Friday, August 17, 2012

Comprehensive list of post-apocalyptic movies

While researching post-apocalyptic movies, I couldn’t find a comprehensive list online of the major motion pictures on the theme.
Many lists included movies showing dystopian futures or an approaching apocalypse. I wanted a clean list. I wanted a list of movies that showed the aftermath of the apocalypse and people trying to survive.
Compiling such a list is subjective. For instance, my list includes “Terminator Salvation” (2009), but not the other movies from the “Terminator” series, which take place before the apocalypse. The same thing goes for the “Mad Max” and “Planet of the Apes” series. Also, while some movies on this list deal primarily with apocalyptic events, they do provide at least a glimpse of the world after such tragedies. Plus, I left off a number of crappy super low-budget movies.
For the movies I haven’t seen, I used plot synopses on IMDb and Wikipedia.
So, without further ado, here’s my list of major motion pictures that depict life on Earth after nuclear war, plagues, alien invasion, climate change or other devastation.

Updated Nov. 22, 2017.

1951   Five
1952   Captive Women  (also known as “1000 Years From Now” and “3000 A.D.”)
1953   The War of the Worlds
1955   Day the World Ended
1956   World Without End
1959   On the Beach
1959   The World, the Flesh and the Devil
1960   Beyond the Time Barrier
1960   Last Woman on Earth
1960   The Time Machine
1961   The Day the Earth Caught Fire
1962   Panic in Year Zero!
1963   The Day of the Triffids
1964   The Earth Dies Screaming
1964   Last Man on Earth
1964   The Time Travelers
1966   The End of August at the Hotel Ozone
1968   Planet of the Apes
1969   The Seed of Man
1970   Beneath the Planet of the Apes
1970   No Blade of Grass
1971   Glen and Randa
1971   Omega Man
1973   Battle for the Planet of the Apes
1973   Idaho Transfer
1974   Zardoz
1975   A Boy and His Dog
1975   The Noah
1975   The Ultimate Warrior
1977   Damnation Alley
1978   Dawn of the Dead
1978   Deathsport
1978   Invasion of the Body Snatchers
1979   Quintet
1979   Ravagers
1980   Day of Resurrection
1981   The Road Warrior
1982   The Aftermath
1982   She
1983   2019: After the Fall of New York
1983   The Day After
1983   Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle)
1983   Stryker
1983   Testament
1984   Night of the Comet
1984   Warriors of the Wasteland (a.k.a. The New Barbarians)
1985   City Limits
1985   Day of the Dead
1985   Def-Con 4
1985   Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
1985   The Quiet Earth
1985   Warrior of the Lost World
1986   Radioactive Dreams
1987   Cherry 2000
1987   Creepozoids
1987   Hell Comes to Frogtown
1987   Steel Dawn
1988   World Gone Wild
1989   The Blood of Heroes 
1989   Cyborg
1989   Slipstream
1990   Hardware
1990   Robot Jox
1991   Delicatessen
1991   The Rapture
1993   Body Snatchers
1994   American Cyborg: Steel Warrior
1995   The Postman
1995   Tank Girl
1995   Twelve Monkeys
1995   Waterworld
1998   Six-String Samurai
1999   The Matrix
2000   Battlefield Earth
2001   Ever Since the World Ended
2002   Reign of Fire
2002   The Time Machine
2003   The Matrix Reloaded
2003   The Matrix Revolutions
2003   Time of the Wolf
2004   Dawn of the Dead
2004   The Day After Tomorrow
2004   Resident Evil: Apocalypse
2005   Land of the Dead
2005   War of the Worlds
2007   I Am Legend
2007   Resident Evil: Extinction
2008   Blindness
2008   City of Ember
2008   Day of the Dead
2008   The Happening
2008   Wall-E
2009   Carriers
2009   The Road
2009   Survival of the Dead
2009   Terminator Salvation
2009   Zombieland
2010   Book of Eli
2010   Daybreakers
2010   Resident Evil: Afterlife
2010   Skyline
2010   Stake Land
2010   Vanishing on 7th Street
2011   The Darkest Hour
2011   The Divide
2011   Hell
2011   Priest
2012   The Day
2012   Resident Evil: Retribution
2013   The Colony
2013   Oblivion
2013   Rapture-Palooza
2013   This Is the End
2013   Warm Bodies
2013   World War Z
2013   Goodbye World
2014   The Rover
2014   Snowpiercer
2014   Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
2014   Left Behind
2014   The Maze Runner
2014   The Remaining
2014   The Last Days
2014   The Last Survivors
2014   Plague
2015   Mad Max: Fury Road
2015   Extinction
2015   Air
2015   Z for Zachariah
2015   Turbo Kid
2015   Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
2015   Attack on Titan: Part 1
2015   Attack on Titan: Part 2
2015   Re-Kill
2015   Embers
2015   Jackrabbit
2015   Robot Overlords
2016   The 5th Wave
2016   10 Cloverfield Lane
2016   Pandemic
2016   Into the Forest
2017   Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
2017   The Girl with All the Gifts
2017   Bokeh
2017   Here Alone
2017   War for the Planet of the Apes
2017   It Comes at Night
2017   The Bad Batch
2017   The Survivalist
2017   2307: Winter’s Dream

Let me know if you think I should make some additions or deletions.

Dec. 15, 2013, update:

I’ve probably doubled the number of movies on this list since I originally posted this article.
I found a lot of post-apocalyptic movies that I wasn’t familiar with by reviewing lists on IMDb. However, these user lists included many movies I wouldn’t classify as post-apocalyptic or were terrible low-budget movies that never received much distribution or recognition.
The IMDb lists I found most helpful were by Marco Mancosu of PostApocalypticA , Justin Ulmer and MixerBOS.
Those IMDb lists were criticized in their comments sections for including too many movies that were not post-apocalyptic in nature. They were muddied with sci-fi movies about dystopian futures and a lot of lousy made-for-TV or direct-to-video movies.
My list includes only theatrical movies that were significant enough to merit a Wikipedia entry and be reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes.
My definition of an apocalyptic event is one that causes mass deaths and affects the whole world.

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