10 Best Post-Apocalypses

By Stephen Cass | November 10, 2008 6:19 pm

Screenshot from 28 Days LaterWith buzz already building for The Road, a post-apocalyptic movie starring Viggo Mortensen set to come out sometime in 2009, Science Not Fiction decided to take at look at some of our favorite after-the-end-of-the-world scenarios. I excluded the various incarnations of War of Worlds because the book is basically an extended flashback from the safety of a rebuilt future, and the movies are apocalyptic rather than post-apocalyptic. Similarly Independence Day and Deep Impact are about averting armageddon. Twelve Monkeys and Oryx and Crake have post-apocalyptic scenes, but the back bone of their narrative is firmly in the pre-apocalyptic world–the selections below are all about life in the no-holds-barred aftermath. So in chronological order:

  1. A Canticle for Leibowitz (1950) Echoes of Walter Miller Jr.’s novel have popped up in science fiction for decades, notably in Babylon 5 and Anathem. Canticle features a monastic sect devoted to preserving technology in the centuries following the fall of civilization.
  2. Lord of The Flies (1954). Set in the aftermath of a nuclear war* a group of boys are stranded on a tropical island. An allegory for the collapse of civilization as a whole, things soon turn ugly and shades of Lord of the Flies are found in many later post-apocalyptic works.
  3. Mad Max (1979) Although the argument could be made that the sequels were better than the somewhat disjointed original (in particular Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome), Mad Max’s iconic look and feel has been copied by countless other movies, in many ways defining the visual vocabulary of the post-apocalyptic.
  4. The Day of The Triffids (BBC TV adaptation, 1981) Based on John Wyndham’s 1951 novel of the same name, The Day of The Triffids featured a double whammy–a nation struck by blindness and the escape of the deadly Triffid plants. The scenes of a deserted London inspired 28 Days Later, and the clacking noise made by approaching Triffids in the BBC adaptation became one of the scariest sounds ever.
  5. Threads (1984) Continuing the BBC’s 1980’s love affair with the end of the world, Threads is an uncompromising and utterly bleak tale of life in a British city (Sheffield) before and after nuclear armageddon. Incorporating documentary style elements, the script pulled no punches and was noted for its technical accuracy, including the effects of a nuclear winter.
  6. The Quiet Earth (1985) I mentioned this film before in Science Not Fiction’s list of the 10 Most Underrated Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies, but it deserves to appear again — a scientist awakes to find a world in which (almost) every human being has been mysteriously killed instantly.
  7. The Postman (Original 1985 novel, not the Kevin Costner film adaptation) The movie version was weak, but the novel remains one of my favorite books. Without sugarcoating life in a destroyed United States, the book nonetheless is unusual among post-apocalyptic fiction for its moving and believable optimism.
  8. Cherry 2000 (1986) Yes, it’s a classic B-movie. But this hero-quest romp had some standout touches, including the idea of a world that can’t afford anything new and the memorable and mentally unbalanced Lester (a sort of psychopathic self-help guru.)
  9. 28 Days Later (2002) Confirming the fall of nuclear war and the rise of biological disaster as the standard route to a post-apocalypse, 28 Days Later also breathed new life into the zombie genre. A gripping and intelligent plot packed a huge emotional wallop.
  10. I am Legend (2007 movie adaptation). Based on the 1954 novel, the amazing visual storytelling and convincing performance of Will Smith in an empty New York City knocked this tale of humanity’s twilight out of the park.

ETA *(Or not, there’s an alternative explanation for the precipitating events that force the boys’ original evacuation, see the comments below. But it still stands as a microcosm of life after global civilizational collapse)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Apocalypse, Books, Movies

Comments (116)

  1. Tyghe

    Waterworld. Now there’s a believable post apocalyptic world—the ice caps have melted and Kevin Costner has gills.

  2. What about The Lathe of Heaven? It’s the creepiest apocalypse ever conceived — a socio-psychological one. Based on Ursula K. LeGuin’s short novel, the movie is about a man whose dreams mysteriously come true, and the two-bit public-service psychiatrist that uses him to create an empire devoted to himself. Fantastic.

