The Best Apocalyptic Movies – Couch Potato investigates

I’ve  been giving some thought to apocalyptic movies this week. I guess that suggest what sort of mood I’ve been in – probably something to do with a nasty bout of food poisoning at the weekend.

Anyway, I’ve been attempting to find out which apocalyptic movies are widely considered to be the best.

So, I’ve gone around asking friends, colleagues, our  Movie Talk fans on Facebook, my cats (strangely they were quite cagey about their thoughts), my neighbours, and some random telepathic dog.

The results are interesting. You tend to forget how many different ways there are to end the world. Natural disasters, viruses, zombies, comets, nuclear war, alien invasions – the causes are numerous (check out this great website  for a comprehensive list of all the apocalyptic movies out there). However, despite the broad range of doomsday triggers, not all have made it into the favourites list. Take a look:

28 Days Later

Widely considered to be one of the best, and certainly the most impressive in recent years, this London-set movie tells the tale of a small bunch of survivors following the release of a virus that turns people into crazed killers. The deserted London scenes are truly striking, and this one also has a number of alternative endings. 

On the Beach
Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire and Ava Gardner  and follows the fates of a bunch of Australians as they face potential death from nuclear fall-out following the destruction of the rest of the world.

The Omega Man
Charlton Heston. It’s based on  a book by Richard Matheson, as is I Am Legend.

I Am Legend

I Am Legend

Will Smith stars as the military scientists in this New York set version. The Italian movie  The Last Man on Earth is another screen version of this story.

Which adaptation do you think is the best?

The Road

The Road

Starring Viggo Mortensen and released earlier this year in the UK, this doomsday tale follows the fortunes of a father and son as they struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic sunless world where civilsation, flora and fauna have all pretty much been destroyed.

The Quiet Earth
(Bruno Lawrence) in this film. He wakes up one morning to find himself alone in the world after a secret global experiment goes wrong.

Living Dead 

Dawn of the Dead 

George A Romero’s ‘Living Dead’ movies are widely considered to be the best zombie apocalypse movies. They’re cult classics, and have of course spawned many homages and spoofs, including the brilliant  Shaun of the Deadthe best apocalyptic comedy in my opinion. 

A Boy and his Dog

In the wake of a nuclear holocaust, a survivor  (Don Johnson) searches for food with the help of his canine companion, who has somehow learned how to communicate telepathically. In case you were wondering, this one is indeed a quirky comedy.

Mad Max 

Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome

Mel Gibson drives at high speed up and down Australian highways in a desolate near future in this franchise. What has created this post-apocalypic world? Who cares! This one is not my cup of tea at all.

However, some consider the franchise deserving of this list, so here it is.

Mad Max 2 is apparently the best of the three, but I’ve chosen a pic of the lovely  Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome because We Don’t Need Another Hero is a great song.

Twelve Monkeys 

Twelve Monkeys

Bruce Willis is sent back in time to identify the source of a deadly virus that has resulted in global devastation.

Children of Men

 Children of Men

Global human infertility has seen the world descend into chaos in this British pic starring  Julianne Moore and Clive Owen. Unlike most of the other movies on this list, which are post-apocalyptic, this one deals with the impending threat of humanity’s demise.

So there we have it. Apparently, the ones to avoid are The Core and The Happening.

What do you think? Do you agree with this list or not?

Check out this quiz while you decide.

28 Days Later is showing today,  Friday 26th March, on Channel 4 at 10.50pm

Mad Max 2 is showing on Sky Movies Action on Sunday 28th March at 11.35pm

I Am Legend is showing on Sky Movies Action on Monday 29th March at 7.15pm

The Happening is showing on Good Friday on Sky Movies Sci-fi/Horror at 7.25pm

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