10 Movie Dystopias That Should've Happened By Now

1997: New York is now a maximum security prison...

Escape From New York Poster
AVCO Embassy Pictures

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is two minutes to midnight. The Doomsday Clock is ticking and in 2017 the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.”

Unless our elected representatives act wisely and guide us away from the brink, the Board cautions, global danger looms.

We are so screwed.

In the wake of the inevitable apocalypse, women and children will be led away to “re-education camps” where they’re stripped of their possessions before being turned into smoothies. The men will be forced into combat against Reptilian gladiators armed with chainsaws. And Gerard Butler will start shooting Angel Has Fallen, the long-awaited sequel to London Has Fallen.

Looking on the bright side, we can at least content ourselves with the knowledge that we held off the apocalypse for so long. Hollywood was always telling us that The Big One was just around the next corner so before we disappear from the planet we can all look back and marvel at those movie dystopias that never happened.

10. Barb Wire

Escape From New York Poster
Gramercy Pictures

Pamela Anderson plays Barb Wire, a bar owner/bounty hunter living in Steel Harbor, which in 2017 is “a place marked by chaos and crime, providing a home for a new kind of mercenary.”

The Second American Civil War is underway, the Capitol building lies in ruins and democracy has been overthrown by a tyrannical group called the “Congressional Directorate”, who wear fascist uniforms to let you know they mean business. Every city in the country is under martial law except Steel Harbor, so if you’re disenchanted with the America of 2017 and looking to cross into Canada, here’s where you come.

“Inspired” by Casablanca, the plot has Pam attempt to arrange safe passage for a former flame, which leads to all the shootouts, explosions and car chases the Bogart movie left out. The film is basically a Democrat’s idea of how a Trump presidency might play out: the white nationalists are in charge, the liberals want to emigrate and from the moment Pam is hosed down in slow motion during the opening credits, the casual sexism comes thick and fast.


Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'