  3. It’s tricky coming up with post armageddon stories. Most of the ones I can think of are about the actual armageddon. The best stories of the armageddon-in-progress I’d put Oryx & Crake, The Parable of the Sower (Octavia Butler), and Galapagos (Kurt Vonnegut). I wonder if the Handmaid’s Tale (Atwood) qualifies? That one is also told from the safety of a later perspective, but was pretty scary in-narrative.

  4. Re: 28 Days Later and I Am Legend. I’ll argue that zombie and/or plague movies probably deserve their own category, including the Romero movies leading the list for zombies and Children of Men for plagues.

    And an interesting related question: Does Battlestar Galactica count as an apocalypse story? I would argue yes.

  5. Jason Heldenbrand

    Children of Man is certainly a favorite of mine and a rather unique perspective. The loss of hope when it appears that we are finally in our last generation. The sadness gripped when the youngest person dies in a bombing. It’s really quite a moving post-apoc tale.

  6. Chernobyl – a post-nuclear holocaust world without Homo sapiens is a nice place.
    Sub-Saharan Africa – low-tech stuffed with people is not a nice place, ditto Medieval Europe.
    Urban Washington, DC, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles… One cannot abide 21st century population densities framed in 19th century physical and intellectual squalor. Make Room! Make Room!, Harry Harrison. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Phillip K. Dick then Blade Runner.

    Too many too primitive people too close together are the apocalypse, as are too many elderly as a large fraction of a population. We are not passengers on Spaceship Earth, we are crew. March or die.

  7. jpenzien

    …what about the matrix series. That’s an obvious one. Not the BEST PA movie out there, but it has an interesting base for it’s “universe.”

  8. Cool piece. Threads is a great one for the list. It’s really quite disturbing. But you forgot On the Beach, the original movie and the novel. All those people waiting for the inevitable….
    For those that are interested, check out my list: http://www.igp-scifi.com/dystopic-futures.html

  9. rm2kking

    What about The Stand? And the I Am Legend movie adaption is pure shit. The book is fantastic! But the movie is a disgrace.

  10. John Stratford

    You think Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was a better sequel than The Road Warrior? Are you crazy?

    The Road Warrior is the model for latter day post-apocalyptic novels, films, and games (Fallout 1 and 2 come to mind at the moment).

  11. orpatastic

    The Stand, by Steven King. While not strictly *post*-apocalyptic, it’s still one of the best in this general genre that I have ever read. Another that qualifies in the actual “tales-of-the-apocalypse-itself” is “Lucifer’s Hammer” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle……

  12. clanky

    Lord of the flies is “set in the aftermath of a nuclear war?” That’s certainly news to me.

  13. John Metyers

    Wow, amazing article. very good points indeed.

    jess
    http://www.anolite.echoz.com

  14. Yeah, I totally agree with John Stratford. Beyond the Thunderdome was crap while The Road Warrior is a classic. The Stand (novel – I prefer the abridged version, but I think you can only find the unabridged nowadays, which is good too) should definitely be on this list. Big ups to a Canticle for Liebowitz. I have to re-read it.

  15. Lord of the Flies only formally is post-apocalypses movie. Great book (haven’t seen a movie), but hardly on subject.

  16. Tom Buckner

    A small quibble: The Quiet Earth (and what a great movie it is!) doesn’t see everyone ‘killed instantly.’ No. There are no bodies. Everyone is just plain gone. The few who are left were at the moment of death when Something Weird Happened. So I would suggest that perhaps everybody else is still alive in a different world as if Nothing Weird Had Happened. The Quiet Earth simply doesn’t tell us what really became of those many who vanished. It only shows us what happens to those few, from their viewpoint.

    Scientifically, this may not be implausible: http://science.howstuffworks.com/quantum-suicide.htm

  17. How can this list be complete without I am Legend’s predecessor “The Omega Man” . also not truly post apocalyptic but close is “Escape from New York” both PA classics in my eyes. The Jason Statham movie Death Race could have been good (A combo Road Warrior/Escape from NY) but it fell very short. I also agree with Strat on Road Warrior also in my opinion the pinacle of PA movies and I would bet it won’t be topped in my lifetime. Just on a side note and I will probably be abused for this. I liked the both the postman (Tom petty and the whole finding the mail truck thing) and WaterWorld (His boat was awesome and Dennis Hopper commanding the mutant infested Valdez and worshiping “Joe Hazelwood”)

  18. I gotta agree with the of the previous readers about Children of Men, which I think is the most likely outcome for our world right now (minus the null fertility rate)

    I would also add The Omega Man from the 70s, from which I believe “I am a legend” was largely based.

