

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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

It is a horror film 1968 American independent George A. Romero, with a screenplay by John Russo and Romero, and starring Duane Jones and Judith O’Dea. The story follows seven people trapped on a rural farm in western Pennsylvania, which is under assault by a growing group of carnivorous undead ghouls.

After gaining experience directing TV commercials and industrial films for their Pittsburgh-based production company, Romero and his friends Russo and Russell Streiner decided to realize their ambitions and make a feature film. Deciding to make a horror film that capitalized on contemporary commercial interest in the genre, they formed a partnership with Karl Hardman and Marilyn Eastman. After evolving through multiple drafts, Russo and Romero’s final screenplay drew primarily influence from Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend.

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Planet of the Apes (1968)

It is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and loosely based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle. Written by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling, it stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison. 

In the film, a team of astronauts lands on a strange world for a long time. The world seems bleak at first, the team members stumble upon a society where apes have actually developed into animals with human-like intelligence and speech. Monkeys have effectively assumed the role of dominant beings and humans are dumb animals using animal skins.

The summary script for Planet of the Apes, initially written by Serling, went through many rewrites before recording began. Directors J. Lee Thompson and Blake Edwards were approached, however film producer Arthur P. Jacobs, at the suggestion of Charlton Heston, selected Franklin J. Schaffner to direct the film. Schaffner’s modifications consisted of a less sophisticated ape society, and for that reason cheaper to film than that of the initial book. The film received a great reception and is considered a classic among apocalyptic films. It was ranked among the best films of 1968, praised for its creativity and its vision of an upside down possible world, among the funniest and most grotesque science fiction films ever to come out of Hollywood.

In the Year 2889 (1969)

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is a 1969 American science fiction apocalyptic film about the aftermath of a future nuclear war. The film stars Paul Petersen, Quinn O’Hara, Charla Doherty, Neil Fletcher and Hugh Feagin. The production commissioned the author of cult film Larry Buchanan to direct this film and produce a color remake of Roger Corman’s 1956 film Day the World Ended. Not set in the year 2889, the title of In the Year 2889 is borrowed from a short story of the same title by Jules Verne and his son, Michael Verne. The film however did not follow Jules Verne’s story at all. The screenplay was written for Buchanan by Harold Hoffman. The film’s pacing and performances are more professional than the director’s previous efforts. It’s not a classic of the genre but for fans of Buchanan and apocalyptic cinema, it’s a pleasant pastime.

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The Seed of Man (1969)

The seed of man is a 1969 Franco-Italian arthouse film directed by Marco Ferreri. A young couple say they are having a child in the days after a catastrophe wiped out much of the planet’s population. Marco Ferreri, also screenwriter of the film with Sergio Bazzini, creates a science fiction drama on the destruction of contemporary culture, condemned to historical recycling and the unpredictable Armageddon. A work that approaches abstract art, full of meanings, in which the obstinacy to recreate a consumerist microcosm, the dreamlike setting and the dominant dehumanization are a reflexive and profound reflection on the imaginative, spiritual and above all ethical collapse of civilization.

The Andromeda Strain (1971)

It is a 1971 American science fiction thriller film written and directed by Robert Wise. Based on Michael Crichton’s 1969 story of the same name and adapted by Nelson Gidding, the film stars Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid and David Wayne as a group of researchers who discover a harmful microorganism of extraterrestrial origin. 

With a couple of exceptions, the movie stays true to the book. The film is significant for its use of split framing in particular scenes and was one of the first films to use computer-aided special effects, with the work of Douglas Trumbull, who had actually led the impacts for 2001: A Space Odyssey, along with James Shourt and Albert Whitlock who worked on The Birds by Hitchcock

The Omega Man (1971)

It is a 1971 American post-apocalyptic action film directed by Boris Sagal and also starring Charlton Heston as a survivor of a pandemic. It was written by John William Corrington and Joyce Corrington, based on the 1954 original I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. It is the second adaptation of Matheson’s story. The first ever was The Last Man on Earth (1964), starring Vincent Price. The film is confusing but director Boris Sagal has captured some gritty apocalyptic images and also landed some interesting performances.

