Top 5 Post-Apocalyptic Movies

Written by Eryl McCaffrey March 28, 2011

Now-a-days, it seems as though a new film about the end of the world comes out in theatres every other week. I hope it’s not a sign of the inevitable fait of humankind, but rather, merely an imaginative storyline that sells. Regardless, it looks like we’re a society that’s obsessed with the idea of a post- civilization existence, and we don’t mind the use of some explosive Hollywood effects to help us visualize this future, either. So, I thought it would be interesting to stimulate some debate on the best post-apocalyptic movies of all time! Here are the Top 5 crazy catastrophe films that rock my socks…

#5: 9

This 2009 sci-fi computer-animated movie was produced by Tim Burton, and as a Burton fan let me say, this movie did not disappoint. The film stars Elijah Wood as “9,” a rag doll stitch figure that sets out to find the other 8 dolls and fight the Fabrication Machine, which turned on mankind and wiped out all life in the name of war. The cast was fantastic, and the story was poignant. The child-like characters didn’t detract from a powerful message: technology isn’t always the solution to human problems; it sometimes causes larger problems for humankind than it offers resolutions. The animation was captivating and you really start to forge a human connection to the cute little sackboys out to save humanity.


#4: Shaun of the Dead

OK, so this one may not be as serious as the rest, but I think it definitely deserves some recognition for it’s hilarious mock zombie humour and ridiculously rockin’ soundtrack. Edgar Wright’s 2004 British rom-com zom(bie) flick starred the always funny Simon Pegg as Shaun, who’s trying to survive an apocalyptic wave of flesh-eating beasts. Who can forget when Shaun and his small gang of odd survivors bludgeon a pub owner turned zombie to the upbeat tune of “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen? Both disturbing and hilarious all at once. Come on, this film is a beauty. It makes a memorable and funny statement about the absurdity of most zombie flicks and post-apocalyptic movies.


#3: The Book of Eli

Besides the obvious religious undertones, this film really took a unique approach to the post-humanity storyline. The credits boasted an attractive cast of A-list celebrities from Denzel Washington, to Gary Oldman, to Mila Kunis. The post-apocalyptic tale centred on Denzel’s character, Eli, a man who sets out across America alone, to guard a sacred book which supposedly holds the path to humanity’s salvation. It was interesting to see a story that articulated how religious texts can be potentially abused in the name of power and order. The dark cinematography and subtle, understated graphics creeped me out because, this particular vision of the future seemed like a realistic possibility for all of us.


#2: Planet of the Apes

Well, this would be no Top 5 post-apocalyptic countdown if I didn’t pay homage to the 1968 sci-fi classic. The film tells the story of a space-bound astronaut crew who crash-lands on a wacky planet in the super-future. It depicts a society in which apes dominate all other creatures, including human beings. The movie’s soundtrack was avant-garde for it’s time and it inspired the film’s erie, quiet vibe. A cult-classic and a definite must see.


#1: 28 Days Later

My absolute, most favourite post-apocalyptic movie of all time! Somewhere between the British accents and the horrifyingly modern zombies, I fell in love. Danny Boyle directed the film, set four weeks after an incurable “rage virus” spreads throughout the UK, sparing only a few lives. The captivating Irishman, Cillian Murphy, plays the lead role of Jim. And, I can’t overlook the music behind this movie. Musical composer John Murphy took a page out of the Planet of the Apes’ soundtrack, creating a creepy effect that set the stage for some intensly graphic zombie munching. It’s not a depressing interpretation of the future, but rather one about humanity prevailing. This movie was erie, fast-paced and horrifying. It was definitely nice to watch a zombie movie that didn’t make me laugh.

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