It’s the end of the world as you know it, and you’re bored out of your mind in your bunker, so you don’t feel fine. It’s too bad that you didn’t plan ahead beyond food, water, shelter, and power. You decide to leave your bunker to forage for root beer and movies, and now you’re faced with the question: What films go with the collapse of the world’s governments and possibly the extinction of the human race? Here’s my opinion on the subject.
Misery loves company, and the only thing that will make you less miserable is someone worse off than you. Consider, for example, George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead, where we follow a group of survivors during the zombie apocalypse. As long as you’re still breathing, you’re better off than those folks. The ultimate feel-good zombie movie is Zombieland. Unlike most zombie films, such as 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, it is not simply about survival — it also has a quest. No, the quest isn’t destroying an ancient evil artifact in a distant volcano — it’s finding the last Twinkies in a land populated by a hungry, mindless horde.
Three end of the world movies I would watch are: The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man, and I Am Legend, all of which are based on Richard Matheson’s classic novel I Am Legend. Each movie is the same story of a doomed man in a doomed world, and the variations show the differences of the times that created them.
Before Mel Gibson’s career suffered a self-induced apocalypse, he made three Mad Max movies that might serve as distraction to your current situation: Mad Max, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (not to be confused with Braveheart, which can also be called The Woad Warrior), and Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome.
Another end of days classic is On the Beach. Its title might make you think of a Gidget movie, but it definitely does not feature singing or surfing. On the Beach is the tale of the crew of the USS Sawfish and the people of Melbourne Australia as they await the winds of change, bringing death in the form of radioactive fallout. All in all, it’s a really miserable time for all involved.
Don’t pick anything produced or directed by J.J. Abrams; it’s because of him that the next Star Trek movie isn’t due out until after the Mayan Apocalypse. I’d also avoid light romantic comedies; after all, what do the people in those movies have to complain about? Odds are, in the real world, potential love interests have the bird flu or radiation poisoning, or zombies are debating whether their brains go better with white or red wine.
Post your apocalypse movie picks in the discussion. Don’t wait too long — December 21, 2012 will be here before you know it.