Top and Bottom Post - Apocalyptic Films

I am borrowing from @Navaronegun and posting a movie list of my own. Mine is slightly different because I would like see the top five and bottom five. of your list. It is entirely possible for someones top to be someone else’s bottom and that’s okay. I am also going to say that anime is certainly allowed.

They do not have to be in any particular order.

Here’s mine.



It probably feels overdone now but at the time, it was a pretty awesome twist, great visuals and perfect cast. I am going to pretend the other two don’t exist.

I want to give a lot of credit to the original series and the first move in this sequences so it’s partially a tribute to the entire series but this one did a really good job even if a few of Koba’s scenes seemed way over the top.


I have a love hate relationship with this movie. It was very good, very grim and not at all… well it just doesn’t leave much hope.


I am not a huge fan of zombie movies because they are gross, and I realize the book readers weren’t as fond but the Israel scene, the way it started, it worked for me better than most of the zombie movies.


It’s a unique take. I haven’t seen it in years but it was, well a lot films borrow ideas from this.



The women and children in this movie want to die; it’s the only explanation for their suicidal behavior. The villain is ridiculous.


I am not sure how they managed to make a mess of this but I found it… not good at all, and the dragons, freaking dragons, were such a disappointment.


Nothing in this movie really worked which is unfortunate because i like a lot of what Guy Pearce does but this was just kind of a mess.


An oldie but a goodie right, the idea not the movie. This one is during and after sort of, but it’s the ultimate disaster and it seemed to be a movie designed for no one and was pretty much received that way.


I know people who loved this movie… I still can’t figure out why.

Hm, let’s see - my top ones would be Mad Max: Fury Road, Damnation Alley, and the five minute film the Mackenzie Brothers made in Strange Brew.

My bottom ones would be all the crap I sat through in the 80s like Metal Storm and Battletruck. But if we include zombie films in the apocalypse, we’ll that changes everything.

I’d say some of the zombie movies have a way of destroying tech and civilization as we know. I’ll leave that up to you. I did not include actual B movies which could also fit in here, but I don’t see any reason we can’t. I’ll take @Navaronegun and leave it the definitions loose.

My list that isn’t interesting because it was done in a hurry.

Top 5
Children of Men
The Omega Man
Mad Max Fury Road

Honorable mention to the TV movie “Day After Tomorrow” for scaring the bejabbers out of me as a kid.

Bottom 5 (Roland Emmerich and Costner own this)
Day After Tomorrow
The Postman
After Earth

This took some thought. I’ll start with this and do the next set as a reply later today.

My Five Best:

1.) This film has possibly the most iconic ending in American Film. A classic, and often imitated (and remade). No one ever came close.

2.) George Miller creates an Operatic Western set in Post-Apocalyptic Badlands and creates a Film sub-genre (and a Game Sub-Genre).

3.) Charlton Heston has his second Post-Apocalyptic Iconic moment on film, with another line woven into the fabric of popular culture. Edward G. Robinson gives his final film performance. Joseph Cotton too.

4.) John Carpenter’s nihlistic post-apocalyptic meditation on America after two decades destroyed the near-universal optimism present in the wake of the Second World War.

5.) Time Paradoxes versus Schizophrenia, The End of the World and Pandemics. All through Terry Gilliam’s unique vision. Brad Pitt first proves that he can act (stand aside, Fight Club). And Frank Gorshin.

Honorable Mention.) We could have had Heston cubed! A better zombie film than Romero ever dreamt of. And couched with a Global catastrophe. Not in random Pennsylvania houses or in a mall. This Film made Zombies into Sci Fi. Also Anthony Zerbe in a fine moment.

I thought about escape from New York too. It doesn’t hold up as well as some of the others, but I’ve always liked Kurt Russel

My Five Worst, a countdown:

The sad thing about this genre is that is is buried in a lot of goo like the below. There is a lot of goo too. High profile and C Movie. Big and Low budget. A corucopia of crap. Let’s see. I’ll at least try to post some that have some sort of weird quality to recommend each for curiosity purposes.

5.) Fred Williamson, Persis Khambatta (of Start Trek The Motion Picture Fame) and Donald Pleasance.

4.) David Carradine was in a campy piece of trash Post-Apocalyptic film in 1975 that is now hailed by revisionists who are trying to appear “edgy” (see @tomchick - probably… ), This is NOT that Film. This is another David Carradine “Deathy Racy” type film on motorcycles that is really, really BAD. Sorry, “destructocycles”. Yeah…

3.) Q: Robert Altman! Paul Newman! Post-Apocalypse! What could go wrong?
A: This (awarded bonus Qt3 points for having a Boardgame as a central device in the film, but -1000 points for sucking and being boring).

