Apocalyptic movies you probably haven’t seen …
By: Peter Jason
I will be your guide through The Cineverse, a vast collective of anything and everything that is Movies. Today is brought to you by The Apocalypse, the dreaded End is Nigh scenario that we all think about, right? I’m pretty confident in saying that each one of you has seen an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic (apoc/post-apoc) movie in some form or another. If not I suggest Googling “Apocalyptic movies” click “I’m Feeling lucky” and blindly choose any of the movies that show up as a result. The chances of picking a bad movie is few and far between, and even if you do, the movie is probably bad enough it has become a cult classic. But I digress, it is my job to dive deeper into the pits of radioactive road rage and flesh eating cannibals to bring to your attention movies that may have flown under your radar over the last couple decades. If by chance you have seen any of these films, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back, you get a gold sticker for stepping outside the box office norms and branching out to discover something new and different. So grab your goggles, leather jackets, and sawed-off shotguns because here we go folks.
In a not too distant future, an attempt to end global warming results in a second Ice Age, leaving the last of humanity aboard a super-train traveling the span of the globe. In an effort to take over the engine, one man risks everything to lead a final revolt that could change the course of mankind’s future, forever.
Why it is on the list:
A post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller staring Chris Evans (Captain America), John Hurt (Doctor Who) and Tilda Swinton (Constantine), if that already doesn’t peak your interest then feel free to read on. What’s great about Snowpiercer is that it doesn’t rely on huge budget to draw you in, as most of the movie takes place in the interior of the train. With an absurd concept, an amazing cast, beautiful cinematography and an ever escalating claustrophobic tension that builds from the start, Korean Director Bong Joon-Ho’s approach just makes this movie work. While at times the movie can be a bit predictable, it does not fail to keep your attention with the visually stunning action scenes and unexpected humor. The film spares no expense on it’s all too real social commentary, something rarely seen in US Cinema today. Snowpiercer takes you on an emotional ride and in the end may leave you just as troubled with humanity’s sense of morals as it does with hope for humanity itself.
Six-String Samurai (1998)
In 1957 the United States lost the war with Russia resulting in an America that is now a desolate wasteland. Decades later in wake of Elvis Presley’s death, Buddy, a lone Swordsman with a Six String, travels to “Lost Vegas” battling mutants, cannibals and Death himself, determined to claim the title of “The King.”
Why it is on the list:
Martial Arts, Rock n’ Roll, and radioactive badlands, throw in everything that makes a B-Movie great, and you get an interesting Spaghetti Western/Kung Fu mash up with a soundtrack by The Red Elvises. What more could you ask for in an post-apoc movie? Six String Samurai is definitely far from Oscar material, but the cinematography alone, which won the Slamdance Festival in 1998, is definitely worth noting. While the acting may be sub-par and filled with unfamiliars, the film’s underlying thematic elements and ode to the classics have notably left viewers with a feeling of a Rock ‘n Roll Mad Max meets Wizard of Oz. Fans of the post-apocalyptic genre should definitely experience Six String Samurai in all its Rock n’ Roll glory at least once. Also if you didn’t catch it the first time around, music by The Red Elvises, a Russian-American Rockabilly band, that alone should be reason enough to see the movie.
Book of Eli (2010)
Thirty years after war turned the world into a wasteland, a drifter named Eli travels west across the ruined landscape, carrying hope for humanity’s redemption. Only one other man understands the power of what Eli carries, and he is determined to take it for himself at any cost, but soon he realizes that Eli will risk his life in order to protect the sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.
Why it is on the list
In this post-apoc neo-western(I just love how diverse the apoc genre can get), Denzel Washington (Man on Fire) plays Eli, a nomadic warrior on a mission traveling westward to protect and deliver a book. Why you might ask? Because a voice in his head told him to. Now I won’t go much into the subject, but I’m sure the film’s title and reference to an important book, give you an insight to why it is held with such a high value. That being said, the combination of the Hughes brothers vivid imagery mixed with a top notch cast, brings a light to this movie that does a great job keeping your attention. Even if some of the scenes come across as down right impossible, you still accept them and move on because you want to see where this movie goes. Gary Oldman (The Fifth Element) as the big baddie Carnegie completes the balance to Washington’s peaceful yet deadly Eli. The Book of Eli is a movie that can be easily overlooked, but given the chance you wont be disappointed.
The Signal (2007)
On the eve of the New Year, the city of Terminus falls prey to a mysterious transmission that pulses through all electronic devices and transforms rational, sane people into murderous, rampaging psychopaths. Ben (The Crazies) fights his way through chaotic streets in hope to rescue the woman he loves.
Why it is on the list
We have all heard this story, right? Boy meets Girl, Boy falls for Girl, Boy must race through a city filled with homicidal maniacs to find and rescue girl. No? Oh, well up until this I have discussed post-apocalyptic movies, where the world is nothing more than a shadow of it’s former self. While most viewers have classified this as a psychological horror, The Signal brings a new take on a world ending scenario. No zombies, no nukes, just a signal broadcasted through out all forms of technology that has the potential to turn anyone into a raging psychopathic acting on their primal desires. I’m not going to lie, deep down the film is a love story, but the road it takes to get there is a bloody and fun one. Throughout the movie it’s clear that ‘The Signal’ effects everyone in a different way, which really starts to make you question every characters sanity. Separated by 3 different stories or ‘Transmissions.’ Each story was shot and written by a different Director, while at times the tone of the movie makes it a little awkward, the overall arc comes together nicely. I tend to really enjoy collaborative movies, and this one is no different. In the end The Signal may leave you with mixed feels, but I think that is kind of the point.
Well that’s it. Short and sweet. I’m sure you wondering why I failed to mention any zombie flicks, and that is mostly due to them being a default go to for any apocalyptic movie. I wanted to introduce you to movies that are more outside of the ‘norm’ while still staying true to their roots. Now get out there and watch some movies!
By: Peter Jason