    Finally, I know those are animes, but Akira and Evangelion had great post apocalyptic settings.

  19. MG

    I’ll second a vote for On the beach and add A Boy and his Dog.

  20. JT

    You had me until you mentioned “I am Legend”. If you view the film apart from the novel, then yes, the view of near past post-apocalyptic New York is very well fleshed out. However, the audience was robbed of the poignant ending of the novel.

  21. JCinDE

    Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt is a good choice.

  22. chris

    Uh, Lord of the Flies is about a group of boys stranded on the island after a plane crash, not a nuclear war. Might want to fact-check a little better.

  23. Lord of the flies is not set in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Secondly I am Legend the movie? It’s ok at best, and nowhere near as great as Children of Men.

  24. Re: Children of Men — great movie, but I didn’t list it because I thought it was more of a “slow apocalypse” movie than a post-apocalyptic movie — In Children, society still lumbers on in a continuous fashion from before the sterility crisis.

    @MG: Yes, on reflection, I think a case a could be made for bumping, say, Cherry 2000 for A Boy and his Dog, but ultimately I think Mad Max stole its iconic thunder. (Similar to how The Matrix knocked out a lot of earlier VR movies)

  25. Donal K

    Lord Of The Flies ends with the appearance of a naval office and the reassertion of civilisation so I am inclined to think that if War Of The Worlds is ineligible for the reasons given then LotF is too for the same reasons.
    I would suggest Nevil Shute’s On The Beach as the definitive post-nuclear-apocalypse novel.

  26. samuel n

    How On The Beach was left out of this list is beyond me. Also, the novel version of I Am Legend is so much better than the movie; they are in entirely different leagues.

  27. Re: Lord of the Flies: it’s mentioned only briefly in the book , but IIRC, the reason the boys are on the plane that crashes in the first place is because they are being suddenly evacuated during some sort of major conflict — I read that as an allusion to a nuclear war. I could be wrong, but certainly the rest of the book is an allegory for a general post-apocalypse scenario: Golding is telling us that if we think we’ll do any better should the hammer come down (which, at the time, meant nuclear war), we’re fooling ourselves.

  28. Sean

    Lord of the Flies is set during WWII. Both the book and the original movie mentioned in the article. The children were being evacuated from Britain to some colony in the south pacific to avoid the German air raids. Many children in real life left the cities to live with families in the country to avoid the air raids. Lord of the Flies is NOT post-apocalyptic.

  29. Will R.

    Lord of the Files is NOT set post-apocalypse, I assure you but it is underlined with some of the issues that could arise in a post-nuclear war society and a fall of civilization.

  30. You Never Read Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies is not post-apocolyptic. Not even close. A plane crashed, the only people to survive where some of the children. The book was published in 1954, Golding was in the Royal Navy during WWII. Churches in England were being bombed by the Germans. Golding was alluding to a war, yes. The children were on a flight because they were leaving England (they were English school boys). However, this was not a post-apocolyptic event which imply after the end of the world. They were evacuating a hostile area; they did not survive an apocolypse.

    The fact that the children are the soul survivors of the crash would create a setting which can be comparable to a post-apocolyptic setting; however, the facts are facts and it is not an apocolypse at all. In fact, they were rescued at the end by the Navy (an obvious sign of civilization). You should correct your error as not to mislead people on the context of the story.

  31. You Never Read Lord of the Flies

    * You probably read Lord of the Flies; however, it’s hard to remember those kinds of tiny detail. Understandable.

  32. Save the world movies are always fun to see.
    They are action, love and sometimes high tech.
    Will Smith has said that they are a “No Brainer”
    to financial success.

    thanks from tony

  33. Peter

    What about /Delicatessen/?! Post-apocalyptic French art-house black comedy at its finest.

  34. And are we all forgetting “the Matrix”

  35. dwight moody

    I have to second Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower” and “Parable of the Talents,” which are set in a post-decline&fall of civilization world.

    Also, I’d throw in The Change books by S.M. Stirling, a sort of Wiccan Left Behind.

