::Literate Blather::
Monday, October 20, 2008
Apocalypse Now: End of the World Movies

10 Movies About the Apocalypse

“There is a rumor that they are evacuating Moscow. There are people even leaving Kansas City because of the missile base. Now I ask you: To where does one go from Kansas City? The Yukon? Tahiti? We are not talking about Hiroshima anymore. Hiroshima was... was peanuts!”

That’s a quote from the doomsday movie “The Day After,” which aired on ABC-TV in 1983 and scared the shit out of, well, everybody. ABC set up 1-800 hotlines the day of the broadcast so distressed viewers could talk to a counselor.

Maybe CNN should consider the same tactics for its coverage of the financial meltdown.

As we prepared for the end of the world as we know it, DaRK PaRTY gives you our favorite post-apocalyptic movies:

12 Monkeys

Year: 1995

Director: Terry Gilliam

Starring: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Jon Seda

Plot in a Nutshell: A convict from the future is sent back in time to try and gather information about a plague that has killed off most of the human race. He’s sent to a mental institution after he discovers that he’s been sent too far back. He discovers a group of radicals called “12 Monkeys” who are responsible and tries to stop them.

Best Quote: “You are a total nutcase, completely deranged, delusional, paranoid. Your thought process is all fucked up. Your information train is jammed, man!”

How the World Ends: A lethal virus spreads across the planet and kills five billion people. The survivors are forced to live underground.

Best Part of the Movie: The performance of Brad Pitt as Jeffry Goines, the deranged, machine-gun talking radical (see video below).

Cool Factoid: Terry Gilliam wanted Jeff Bridges for the lead, but the studio made him get a bigger star. He chose Willis because he thought he showed a sensitive side in the movie “Die Hard.”

Planet of the Apes

Year: 1968

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans

Plot in a Nutshell: An astronaut crash lands on a planet where the humans are dumb beasts and ape and gorillas have evolved into the dominate species. The astronaut tries to escape the planet, but learns he is really Earth in the distant future.

Best Quote: “It's a mad house. A mad house.”

How the World Ends: Human beings blew up the world with nuclear weapons.

Best Part of the Movie: Charlton Heston’s over-the-top performance as George Taylor. It’s classic Heston.

Cool Factoid: The movie was an adaptation of a novel by Pierre Boulle. In the novel, the apes are advanced and live in cities and have modern machines of the 20th century. But the movie made the apes less advanced because of budget reasons.

Strange Days

Year: 1995

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Vincent D’Onofrio

Plot in a Nutshell: An ex-cop sells dreams to people on disc – taken straight from the cerebral cortex. One day, he discovers a disc from a murderer who killed a prostitute and begins an investigation that goes very wrong.

Best Quote: “Look everyone needs to take a walk to the dark end of the street sometimes, it's what we are.”

How the World Ends: The world hasn’t ended per se, but its spiraled into chaos with gangs ruling the streets and the rich are protected with bodyguards from the population – who likes to jack in and get high off of other people’s experiences.

Best Part of the Movie: The music

Cool Factoid: The movie is named after the Doors album of the same name and a cover version of the song opens the film.


Year: 1995

Director: Kevin Reynolds

Starring: Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Jack Black, Dennis Hopper

Plot in a Nutshell: A drifter gets involved with a woman and her child and protects them from a gang of criminals.

Best Quote: “Dry land is not just our destination, it is our destiny!”

How the World Ends: The polar ice caps have melted and the world is completely flooded by ocean water. People live on boats and rafts and in floating villages.

Best Part of the Movie: Kevin Costner’s understated performance as the Mariner. This movie is unfairly maligned and, other than the terrible acting job by Dennis Hopper, is an above average sci-fi flick.

Cool Factoid: The ship that Dennis Hopper and the bad guys live on is the Exxox Valdez, the oil tankers than spilled millions of gallons of crude oil off the coast of Alaska.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Year: 1985

Director: George Miller and George Ogilvie

Starring: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence

Plot in a Nutshell: With all of his possessions stolen, Mad Max ends up in Bartertown, a village on the outskirts of a desert. He gets involved in a power struggle in the city before helping a group of lost children who were the survivors of a plane crash.

Best Quote: “Two men enter, one man leave!”

How the World Ends: Nuclear war

Best Part of the Movie: Tina Turner’s amazing performance as Auntie Entity – the leader of Bartertown and the battle between Blaster and Max (see video above).