2.) Rae Dawn Chong. Robby Benson. When Millennials talk about how cool the '80s were, I think of this “film”.

1.) Your e-meter is reading a 0

Its-So-Bad its-Good Honorable Mention.) Post-Apocalyptic Cannibal Vice

Take the bleakest thing you know, add some more gloom, double it.

At least there were two good episodes of MST3K in that list.

I know they did Warrior of the Lost World, what else did they do? City Limits? I always wish hey could get their hands on stuff that isn’t public domain or basically dirt cheap. I would LOVE to see them do Quintet. Or Battlefield Earth. And not Rifftrax, but a full MST3K magilla.

The Lord of the Rings movies qualify as apocalyptic films, right?

My mind doesn’t go there, but I am dying of curiosity as to know why yours does.

What could be more apocalyptic than an evil lord, aided by a demon, un-dead riders on horseback, and hordes of foul creatures waging an all-consuming war against all that is good and decent in the world?

I’d venture that the genre involves the collapse of a civilization (not just an evil threat). I think that collapse can be of a fictional civilization, however. This is @Nesrie 's baby though.

Well, because being post-apocalyptic kind of requires there was an apocalypse to be post- from. Was there an apocalypse in LOTR? That’s a legitimate question, I’m not much of a fan. If there was one, I’d say the world was in pretty good shape, for the most part. Except for Mordor, at least.

So what are the criteria for putting a movie in the bottom 5? Low budget schlock seems like low hanging fruit. Waterworld, Battlefield Earth, et al, with high budgets and A-Listers seem more egregious in their transgressions.

Is this thread supposed to be about post-apocalyptic films, or apocalyptic films?

I went with “Not entertaining for whatever reason”.

It’s in the thread title, dude. But I’ll defer to @nesrie on that one.

Oh man, Battletruck…that takes me back. Mostly to the gainfully underemployed 80’s weekends when my best friend and I would hit the video store high as fuck and gorge on schlocky Mad-Max ripoffs. My favorite from that sub-genre would have to be Hell Comes to Frogtown. Largely because the cast realizes how ridiculous the whole endeavor is and rolls with it.

I can’t abide the diss on Death Race 2000, though. Frankenstein’s car? Awesome. The Real Don Steele? Awesome. The “French Air Force”? Awesome. Frankenstein boinking his navigator in a high school gymnasium? Awesome. The Convalescent Center scene? Awesome. Splatsploitation at its finest.

As for favorite post-apoc overall, it has to be The Road Warrior, despite all the sorry wannabes it helped spawn (but then that’s what great movies do - there were similarly a ton of Jaws ripoffs in the late 70’s). it’s also my favorite action movie ever and hosts my favorite car chase ever filmed.

After that, I have to concur with The Matrix, Fury Road, Planet of the Apes (both original and remake trilogy), 12 Monkeys, and Children of Men. I also enjoyed Wizards, On the Beach, Quiet Earth, Oblivion (mostly for the cinematography), Doomsday (mostly for it’s DR2K-ish gusto), and even Zardoz.

As for worst, I guess I’ll go along with Battlefield Earth and Day After Tomorrow, mainly because I know I’ve seen them, but can’t recall a damn thing about either one. Waterworld was dumb, but at least sired the impressive stunt show at Universal Studios.

And as one of the forum’s resident grandpa-movie-men, I’d be remiss to not mention a couple of pre-1960’s post-apocalyptic films: Things to Come, based on H.G. Wells’ “Shape of Things to Come”, which is a pretty extravagant production for its time, with set designs ranging from War of the Worlds, to Twilight Zone’s Time Enough at Last, to Metropolis, to Buck Rogers. I mostly enjoy it for all the crazy airplanes it features. On the other end of the scale, there’s Five, which is probably the first nuclear post-apocalyptic movie. It’s about 5 different survivors coming together at a remote California cabin following worldwide nuclear annihilation. It’s an independent feature (which becomes obvious as it features a pregnant woman who later is seen breast feeding her child - both no-nos in the Hayes era), so it doesn’t showcase much in the way of ruined civilization and whatnot - mostly personal conflicts and the characters figuring out how to survive. But it’s pretty downbeat for it’s era, and interesting to check out if you’re a fan of the genre.