It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… that is until a giant, mutant alien reptile, (riding an asteroid!) hurtled towards the earth ensuring death to all… or almost all. A lucky few: a gun-toting scientist, an army man, a computer geek who happens to be a really fast runner,a priest, and an unusually hot and nimble mom with her plucky/whiny kids manage to survive. How will they deal with the zombie-vampire-punker-biker-criminal-crazies who like to come out at night in order to stage elaborate, gladiator death matches?!
Yeah. I love End of the World movies. Wether it’s an escape from an on coming disaster which threatens to destroy humanity, or it’s a post apocalyptic wasteland populated by latex clad, tattooed psychos – I’ll watch it. Some are great, some are good, some are bad, and some are so bad they are good. In honor of our latest close call, here are my personal favorite movies about the end of days.
- Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) – Of all the movies that threaten to blow up the world, this is the best. Stanley Kubrick teaches a master class in satire and lets the ever so talented Peter Sellers do what he does best – in three different roles no less! The people in charge are all bumbling idiots who can’t make a good decision if their lives depended on it. Sound familiar?
- Armageddon (1998) – Duh. Bruce Willis saves the world… again! Armageddon is campy at its very best. You get a cast your favorite “Hey, I love that guy!” guys playing a band of society misfits who each have a special place on the team. Oh, and Liv Tyler is in it too being pretty.
- The Omega Man (1971) – Once again a plague has wiped out the human race, and one man is left to find the cure. This time it’s Hest at his most macho. He fights off black hooded, albino vampires (no joke) while makin’ sweet love with the hot Rosalind Cash. It’s totally dated and totally worth watching.
- I Am Legend (2007) – Now, if you like your Omega Man a little more slick and sophisticated, a little more hot and muscled then this version is the one for you. Wil Smith is an army science dude with super big muscles. He is determined to find a cure to the super virus. It’s fun, glossy and the albino zombie vampire things are wicked cool.
- WALL-E (2008) – In this animated film we have no one to blame for the state of the earth but ourselves. We have slothed ourselves into obese people who never move, much less communicate directly with one another. The only other life left on earth are cockroaches. That is until…
- Children of Men (2006) – I could do a list of the best Julianne Moore end of the world movies. She’s done quite a few of them. This one is great. It is set in a world where there is a fertility crisis. That means no babies. No babies for the last 18 years. That is until… Clive Owen does a great job of being the protector of the womb. (PS – also see Blindness, Julianne Moore again. It’s super brutal and violent but with kind of a happy ending. Not for the faint of heart.)
- Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – I like all of the Mad Max movies. Yes, the first one is the best, but this one is the one I remember fondly. Mad Max must save a colony of dust-covered children. Whatever. Tina Turner is in it! There are cage matches, car chases, explosions, and It’s rad. Two men enter, one man leaves.
- Doomsday (2008) – Another super virus has killed just about everybody. It was very dramatic. I know because they show it in flash backs. Now it’s 33 years later and there are survivors living in no mans land, and someone has to go get them. This movie is basically what the Road Warrior movies would be if Mad Max was Mad Maxine.
- Cabin in the Woods (2011) – If you haven’t seen this movie yet, then I’ll try not to give you any spoilers. Or, you can just go watch it. Sure, it isn’t your typical end of the world movie, there is no super plague, but if you’ve watched it then you know why I put this awesome horror movie on my list.
- Seeking a Friend For the End of the World (2012) – OK, I haven’t actually seen this yet, but the preview made me all giddy and self reflective. I’m going to watch it tonight. Let’s see if I was right. I know Keira Knightly is in it, but if I squint or something it might help.