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The Best Apocalyptic Movies Of The Last 50 Years

Hollywood has given us many interpretations of what our world might look like when the end finally comes. Check out some of our favorite dystopian movies from the last half-century and tune in to Doomsday Preppers Tuesdays at 9/8c to see how people are preparing for the big event.

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1. The Road (2009)

The Road is about a bunch of nameless people wandering around a cannibalistic hellscape. It's not to be confused with Tyler Perry's The Road, that featured a bunch of nameless people wandering around a cannibalistic hellscape, except most of them were men in fat suits pretending to be women.

2. 28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later is a zombie movie whose primary tension comes from the fact that, as the British don't enjoy our great American right to own up to 500 guns per household, they have to fight for survival with bon mots and droll observations about food.

3. When Worlds Collide (1951)

This mid-century telling of the end of the world involves a planet named Alpha crashing into the solar system, causing cataclysmic damage on the planet Earth and proving once and for all that Alphas are really difficult to reason with.

4. Dr. Strangelove (1964)


The Cold War dark comedy Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb was made by Stanley Kubrick when a friend dared him to use "nuclear destruction of all life" as a punchline.

5. I Am Legend (2007)

I Am Legend stars Will Smith and was originally supposed to be a musical with a cast of hundreds, but this was at the peak of Will Smith's popularity, so they could only afford his salary and the salary of a few zombie-vampire extras (who all worked non-union).

6. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)


Mad Max serves both as an entertaining post-apocalyptic action movie and as dead-on foreshadowing of Mel Gibson's mental state several decades later.

7. Logan's Run (1976)

Logan's Run is a futuristic film in which all human interaction is controlled by machines. When they turn 30, residents of this futuristic world must undergo a ritual in which they are vaporized for a chance of coming back anew. Hey, at least it's probably cheaper than plastic surgery!

8. Blade Runner (1982)


Blade Runner is a film based in Los Angeles in the year 2019 and if the Kardashians keep reproducing, chances are the apocalypse will come to LA first, whenever it does arrive.

9. 12 Monkeys (1995)

12 Monkeys isn't about 9, 10, or even 12 monkeys for that matter - but rather time travel to and from a dystopian future time, where elephants roam free amongst city ruins and Brad Pitt has one very wonky eye.

10. On The Beach (1959)

On The Beach is a film which depicts the devastation of the northern hemisphere by nuclear fallout from WWIII, causing the Earth's residents to flee to Australia. By the time they make it there however, there are no longer any shrimp left to throw on the barbie.

11. Waterworld (1995)

Waterworld is a movie that showed that no matter the scope of tragedy and change in an uncaring universe, Kevin Costner will still be taken seriously as an actor.

12. Armageddon (1998)

Armageddon featured no actual armageddon, which is like buying a box that says "TACOS" on the outside and when you open it you see tacos but as you bring a taco to your lips it disappears and an Aerosmith guitar wail blares in the distance.

13. Planet of the Apes (1968)

Planet of the Apes had a big surprise ending, which was that the Rosebud was actually Kevin Spacey and he was a ghost all along or something.

14. Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men took place in a near-future dystopia where there are no children and the babysitting and airline-earplug industries have collapsed, threatening the very fabric of society itself.

15. Escape From New York (1981)

Escape from New York was actually cut together from amateur real-life tourist footage of a very frustrated Kurt Russell trying to ask commuters in Times Square how to get to Bryant Park.