Soylent Green (1973)

It is an apocalyptic film and dystopian thriller 1973 American ecological Richard Fleischer, starring Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young and Edward G. Robinson in his last film role. It is a story that integrates science fiction and crime drama components. The short story concerns a homicide examination in a dystopian future of dying seas and year-round humidity caused by pollution, resulting in air pollution, reduced energy, hardship and overpopulation. In 1973, it won the Nebula Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film.

Fascinating at times, Richard Fleischer’s direction emphasizes the action and not the subtleties of meaning or characterization. Robinson is perfect as the elderly man who encounters the futility of living in dying surroundings, while Heston looks like a caricature, a stern cop chasing conventional villains.

Zardoz (1974)

Zardoz is a 1974 post-apocalyptic dream film directed by John Boorman and starring Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling. It shows a matriarchal post-apocalyptic world where barbarians pray to “Zardoz”, a god with the power to bestow death or immortality. In this dystopian film, while the Brutals reside in a swamp, their emperors wallow in the Vortex, like vain landed gentry. The Eternals bred Zardoz to control the Brutals, driving them to mass murder. 

Zardoz is extremely complex and is a very unusual film, a journey into a future that seems to be governed by absurd characters. The film is an exercise in intriguing debauchery by Boorman, who had carte blanche to do some work of his own following its success. There are impressive special effects that are among the most effective of those years. 

A Boy and His Dog (1975)

It is a 1975 American apocalyptic and science fiction comedy film directed by LQ Jones, from a screenplay by Jones based on the 1969 novella of the same title by author Harlan Ellison. The film stars Don Johnson, Susanne Benton, Alvy Moore and Jason Robards. It was produced and distributed individually by the director’s company. The film’s story follows a teenager, Vic, and his telepathic dog, Blood, who work together to survive in the insecure post-apocalyptic wasteland of the southwestern United States.

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

It’s a film directed by George A. Romero and produced by Richard P. Rubinstein. An Italian-American co-production, it is the second film in Romero’s zombie film series, and although it contains no characters or settings from the previous film Night of the Living Dead (1968), it reveals the larger scale impact of an armageddon of zombies over society. In the film, a phenomenon of unknown origin actually triggered the reanimation of the dead, who eat human flesh. David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger and Gaylen Ross play prison break survivors who barricade themselves inside a mall amid mass hysteria.

Romero waited for several years to make another zombie film after Night of the Living Dead to avoid being stereotyped as a horror director. After visiting the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, he chose to use the location as the basis for the film’s story. The project attracted the attention of Italian director Dario Argento who, together with his brother Claudio and producer Alfredo Cuomo, agreed to co-finance the film in exchange for worldwide distribution rights. Argento collaborated with Romero during the script stage. Principal photography for Dawn of the Dead occurred between November 1977 and February 1978 in Monroeville and Pittsburgh. Special effects and makeup were produced by Tom Savini, who after this work found a prestigious global career in other horror films. In post-production, Romero and Argento edited different variations of the film for local markets. Argento’s variation includes a soundtrack of progressive rock composed and performed by his regular partners, the Goblins, while Romero’s cut favors mostly music from the De Wolfe Music Library.

It is one of zombie movie ever, Dawn of the Dead mixes fear and gore with social commentary on consumer society, and is among the best horror films ever made. Creepy, disgusting, horrific, violent, frightening, and unforgiving, it’s a larger variation of Night of the Living Dead. 

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action post-apocalyptic film directed by George Miller. Mel Gibson plays “Mad” Max Rockatansky, a law enforcement officer turned vigilante in a near-future Australia in the midst of social collapse. Also starring Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns and Roger Ward. James McCausland and Miller created the film’s screenplay from a short story by Miller and Kennedy.

Upon its release, the film polarized critics. Accused of being “a cinematic application of Mein Kampf full of rapists, sadists, young murderers and even new Mansons”, others praised Miller’s directorial cast and staging of car duels, excellent scenes to depict a ferocious world post-apocalyptic.

Quintet (1979)

Quintet is a 1979 American post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Robert Altman. In the cast Paul Newman, Brigitte Fossey, Bibi Andersson, Fernando Rey, Vittorio Gassman and Nina Van Pallandt. The story takes place during a new ice age. 