  36. Koufax

    Children of Men and Escape from New York need to be on that list.
    The whole anarchist police state thing is pretty terrifying… http://tinyurl.com/67klhj

  37. You have never heard of this one. You got to check it out. This book tells how it will happen. (http://www.lulu.com/content/1570109)

  38. Patrick

    How about Night of the Comet? I love that movie for some reason.

  39. We put this list of post-apocalyptic films into a Bundle so you grab the code and embed it as a widget in your website. Click on my name to see the Bundle and get the code.

  40. Lokrien

    Sadly, in the I am Legend scheme of things, what is missing is the original movie “Last Man on Earth” with Vincent Price. I believe it more closely follows the novel (nto exactly, but truer). It is far better than Omega Man, and is somewhat better than I am Legend with Will Smith. Price’s portrayal is far more convincing while Heston’s version reminds me more of “soylent green is people!!!!” Speaking of which, that could be argued to be PA as well.

  41. You have never heard of this one. It’s titled, “It Happened at Nextfest”. You got to check it out. This book tells how it will happen. (http://www.lulu.com/content/1570109)

  42. This list of “End of the World Movies” is much better (and knows that “Lord of the Flies” has nothing to do with post-apocalypses):

    http://tinyurl.com/5qbp5d

  43. Milliner

    If you want post-apocalyptia you can’t get any closer than playing Fallout 3.

  44. Legend of What

    I am Legend is possibly the worst sell-out in all of book to movie history. I was so very excited after it was announced. I have never been more disappointed with a movie after viewing it. There is no “best” list this movie belongs on.

  45. Donal K

    Golding’s original draft of Lord Of The Flies included a long opening segment on how the war had broken out and its conduct. His editor suggested he cut this section and dive straight into the action on the island. Golding – exhibiting an absence of preciousness rare among writers – agreed without argument. But enough clues remain to know that 1/ the novel is set during a future war against the “reds” 2/ this war has involved the use of nuclear weapons but 3/ either the war or the use of nuclear arms has been limited so that some parts of the world remain unaffected. In short, the war has been destructive but not apocalyptic.
    I think Golding would have disliked the idea that his scenario was specific to a post-apocalyptic world. LotF is a novel about the essential, inextinguishable savagery of the human animal; less a novel about how humans might behave if civilisation collapsed than about how they are within the bonds of civilisations or without

  46. Scott

    I’m surprised there’s no mention of Planet of the Apes. The original movie was a interesting and campy. The sequels and TV series progressively got corny and down right ridiculous. The remake updated the story to something remotely believable with cool FX.

  47. Emily

    Correct me if I’ wrong, but Lord of the Flies had nothing to do with nuclear war; it was just a shipwreck story that ends with a Navy ship saving them. Nothing apocalyptic mentioned, unless I missed something.

  48. Brian

    @Milliner:

    Yes you can. Fallout 1 and 2.

    If you haven’t given them a chance, do.

    The thing about The Road is, it has two things going for/against it: 1) It’s a Cormac McArthy novel, and an amazing one at that; 2) McArthy’s other screen adaptation, No Country For Old Men, is unbelievable. But, if done appropriately, this movie has amazing potential

  49. Thomas

    Rob’t A. Heinlein’s classic “Farnham’s Freehold” is still one of my favorites, as well as Dean Ing’s “Pulling Through”.

  50. adam

    Well geez, if your going to throw books in there where is “Earth Abides?” Not only did the 1949 novel basically invent the post apocalyptic genre, it also captured it at its zenith.

  51. Brad

    “Lucifer’s Hammer” by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle is one of my favorites from years past.

  52. C Q Scafidi

    On The Beach with Gregory Peck or the updated version with Armand Assante?

  53. This is list is so inaccurate on so many levels.

    Irresponsible journalism!! Sheesh!!!!

  54. coyo7e

    “I Am Legend” is a terrible movie and butchered its source material to a ridiculous extent.. I’d go so far as to say that even “The Omega Man” and the old Vincent Price movie “The Last Man On Earth” are better movies as well as better post-apocalyptic scanrios.

    This is a lousy list from someone who obviously hasn’t actually seen a great variety of post-apoc movies, I don’t even know how someone could begin to believe that Lord of the Flies is set after a nuclear apocalypse, it’s entirely obvious (as well as being directly referenced,) that they were just evacuating children from the bombings going on during WWII. Heck, the kids even got rescued at the end, how would they be rescued if the world was destroyed? It doesn’t sound like you even listened to an abridged audiobook of Lord of the Flies, author.