Cool Factoid: When Max is introduced to the crowd when he’s going to fight Master Blaster in Thunderdome, Dr. Dealgood calls him “The Man with No Name” – a reference to the Clint Eastwood characters in Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns.

I am Legend

Year: 2007

Director: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Willow Smith, James Michael McCauley

Plot in a Nutshell: The lone survivor of a world epidemic tries to live his life in a deserted city – but he is hounded by the dead victims of the plague who have been transformed into vampires.

Best Quote: “I can help. I can save you. I can save everybody.”

How the World Ends: A cancer prevention drug has deadly side effects and turns people into blood-sucking vampires. The epidemic spreads and kills nearly everyone on earth.

Best Part of the Movie: The setting in a deserted New York, crumbling under the weight of Nature returning. The scene were Will Smith hunts a herd of deer is special effects at its best.

Cool Factoid: The artwork in Will Smith’s residence belong to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Children of Men

Year: 2006

Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Starring: Clive Owen, Michael Caine, Julianne Moore, Charlie Hunnam, Michael Klesic

Plot in a Nutshell: An ex-bureaucrat living in 2027 helps a group of radicals who have discovered the earth’s first pregnant woman in the last 18 years. They try and get her to safety through a war-torn London on the brink of civil collapse.

Best Quote: “Everything is a mythical, cosmic battle between faith and chance.”

How the World Ends: When women can no longer get pregnant and the human race comes face-to-face with the reality of its own extinction – war, crime and revolt flourish.

Best Part of the Movie: The battle scene at the end of the movie is masterfully done. And, of course, Clive Owen’s performance rocks per usual.

Cool Factoid: Michael Caine said that he based his performance of the hippie political cartoonist on John Lennon.

28 Days Later

Year: 2002

Director: Danny Boyle

Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Noah Huntley, Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris

Plot in a Nutshell: A plague called Rage rips through the world and turns people in flesh-eating zombies. A handful of people try to survive in the new world.

Best Quote: “Well, I think Bill's got a point. If you look at the whole life of the planet, we... you know, man, has only been around for a few blinks of an eye. So if the infection wipes us all out, that is a return to normality.”

How the World Ends: Zombies, baby, zombies

Best Part of the Movie: The movie is filled with great scenes, but the best one may be when Jim wakes up from a coma in a hospital and finds the hospital and London completely deserted of human life.

Cool Factoid: Stephen King was so excited about the movie that he bought an entire showing of the film in New York City.

Dawn of the Dead

Year: 1978

Director: George A. Romero

Starring: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross

Plot in a Nutshell: A group of survivors from a zombie plague end up at a mall. They turn the mall into a paradise, but the zombies manage to break in and all hell breaks loose.

Best Quote: “This isn't the Republicans versus the Democrats, where we're in a hole economically or... or we're in another war. This is more crucial than that. This is down to the line, folks, this is down to the line. There can be no more divisions among the living!”

How the World Ends: The dead have come to life to feed on the living.

Best Part of the Movie: When the motorcycle gang breaks into the mall and starts to kill the zombies.

Cool Factoid: Many of the actors playing zombies were actual amputees

Terminator II – Judgment Day

Year: 1991

Director: James Cameron

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Plot in a Nutshell: In a future, machines have taken over. They send a cyborg back in time to kill the leader of the human resistance, but the resistance sends back its own reprogrammed cyborg to protect the leader.

Best Quote: “Three billion human lives ended on August 29th, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines.”

How the World Ends: Nuclear holocaust

Best Part of the Movie: Arnold reprising the role that made him famous.

Cool Factoid: The Terminator line: “I need a vacation” is a line from Arnold’s movie “Kindergarten Cop” and was ad-libbed by the Governor.

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Blogger paulkimm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger RuKsaK said...
Read 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy if you haven't already. It makes these films look like Pixar made them.

Blogger Flickhead said...
Ever see The End of August at the Ozone Hotel?

Click here to read my review.

Blogger GFS3 said...
Hi Ruksak:
I'm a huge fan of "The Road." You Can read our review about it here:


Hi Flickhead:
No I haven't seen "The End...," but with your recommendation, I certainly will.

Blogger Bybee said...
Pretty soon The Road will be in theaters.

Blogger GFS3 said...
True -- The Viggio is the lead. Although rumors are the movie didn't play well with test audiences and they are making changes -- so it might not make it to theaters in 2008.

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