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Old 30-11-2008, 11:02   #1
Jonnof
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end of the world movies

Once in a while, I like to indulge my fascination with the bleaker end of science fiction, and plough through a few films (from the 60s and 70s in particular) which look - with varying degrees of hysteria - at the worst kinds of future.

Anyway, I'm on one such dystopian kick at the moment, and wondered if anyone had any recommendations for my not-especially-festive film festival?
I've just done Soylent Green and Panic in Year Zero (the latter for the first time, via a very cheap R1 release, and it's actually pretty ace!)
Next I'm on to On the Beach and The Bed Sitting Room (this is a first timer as well).

I guess most of these are bomb-oriented, but a fair few are based on environmental catastrophes and the like, so fallout isn't a prerequisite! So what am I missing? Bonus points for really obscure stuff, or anything that uses stock footage of mushroom clouds...
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Old 30-11-2008, 11:14   #2
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If you've got Panic in Year Zero (a cracking movie and Milland pulls off a minor miracle considering the budget he had) you must also have The Last Man on Earth. That and its remake The Omega Man spring to mind.
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Old 30-11-2008, 11:22   #3
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If you've got Panic in Year Zero (a cracking movie and Milland pulls off a minor miracle considering the budget he had) you must also have The Last Man on Earth. That and its remake The Omega Man spring to mind.
The Last Man on Earth is the film that Will Smith's I Am Legend never was (I was bitterly disappointed with I Am Legend: the story was all there for them to film and they chose to film that nonsense!).
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Old 30-11-2008, 11:53   #4
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If you're including On The Beach, you're also interested in how we arrived at the end of the world. I recommend The World, The Flesh And The Devil which may well be hard to locate and The Day The Earth Caught Fire.

Both films are really interesting.
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Old 30-11-2008, 11:59   #5
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Peter Watkins's The War Game (1966) was commissioned by the BBC and was then deemed too disturbing for transmission, so it went out to cinemas; Lord of the Flies (1964) is a slightly off-the-wall choice and there's always Dr Strangelove, The Bedford Incident and Fail Safe.
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Old 30-11-2008, 12:22   #6
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Of course! Didn't think to mention Last Man on Earth - it certainly is on the B-side of the Panic disc (seriously, pick this double bill up if you haven't already - they're both great films and very respectable transfers).

Omega Man already has pride of place on my guilty favourites list - Matheson may wonder why they bothered with it, but it has infinitely more class than anything Big Willy's venture has to offer (and I can't get enough of that score...)

I remember Day the Earth Caught Fire from YEARS ago - sort of thing Channel 4 used to put on in the afternoons. The DVD looks promising, might well have a look at reaquainting myself!

You're right about The World, The Flesh And The Devil though - it is hard to find. Looks like TCM might show it occasionally (not in the near future, though...)
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Old 30-11-2008, 12:31   #7
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Originally Posted by Wendell Armbruster View Post
Peter Watkins's The War Game (1966) was commissioned by the BBC and was then deemed too disturbing for transmission, so it went out to cinemas; Lord of the Flies (1964) is a slightly off-the-wall choice and there's always Dr Strangelove, The Bedford Incident and Fail Safe.
Ah yes, The War Game - that would fit in nicely (of course, that also raises the Threads option, but do I really want to do that to myself again? ) Didn't realise TWG had a theatrical release - was that in the UK?

Never thought of LotF as fitting into this category before, but it's a good idea, as are all the Cold War suggestions - I don't know Bedford Incident at all, so that should be well worth a look.

Does anyone know if the R2 Boy and His Dog is any good? Hard to find details on that release...
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Old 30-11-2008, 12:47   #8
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Zero Population Growth! Zero Population Growth!
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Old 30-11-2008, 12:59   #9
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Good, is it?

Seems there's an R1 of that - would be a blind-ish buy, but sounds like it's up my alley...

Can't find No Blade of Grass anywhere
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:18   #10
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there's always Dr Strangelove, The Bedford Incident and Fail Safe.
How could I have forgotten The Bedford Incident! A great movie for sure.
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:23   #11
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Have run the 1963 Lord of the Flies very recently and it's a remarkably good adaptation. It is a sort of end of the world movie, in the sense that its view of human nature is apocalyptic.

Planet of the Apes (1968) also comes to mind, along with its first sequel (which ends on a note very relevant to the title of this thread).
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:24   #12
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Good, is it?

Seems there's an R1 of that - would be a blind-ish buy, but sounds like it's up my alley...
Ah, no it's not really , but it has plenty of kitsch value.
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:32   #13
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Omega Man already has pride of place on my guilty favourites list - Matheson may wonder why they bothered with it, but it has infinitely more class than anything Big Willy's venture has to offer (and I can't get enough of that score...)

Ron Grainer's score
Just sublime, isnt it?
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:47   #14
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Don't get him started on Ron Grainer - he drives around with it blaring on the stereo. Hopefully, he doesn't have an MP40 on the passenger seat, though.
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:55   #15
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Don't get him started on Ron Grainer - he drives around with it blaring on the stereo.
So I'm not the only sad git then!
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Old 30-11-2008, 14:09   #16
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You mock me now, just don't come crying to me when I'm the only survivor of TEH APOCALYPSE!!!!!!11 and you're a pasty muto-vamp.

Yes, we really do need to include the Apes (particularly while we're on the inevitable Chuck tangent) but really, I've never needed an excuse to watch those (are Blu-ray players down to the £100 mark yet, btw?)
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Old 30-11-2008, 14:17   #17
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Funnel your £40-a-month pick'n'mix budget in the purchase and you're there.
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Old 30-11-2008, 14:43   #18
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This genre goes back a long way. There's a fascinating early sci-fi double-feature from the Danish Film Institute including the 1916 silent The End of the World.

And don't forget Abel Gance's crazy La Fin du Monde (1931) - including a last-minute mass orgy - though as far as I know it's only available in the drastically reduced US version re-titled Paris After Dark from exploitation specialists Something Weird.

Last edited by Jonathan; 30-11-2008 at 14:45.
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Old 30-11-2008, 18:49   #19
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Well, I just had The Bed Sitting Room on - quite an unsettling experience, really.

It seems that the makers either felt that the serious post-apocalypse genre was already tapped out, or that the only sensible way to approach the subject was with comedy anyway (I don't know much about the original play, and how much of it found its way to the screen version). Either way, it's a rather uncomfortable union.

Still, the desolation is extremely well-realised - a convincing view of a world where only rubbish remains, quite reminiscent of Besson's Dernier Combat, only with wackier characters...
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Old 01-12-2008, 20:31   #20
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Teenage Cave Man and Five, both from the 50's.

Last edited by Todd Tomorrow; 01-12-2008 at 20:32.
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