  55. @coy07e et al

    You might be interested in this Google book search (and Donal K’s interesting comment above about a longer draft of the book): I’m far from alone in drawing a connection to nuclear war…

  56. seriously, “i am legend” with will smith is not even a joke, it is just nothing. a movie is not worth watching with maybe 2 entertaining minutes filled with cg. charlton heston rules!

  57. Austin

    Screw the Will Smith in I Am Legend, Charlton Heston in The Omega Man was much better (as the “Zombies” were as they should have been, altered humans forming a anti-tech civilization). Even Vincent Price in The Last Man On Earth was better.

    And what about the universe for Fallout. The world created in all 3-5 games is a great vision of a post-apocalyptic future (of course with a bit of fantasy – ghouls and mutants).

  58. Austin

    And my god, after looking at some comments, what about Planet of the Apes?!

  59. One other that always seems to get forgotten is Limbo, by Bernard Wolfe. Seems like no one every looked at it for its movie potential, but with today’s CGI and advances in real cybernetics, this one should be unearthed and given a try.

  60. Justin Case

    Books.
    Among Madmen was good.Thanks to Brian Keene for the suggestion.
    Brian Keene’s book The Rising, zombies, was good too.
    Blood Crazy by Simon Clark, personal favorite.

    Movies
    How about the Terminator?

    Or Night of the Comet, just kidding.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dystopian_films

    I am Legend, READ THE BOOK!, the Will Smith movie sucked after the dog died.

  61. Duna

    “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War a novel by Max Brooks which chronicles a fictional zombie apocalypse, specifically the titular “Zombie World War”, as a series of after-the-fact oral history interviews with prominent survivors.”

    Come to mind as one of the best I read todate

  62. Pablo

    What about Blade Runner??

  63. cdn

    i would have thought you would have put in The Omega Man (1971) instead of the remake I am Legend

  64. Nancy

    So glad Adam mentioned George R Stewart’s “Earth Abides” the quintessential post apocalyptic book. I must have read it 10 times. It’s slightly dated, but very powerful!!!!

  65. Stewball

    I can’t believe no one has suggested Logans Run. Come on People!!!

  66. Robert

    I would highly recommend “O-BI, O-BA, The End of Civilization” (1985) in this post apocalyptic genre. Check the details here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089714/

  67. Keith Hall

    ‘Riddley Walker’ by Russel Hoban is still one of my favourites. A difficult read, but once you get into it, it’s definitely woth it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddley_Walker

  68. @ Stewball

    You are right on. Logan’s Run is awesome. I remember thinking at the time it came out that it was way better than Star Wars. Come to think of it, it might still be better than Star Wars.

  69. I agree with the comments that the movie “I am Legend” sucks, read the book instead.

  70. Binksley

    I think the author intended this article to cover television and movies.

    Else, there are some obvious holes in the authors research.

    Alas Babylon by Pat Frank <—–really a shame this wasn't mentioned
    Lucifer's Hammer by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven

    I am Legend….. Read the book. You won't regret it.

  71. You Never Read Lord of the Flies

    Stephen, correct your error. It shows more responsibility and gives more legitamacy to what you write. Lord of the Flies is in no way post-apocolyptic. Get over it.

  72. tripnon

    Hello!!!! Damnation Alley truly one of the greatest PA movies giant roaches eating everything not nailed down and then some more, barren open wasteland, giant radiation storms. The scene when they feed the window dummy to the raoches was fantastic.

  73. Beeson

    Lest we forget A Boy and his Dog. It was based on a Harlan Ellison story.

  74. You forgot:

    Dead Man`s Letter
    Russian post-apocalypse
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091759/

    and

    Le Dernier combat
    from Luc Besson
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085426/

  75. The Man

    Strange that in a collection talking about the post apocalypse, “The Day After” has not been mentioned. While it has a little bit of the nuclear event in it, most of the movie was centered around the desolation and loss of hope *after* the nukes. I remember distinctly the uproar over how it depicted radiation burns, and the slow radiation poisoning fatalities throughout the movie. Ultimately one of the most depressing TV Mini-series ever shown, but based on its impact and social statement, it should be in this list.

