I have to say I was surprised at how difficult it was to narrow this list down. Just a few of the early possibilities that didn't make the list are TANK GIRL, THE OMEGA MAN, SILENT RUNNING, A BOY AND HIS DOG and HARDWARE. But hell, it's been fun wrestling this down to ten.
Hope you enjoy this look back at some of our bleakest futures, and if your fav doesn't make it then don't go nuclear, just spit bullets below.
I'm glad REPO has been steadily chugging along and gaining a strong cult following, because being a fan of horror and musicals, I was obviously thrilled when this was announced, but at times felt like I was the only one. The set up is great - a mass epidemic of organ failures has forced most of the world's population to get organs on layaway or die. Of course, if you miss a payment, the organ gets repo'd, with no regard for the fact that it's still in your body. Just bloody good fun and flat Shakespearian in it's machinations.
I dare any sports fan to watch this movie and not want to become a jugger. This is the bleakest landscape since a certain famous Aussie character, and it's used in the service of one of the bloodiest, most awesome fictional sports ever conceived. And the cast? Rutger Hauer, Delroy Lindo, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Joan Chen. Yeah, awesome!
In the war between men and machines we don't seem to come out very well in most cases. Even though the sequels were a major let down, and a peace of sorts eventually gets worked out, this is a typical scorched earth type story, that is anything but typical. The pure visual ballsiness of this will be etched in the mind of fanboys and girls for the rest of their lives. We'd never seen anything like it. And even though some of the concepts have been used again, nothing has matched story, style and execution the way THE MATRIX did.
Of the three MAD MAX films, THE ROAD WARRIOR is the strongest by far. Our ultimate lone wolf anti-hero is well developed, given a chance to do something good with his life again, and in the meantime we get lots of insane bloody action. This is a classic look at the problem with humanity. No matter the time, no matter the situation, there will always be battles over resources. Some more flamboyant than others, but people want stuff enough to kill for it, even when the world has turned to shite.
So this is an outstanding film without the "shock" ending. That's why it launched a billion sequels (by rough count). It's a great piece of entertainment that also tackles racism, sexism, and speciesism amongst other heavy issues. Anchored by the great Charlton Heston we get an amazing film that is all the more impressive because we have no idea it's a post-apocalyptic flick until the end of the movie. Hello Statue of Liberty. We'll ignore the idiotic ending to Burton's mediocre remake.