Loved Mad Max? Check Out These Underrated Post-Apocalyptic Movies
Since Mad Max and its outstanding visuals are on everyone's lips right now, we figured we would up you on some other great movies in the post-apocalyptic subgenre of sci-fi cinema. Here we explore 10 films set after an Earth apocalypse that haven't gotten the attention they deserve.
This was Fox’s other big budget sci-fi movie of 1977 that featured Mark Hamill. However, unlike Star Wars, you probably haven't seen this once, let alone 5-10 times. Much like Fritz the Cat was director Ralph Bakshi's ode to comix icon Robert R. Crumb, Wizards was his tribute to counter-culture cartoonist Vaughn Bode. If the name Bode is not ringing any bells, he heavily influenced graffiti, and was the creator of the character Cheech Wizard.
Incredible French directing duo Jeunet + Caro (City of the Lost Children) introduced their quirky brand of cinema to the world with this very unique take on post-apocalyptic behavior. While they had already made short films together for more than a decade, Delicatessen was their first feature-length. Sadly, these two auteurs parted ways after 1997's Alien: Resurrection.
The Road was bleak and depressing, but still a damn good movie. It may just be the most realistic post-apocalyptic future we've seen on screen yet. Viggo Mortensen gave an amazing performance as a father willing to do anything to protect his son. And while this wasn't Kodi Smit-McPhee's first film, it was the one that marked him as a young actor to watch. After a great turn in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, he will next be seen in the highly-anticipated X-Men: Apocalypse. This kid is like the poster boy for the apocalypse.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Not that the Planet of the Apes franchise is all that obscure, but most are familiar with the original and are not likely to be able to name the films that round out the trilogy. The first sequel to the cult classic, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, is especially bizarre and fun. In this continuation of a future where apes have evolved and rule over a savage tribe of man, we meet a hidden cult of mutant psychics that worship a nuclear rocket. Need I say more?
This under-appreciated CG movie started in 2005 as a short student film by Shane Acker. It must have impressed more than the likes of myself and the audience I saw it with at a film festival, because Acker ended up getting the backing of Tim Burton (Dark Shadows) and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) to flesh out the dark world he introduced.
This story of a future utopian society that culls its citizens once they reach 30, had some original sci-fi ideas that are still being borrowed today. You will definitely see echoes of Minority Report in the relationship between police officers Logan and Francis.
Fun fact: Musicians Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and Brian Reitzell released a concept album titled Logan's Sanctuary in 2000. It was their own audio sequel to the cult film.
City of Ember
Bill Murray movies don't usually slip under the radar, but this one seemed to. It was adapted from a series of teen books, and so, was marketed toward the Harry Potter crowd. The high production value and elaborate sets alone make this worth a watch. Throw in Murray, Toby Jones (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and Tim Robbins (Mystic River), and you wonder how this didn't get more love.
Everyone knows Charlton Heston's post-apoc classics Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green, but this lesser known picture posed that he was "the last man on Earth". You can bet Will Forte's recent Fox comedy The Last Man On Earth takes a lot of its cues from this '70s brilliance.
Book of Eli
This Hughes Brothers-directed post-apocalyptic Western didn't rake in nearly enough to justify the $80-mil budget. And let's not beat around the bush, it is basically black Mad Max...but there are some glorious fight scenes and one-liners. We should point out that this was screenwriter Gary Whitta's (Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One) first feature film.
Talk about underrated. This fan-favorite film is underrated in two genres of film: superhero and post-apocalyptic. It inspired a petition online signed by 125,000+ to get a sequel made, and strong home entertainment numbers seemed like they might make Karl Urban donning the helmet again a reality. If you haven't seen this visceral flick yet, imagine a very dark future where ghettos are completely enclosed and can be locked down.
Fun fact: One of the producers behind this film, Adi Shankar, is the same producer responsible for the "Bootleg Universe" (Dirty Laundry; Power/Rangers). Knowing a Dredd sequel wasn't in the cards, he rewarded fans' support with an online Judge Dredd animated series.
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