The camera traces an empty, frozen and deserted expanse until 2 distant individuals become visible. They are seal finder Essex (Paul Newman) and his expectant mate, Vivia (Brigitte Fossey), daughter of one of Essex’s last search mates. They’re taking a trip up north, where Essex intends to reunite with his brother, Francha (Thomas Hill). The film was an economic catastrophe. It is an extremely fascinating enigmatic story, inspired by the Italian film The Tenth Victim by Elio Petri.

Stalker (1979)

It’s a arthouse film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky with a screenplay created by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, loosely based on their 1972 short story Roadside Picnic. The film incorporates science fiction components with notable thoughtful and figurative scenes, deep and hard-hitting. 

The film tells the story of an exploration led by a man called “Stalker” (Alexander Kaidanovsky), who leads his 2 clients: a melancholic author (Anatoly Solonitsyn) in search of ideas, and a teacher (Nikolai Grinko ), in a magical location known as the “Zone”, where an area presumably exists that expresses an individual’s innermost desires.

A dense, intricate, often contradictory and also constantly flexible allegory concerning human awareness, the need for trust in a rational world, amidst horrible longings that remain in the hearts of men. Among the best films in the history of cinema. 

The Quiet Earth (1985)

It is a 1985 New Zealand post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Geoff Murphy and starring Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge and Peter Smith as 3 survivors to a catastrophic catastrophe. It is loosely based on Craig Harrison’s 1981 science fiction book of the same name. Other sources of inspiration have been cited: the 1954 original I Am Legend, Dawn of the Dead, and especially the 1959 film The World, the Flesh and the Devil, of which it has effectively been called a loose remake.

One of New Zealand’s leading directors, Geoff Murphy took a tale of a lonely man and spun it in an imaginatively impactful way into The Quiet Earth, which ended up as a cult film, among the best NZ films ever made . 

Last Night (1998)

It is a 1998 Canadian apocalyptic black comedy film directed by Don McKellar who wrote the film screenplay about how ordinary people would respond to an imminent world threat. Set in Toronto, Ontario, the film was made and released when many were concerned about the threat of the year 2000.

The film launched to favorable reviews for McKellar’s direction and Oh’s acting. She has won awards at the Cannes and Toronto International Film Festivals and 3 Genie Awards, including Best Actress for Oh. It is a gripping and poignant film that paints a more bittersweet than violent picture of the apocalypse, with extraordinarily poignant moments in the film’s moment act completing a surreal, wistful and entertaining story. 

The Rover (2011)

It is a dramatic dystopian film and western 2014 Australian David Michôd and based on a story by Michôd and Joel Edgerton. It is a modern western that takes place in the Australian wilderness, 10 years after an international financial meltdown. The film stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson and includes Scoot McNairy, David Field, Anthony Hayes, Gillian Jones and Susan Prior. 

10 years after an international financial crash that wreaked havoc around the world, Australia’s wilderness is a lawless wasteland and military units patrol the wilderness trying to preserve what little order is left. After a botched burglary, Archie, Caleb and Henry escape, abandoning Henry’s injured brother Reynolds. As they escape Archie taunts Reynolds and Henry attacks him, causing an accident. They can no longer use the truck and abandon it and Archie steal the car of the strange and lonely Eric. Eric manages to recover the truck and follows them. After a quick chase, Archie stops and Eric confronts them. 

The Rover is a relentless and tense, blood-curdling film and Pearce’s ferocity as Eric is remarkable, while Pattinson’s work is a revelation, a performance that, regardless of the character’s restrictions, ends up being more fascinating as the film progresses. Constantly in the film’s focus is Pearce, who, with a taciturn demeanor, provides all the cold ruthlessness of a traditional Western or film noir who refuses to die before exacting vengeance for an unforgivable crime. 

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

2012 romantic comedy movie written and directed by Lorene Scafaria in her directorial debut. The film stars Steve Carell and Keira Knightley as 2 strangers who form an unexpected bond as they help each other find meaning in their lives before an asteroid wipes out all life on the world. 

The film was a box office failure, earning $9.6 million out of a $10 million spending plan. The plight of the plot is a matter of life that concerns everyone, it is a sobering film and has excellent editing, even if it is a bit slow at times. 

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