What are the best post-apocalyptic films ever?

Posted by · 10:28 am · May 28th, 2009

Denzel Washington in The Book of EliIn our daily web round-up posts there tends to be one or two lists in the mix.  I’m increasingly stunned at Premiere’s capacity for cooking these things up.  It’s almost as if that once-sterling film journalism outlet has become nothing but a list generating machine.

Of course, the reason for lists — you’ll hear it from any hit-conscious editor — is traffic.  Readers love them.  And if they have a space to debate said list, perhaps even offer up their own, then the hits keep coming.  I literally had a list mandate of sorts when I was working at The Times of London last summer, which is where the obsession over collectives first started to kind of freak me out.  At least I managed to work movies into one of them, and hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Anyway, this is a long-winded lead-in to a recent post by one of our regulars, Chuck of Entertainment Today and Beyond, picking the Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic Films.  With “Terminator Salvation” already in theaters and “The Book of Eli” (which got a first look feature in USA Today Tuesday) and “The Road” still to come, it seems a rather en vogue topic, I guess.

Here’s Chuck’s list:

1. “Dawn of the Dead” (George A. Romero, 1978)
2. “Planet of the Apes” (Franklin J. Shaffner, 1968)
3. “The Stand” (Mick Garris, 1993)
4. “The Day After” (Nicholas Meyer, 1985)
5. “The Omega Man” (Boris Sagal, 1971)
6. “The Road Warrior” (George Miller, 1981)
7. “Day of the Dead” (George A. Romero, 1985)
8. “The Day of the Triffids” (Steve Sekley, 1962)
9. “Testament” (Lynne Littman)
10. “Miracle Mile” (Steve De Jarnatt, 1988)

Your thoughts?

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9 responses so far

  • 1 5-28-2009 at 10:36 am

    Vito said...

    Good list. I was definitely pleaseantly suprised that you included The Omega Man. What a great movie. Much better than Will Smith’s I Am Legend, if you ask me.

  • 2 5-28-2009 at 10:54 am

    Vito said...

    Wow, I read the post now. I guess I meant Chuck’s list was good. Haha, my bad.

  • 3 5-28-2009 at 12:06 pm

    Mr. Milich said...

    Who cares about post-apocalypse? Today’s the last day of Dr. Strangelove’s 45th Anniversary restoration at Film Forum. Go SEE the apocalypse while you still can!

  • 4 5-28-2009 at 12:19 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    If only it were a traveling show.

  • 5 5-28-2009 at 1:36 pm

    P-Dawg said...

    How could one leave off Van Damme in “Cyborg”? I recently typed it into IMBD for shits and giggles. I totally forgot that his character’s name is Gibson Rickenbacker. Hi-larious!

  • 6 5-28-2009 at 4:33 pm

    caleb roth said...

    Chris Marker’s sublime and unforgettable La Jetée, one of the most beautiful movies ever.

  • 7 5-29-2009 at 2:27 pm

    Dean said...

    Great list. Mine–very much the same, with a few exceptions and additions– would be:

    THE QUIET EARTH (Geoff Murphy, 85)
    THREADS (Mick Jackson, 84)
    LA JETEE (Chris Marker, 62)
    PLANET OF THE APES (the Schaffner version)
    THE CRAZIES (George Romero, 73)
    The DEAD trilogy (NIGHT, DAWN, DAY)
    28 DAYS LATER and 28 WEEKS LATER (Danny Boyle, 2002; Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007)

    with special respect to CHILDREN OF MEN (Cuaron, 2006–is this post-apocolypse enough?), THE RAPTURE (Michael Tolkin, 91),

  • 8 12-17-2009 at 6:39 pm

    Adam said...

    “The Noah” and its understandable that no one has mentioned it, as it was never released theatrically, but now on DVD. Still a filmic obscurity but it definitely belongs right up there.

  • 9 11-10-2010 at 10:59 am

    Rufus said...

    Planet of the Apes (1968 version).