Saturday, 14 November 2009

Top 5: Apocalypse movies

In the spirit of Roland Emmerich's latest orgy of destruction, I decided to look back at the best end of the world hypotheticals that came before. And to be honest a large percentage of them are quite shite. Unlike the Post-apocalyptic movie, which has a far better track record because it runs through themes of isolation that many of us in our pre-destroyed world can relate to, The present tense apocalypse movie is nine out of ten times about blowing shit up. Full stop. Its a disaster movie with excess. But hey there are some exceptions to the general rule of banality and here they are.

5) Akira
This is one of those movies where you have no idea what the fuck is going on, but the ride is so good you really don't care. Apocalyptic themes run throughout though, in what might be the best non-Miyazaki Anime movie. An ADD ridden, truly insane film, but one you'll remember for a long time.

4)Children Of Men
A particularly clever high concept end of the world movie, in which rather then asteroids or aliens that bring us to our end, its infertility. And for the most part the film works a treat, with a genuinely terrifying and mystifyingly plausible hook at its core. Its fantastically put together too, with one of the most memorable action sequences we've seen in a long time.

3) Dr Strangelove
Given the general reaction to this movie by my generation on blogs and in word of mouth, it appears to have dated quite badly, with many younger people left amiss. But for me it still works, and possibly the only movie to draw such humor from nuclear war and its reasoning. Features one of legendary comedian Peter Sellers best performances too.

2) Dawn of the Dead
I feel like I feature George Romero movies just way too often on these countdowns, but whatever because they seem to fit a lot of parameters of list-making. Where as the first movie, although devastatingly effective, is relatively insular and its only in Dawn do we expand our focus to see the true meaning of zombie apocalypse. Similarly terrifying and exhilarating. And a particularly charming selection of picture on my part, no?

1) Twelve Monkeys
OK, so this is a slight cheat, what with there being some Post-apocalyptic bits, but thanks to the wonders of time travel the movie primarily takes place in the present where Bruce Willis struggles to prevent the seemingly inevitable with painfully effective consequences.

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