10 Utterly Bleak Post Apocalyptic Movie Worlds
It's the end of the world as we know it. And I feel grim.
World shattering events that wipe out most of humanity are not exactly big on fun. Nevertheless, not all apocalypses are created equal.
Sometimes that cloud of the ashes of a dead civilisation has a silver lining. The dystopian future may not be bright, but it's not always so gloomy that you never see the sun. Maybe you can finally get a bit of peace and quiet to read all those books you've been meaning to. Or perhaps the End of Days gives you a chance to hang out with Bill Murray.
Then, on the other hand, there are those situations where armageddon was just the beginning and each step from there just gets worse. The ones where those reading plans are shattered like the glasses you need to see them and you accidentally gun down Bill Murray thinking he's the revenant dead.
It's that second kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare we're concerned with here. Worlds coated in pollution and nuclear fallout, cities in ruin, and marauding gangs in what looks suspiciously like bondage gear; places where it's often a straight choice between starvation and cannibalism. In short, dystopias of unrelenting bleakness.
So, if your response to the latest real world crisis isn't fluffy escapism, but rather to reach for how it could be much, much worse, have we got ten post-apocalyptic movie worlds for you!
10. Mad Max
George Miller's gas-guzzling Ozploitation dystopian series remains for many the template for a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Its vision of civilisation collapsed into a survival-of-the-fittest scrap between savage gangs fighting over scant resources has been relocated to a flooded globe (Waterworld) or to just north of the border (Doomsday). But Max's wasteland remains the one to beat.
Really, though, the original Mad Max was less of a post-apocalyptic movie than one about a world teetering on the brink. It wasn't until sequel The Road Warrior that the full apocalyptic badlands were introduced.
In fact, if you take the four-movie series as being a single ongoing narrative then society descends absurdly rapidly within a generation from a place with some semblance of traditional law and order into a barren desert where engine worshipping cultists and mutants hoard the last of all the water.
Perhaps, then, it's better to view the Mad Max series as a set of different riffs on post-apocalypse petrol heads than a coherent extended mythology. Whether it's The Road Warrior or Fury Road, though, Miller's post-apocalyptic nightmare imagination is one that has connected with film fans across the generations.