Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic Flicks!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Well well friends…can you believe it…the time is finally upon us. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is officially open for travel! And perhaps even more exciting than a 30-year wait finally ending, is just how universally beloved George Miller’s latest is among critics across the globe. Hell, our very own E.Walk gave that sucker a perfect 10/10 score! Truth be told, with all the production delays and reshoots and release push-backs, we were starting to harbor some serious doubts. All for naught!

Question then becomes, how will FURY ROAD stack up in the pantheon of tumultuous post-apocalyptic pictures? Will is skyrocket to the top of the hill? Will it stand the test of time just as Miller’s previous MAD MAX movies have? Well, to contextualize, we thought it wise to stitch together a list of our very favorite likeminded movies in order to see just how snugly FURY ROAD fits in. You down with that? Let’s go! Forgive us if we omit the obvious…mechanic terminators and zombie outbreaks and the like. Ah hell, just smash it up top to cop a peek at our Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic Flicks! (NOTE: In the name of variety, we’ve omitted a few vital flicks included on Matt Withers’ similar Top 10 from 2009).

#1. MAD MAX TRIOLOGY (1979-1985)

Now this is what the hell we’re talking about! MAD MAX. THE ROAD WARRIOR. THUNDERDOME. Okay, so the first two, but hell, we cannot base this here honorary gala on FURY ROAD without paying homage to its cinematic siblings. Or better yet, to the mastermind behind it all, Mr. George Miller. MAD MAX was such a fresh, original, ballsy action joint to hit the scene back in ’79, but how Miller completely upped the ante with the sequel two years later in THE ROAD WARRIOR is nothing short of astounding. Truly exceptional. And while we can besmirch the franchise flattening THUNDERDOME, it clearly forced Miller to take a hard 30-year look at the drawing board and eventually gift us with, what is by all accounts, a great movie in FURY ROAD.

#2. THE OMEGA MAN (1971)

We almost went with the 21st century update of the same story, I AM LEGEND, but since Charlie “from my cold dead hands” Heston is more of a bona fide boss than Big Willy Smith, the OG tale of THE OMEGA MAN lands the nod! The real praise though should be bestowed upon the great Richard Matheson for inspiring both flicks with his original novel, one that was adapted by Mr. EXORCIST himself, William Peter Blatty for THE OMEGA MAN in 1971. You know the gist. A mysterious plague has wiped the planet of its human population, save for one man who must find answers.

#3. CHILDREN OF MEN (2006)

It’s all but impossible to convince me that CHILDREN OF MEN isn’t one of the best movies to come out in the last 10 years or so. Across the board, in every conceivable category. So when you consider what a starkly bleak portrait of future humanity director Alfonso Cuaron so masterfully realized, not to mention the compassionate turn from Clive Owen, here we are! Really though, imagine a bombed-out, war-torn future Earth where all women are rendered infertile. Unlivable! Fantastic drama rooted in real humanity, shot beautifully by now two-time consecutive Oscar winning DP Chivo Lubezki.


All props are much deserved for Chris Marker’s 1962 short LA JETEE for inspiring Terry Gilliam’s manic and maniacally brilliant TWELVE MONKEYS, a movie that wildly succeeds as both a time travel thriller and a ruinous post-apocalyptic parable. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the flick, which, if you’ve happened to clock it recently, you know holds up extremely well. Talk about a timeless glimpse at a future world stricken by deathly disease. Gilliam’s trademark verve and visual flare on wide display here to create a hellishly ransacked future Earth. Depraved and deeply disturbing.


I don’t care what you say, John Carpenter’s ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK has always felt like a unique post-apocalyptic thrill-ride to us. Only thing is, instead of a nasty globe-wiping virus or a some other catastrophic event leaving the planet in shambles, the main cause of the movie’s futuristic terror is escalated crime. Made in 1981 yet set in 1997, that Manhattan was depicted as devolving into one giant hellhole of a prison state over just 16 years says a lot about the alarming increase in arrests and over-incarceration our country now holds world records for. Leave it Carpenter to nail the social commentary, while still making one of the most-kick ass action joints ever.

#6. DAY OF THE DEAD (1985)

Call this an all encompassing salute to the entire zombie-apocalypse subgenre movies like this one, and most of George A. Romero’s work for that matter, has laid the groundwork for. But truthfully, of the all them, DAY OF THE DEAD feels less like a zombie flick and more like a true shut-in, doomsday thriller. In fact, most of the movie is a whole lot of talking inside an underground bunker. The claustrophobia, the paranoia, the cabin-fever anxiety, these are the kinds of emotions that supersede the typical brain-eating. Beyond that though, the social commentary about military experiments at the cost of citizen safety is one that is not lost on us.

#7. STALKER (1979)

Score one for the highbrow crowd! Russian auteur Andrei Tarkovsky might be best known for his time-bending space-travel flick SOLARIS, but those who’ve had the fortune of peeping the barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland of his 1979 movie STALKER knows what a fine entry to the post-apocalyptic subgenre the film truly remains to be. What a weird mind-f*ck of a movie, in typical Tarkovsky fashion. The plot follows a spiritual guide known as a Stalker who leads two men through a grey, desolate landscape known as The Zone, steering them toward a secret hope-wishing place called The Room. The best part is know we intrinsically sense something calamitous happening in the past.

#8. THE ROAD (2009)

We’re aware that a lot of peeps bemoaned the fact that THE ROAD had a dearth of out-and-out horror, but if seen through the prism of a father-son survival tale, Cormac McCarthy’s drearily grueling Pulitzer Prize winning story showcases immeasurable wisdom. And hey, you know my stance on Charlize…must see material every time out. Must. See. Throw in the ever-compelling Viggo Mortensen anchoring the action, or lulls in between, and THE ROAD becomes one of John Hillcoat’s more intimately realized depictions.

#9. THE QUIET EARTH (1985)

Have you happened to see the contemplative 1985 New Zealand film THE QUIET EARTH? If not, give it a look sometime, as it’s one of the more thought-provoking “last man on Earth” type of scenarios out there. The flick comes from director Geoff Murphy, who in 1992, would go on to helm another hellish futuristic thriller in FREEJACK. Love that flick! Both have tremendous entertainment value. As for QUIET EARTH, based on the Craig Harrison novel, the flick is the first ever science-fiction film ever made and produced in New Zealand.

#10. SNOWPIERCER (2013)

Consider this a coup for entire string of newfangled post-apocalyptic terrors to arise over the past few years. Flicks like BOOK OF ELI, THE DAY, THE DIVIDE, THE COLONY, OBLIVION, etc. But when all is said and done, only one speeds head and shoulders in front of the rest. And that’s the vivacious, highly imaginative SNOWPIERCER from Korean director Bong Joon-ho. A genuinely cool story, a wonderfully immersive production-design, and a socially poignant cautionary tale about the perils of environmental destruction.

Tags: Hollywood

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