Five Films for the End of the World

We’re living in some perilous times with a great deal of uncertainty. As we all curl up into tight little balls and recite T.S. Elliot—”This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends.”—let’s take a look at some post-apocalyptic films with unique visions of what happens after everything goes to shit.

1) Night of the Comet

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As a comet passes by Earth, nearly everyone is turned to dust. Sisters Reggie and Sam survive, and begin to look for other survivors in Southern California. Threats abound from both zombie-like survivors mutated by the comet and government scientists who definitely do not have the sisters’ best interests in mind. This film is the lightest one on the list, one you can truly “enjoy” in all it’s 80s glory.

2) A Boy and His Dog

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Vic and his telepathic dog Blood traverse the wasteland of the Southwest, scavenging to survive. They stumble upon a bunker and soon discover a hidden society of survivors whose colony is not as idyllic as it first appears. The film is adapt from a novella by famed author Harlan Ellison.

3) No Blade of Grass

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The perfect film to show you just how quickly society can crumble. Following a plague and an ensuing global famine, a family of London survivors attempt to make their way to refuge in Scotland. This film is a nasty piece of exploitation packaged as social commentary. It’s violent and sometimes hard to watch, but a distinct and powerful film that’s worth your time.

4) Café Flesh

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Yes, Café Flesh is a hardcore porn. After a nuclear apocalypse, 99% of the population cannot have sex without becoming violently ill (they’re called Negatives). Those who still can have sex (Positives) are forced to work in clubs, performing sex acts for the viewing pleasure of everyone who cannot. The film centers on a Negative couple growing apart as they frequent the club, as the emotional toll of the sexless relationship and a hidden secret one is hiding stands to drive them apart.

5) Time of the Wolf (Le temps du loup)

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Austrian director Michael Haneke excels crafting films that will make you feel like shit. Perhaps the mildest of his works, Time of the Wolf features Isabelle Huppert as a mother traveling with her two children as they look for uncontaminated water and shelter following an undisclosed civilization-ending disaster. The film is quiet and reflective as the salvation the family hopes for grows increasingly distant.

And now I’m wondering why it was so easy to craft a list of post-apocalyptic films (I even had some difficult narrowing it down to five) when not a single Utopian film comes to mind. Perhaps I’ll have to explore that in another post soon. Until then, happy watching!