  76. Me

    How about Tarkovskys Stalker from 1979?
    They even made it a game …

  77. robomatic

    I put in a word for “Testament” which showed the long ramp down of post apocalyptic shattered lives.

  78. Kevin

    28 Days Later – They are NOT zombies. They are INFECTED by the RAGE virus. Get your facts straight.

    Lord of the Flies is NOT post-apoclyptic. The civilized world still exist, they’re simply stranded on that island for a short period of time.

  79. bill

    Wow, Lord of the Flies is not post-apocalyptic. You couldn’t be more confused about the book. And you still leave it up. What a stinky author.

  80. Joe-1

    b.s. the nonlinear story telling of Oryx and Crake places at least half of the narrative in the post-apocalypse. if Lord of the Flies made the list, there’s just no excuse not to place O&C as well… and, hey, why not Apocolypse Now! after all, it has the word ‘apocalypse’ in it.

    I would also like to nominate Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (which was adapted into one of the darkest, creepiest, most intelligent computer games of all time), J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned Earth (which predicts the aftermath of global-warming 40 year’s before Al Gore brought the ruckus), and The World Without Us by Alan Weisman –a work of nonfiction which critcally examines just what is likely to unfold in the post-apocalypse.

  81. Brooklynmatt

    “Road Warrior” is the definitive Mad Max movie, not Beyond Thunderdome. Thunderdome merely extended themes begun in RW, but Road Warrior was truly the ground-breaking film, both visually and thematically.

  82. Seedouble

    I have not read Lord of the Flies since I was in school, but certainly the interpretation back then was that the events occurred against a backdrop of nuclear war – to the extent that the reappearance of civilization in the form of the Navy at the end was to be seen as something of a surprise. I recall there being references inconsistent with – although clearly inspired by – a World War 2 evacuation. After many years I’ll have to read it again now, which is surely the best thing about these lists!

    Regarding the comment above connecting the film version of The Quiet Earth and quantum suicide, I’m led to the same conclusion. It’s a very eerie film.

  83. rocketman739

    Stop yelling about how Lord of the Flies isn’t post-apocalyptic! It doesn’t help to call people stinky. I, personally, think that it is pretty clear that there is a terrible war, but not necessarily one that destroys civilization–at least, not one that has destroyed it yet. But I won’t call anyone who thinks it’s set in WW2 or something else stupid.

  84. hammin8r

    The movies was perhaps the worst adaptation of all time, but the novel Damnation Alley was one the best post-apocalyptic novels all time. It’s anti-hero Hell Tanner was the prototype for characters li Mad Max and Snake Pliskin.

  85. Post-apocalyptic fans ought to look for GALACTIC EXODUS: Counterdance of the Cybergods. Deep in the future, after the loss of Earth, a whole civilization via a fleet of 12 world-ships seeks a hospitable ‘New Earth.’ The voyage is marred by a revolution of their super-computer ‘Regulators’ — re-work of a 1980 unpublished ms: ‘The Musician and the Mind-Simulator.’ Unusual presentation.

  86. Bogota

    Stephen, would you really call Mad Max postapocalyptic? The first movie of the trilogy never struck me as taking place after any sort of apocalypse, modern society still existed and everything. Still a fun movie though. Mad Max 2 (the road warrior) seems much more like the “iconic” post-apocalypse setting to me.

    Anyway, any fan of cold-war era post apocalyptic stuff should check out The War Game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_Game. I think the whole thing is available on youtube. Also, the novel Alas, Babylon is a very interesting piece of fiction from that era.

    I have to say that my personal favorite post-apocalyptic setting is that of the Fallout, a computer game. An ingeneous combination of 50’s scifi and coldwar/Road Warrior apocalypse that presented a very beleivable and consistent world despite its stylized elements. Unfortunately it’s sequels sort of trashed the setting.

  87. I love that kind of videos. Especially “i am legend” and “28 days later”. Really great movies.

  88. venom

    Today I looked on Google for the “Best post apocalypse movies” and so many people had put the staples (Mad max, Omega Man) but none had the balls to post Threads.

    Threads is by far the greatest, most disturbing look at our future regardless of the device (Nuclear or natural).

    The whole idea of people turning into animals, becoming retarded for generations due to radiation and lack of proper schools since they all were destroyed. The whole idea of everyone in the movie dying in horrible, fantastic, different ways.

    I loved it, even though it scared the hell out of me.

    Bravo for the list, excellent!

  89. venom

    oops, spoke too soon.

    You put I Am Legend? Wow, that is a horrid hollywood movie, and Omega Man?

    The Last Man on Earth – 1964 – Vincent Price – I cannot believe you missed this movie? It not only started the whole Zombie idea, it also started the post apocalypse idea.

    Shame on you, I retract my previous post.

  90. How about postnuke zombies? Best of both worlds.

  91. bubba

    Just to flesh out the list a little with a not-really-top-10 but classic anyway:

    Panic in Year Zero: Super b&w classic with a 50s/60s dad (ray milland) leading his family to safety after the bomb falls in california. Plays like Leave it to Beaver with H-bombs.

    Also, I think there is a nuclear war suggested in Lord of the Flies. It’s not simply a WWII-era plane crash. The war may be imminent or have already happened (and been limited).

  92. Tennessee

    For best PA books that haven’t yet made it to movies, I vote for “Alas, Babylon” and “Wolf and Iron.”

  93. Is “Them!” considered a PA film? (Nuclear fallout creating giant ants that attack people.)http://www.cryptomundo.com/wp-content/them3.jpg

  94. Ed

    I agree with the person above who mentioned Eternity Road, by Jack McDevitt. It’s very different from the typical PA novel, and such an adventure. Another, little known work, but among my favorites is Neena Gathering by Valerie Nieman Colander. As far as I can tell, it’s the only book she ever had published, but it’s well worth your time to search it out. You can get it used at amazon. A couple other “fun” ones are Swan Song by Robert McCammon and “Fire” by Alan Ryan (this one is probably much harder to find, but like Neena Gathering, worth the effort).

  95. Sparrows345

    Duh. THE TERMINATOR. What’s wrong with you ladies.

  96. sgMarshall

    Keep the Lord of the Flies in. That the Lord of the Flies isn’t the result of nuclear bombs is besides the point, thought that should be corrected above. Post-apocalyptic works are about failing or failed societies and civilizations, and perhaps even more importantly how the survivors try to rebuild society and civilization. Or at least how they try to cope with the collapse. The LotF is certainly about these ideas. Post-Apocalyptic works don’t require that salvation never comes, so that they’re rescued at the end is besides the point. The war itself and the apocalyptic bombing of England coupled with the plane crash certainly counts as an apocalypse.

  97. gav45

    Very cool article and a couple on the list i have never seen or read. I know its the top 10 and not the top 100 but ‘children of men’ was very very good in so many ways. I love what it says about people and how we might react to a situation bigger than our own selves. ‘A boy and his dog’ and the graphic novel ‘Y the last man’ are also very good.

  98. valerie nieman

    I came upon this blog and was honored by the comment about Neena Gathering from Ed – perhaps it is permitted to respond and say that while I’ve turned mostly to mainstream fiction, I continue to publish as Valerie Nieman. I had a post-apocalypse story in the very interesting Green Mountains Review “Literature of the American Apocalypse” (http://greenmountainsreview.jsc.vsc.edu/) devoted to stories in the genre.

  99. Some interesting choices I can sorta see how Lord of the Flies fits but it’s a real stretch to call it a PA movie, but a great blog none the less. I’m also working on a post apocalyptic site the link is http://therazorsedge.weebly.com please check it out and if you like what you see let me know if you’d be interested in a link exchange.

  100. Adam

    How about “The Noah”, probably the most original and best of post-apocalyptic films, that was never released theatrically but now on DVD? Obviously no one in this list is even aware of its existence. Check it.

  101. Adam

    How about “The Noah”, probably the most original and best of post-apocalyptic films, that was never released theatrically but now on DVD? Obviously no one in this list is even aware of its existence. Check it!

  102. Wait, what… I don’t remember anything about the apocalypse in lord of the flies…

  103. croach

    Even though its campy and over-acted Planet of the Apes should have an honorable mention, based on its theme and plot – substitute machines for apes and there you have it. Also, what about the terminator series.

  104. aslam

    The russian movie
    letters from a deadman is quite good posy apocalypse

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