The Mayans may have just punked us for armageddon so we thought it might be best to get our favorite post-apocalyptic films online just in case they forgot daylight savings. Sure the Mayans brought us corn and mayonaise but they could have never predicted these films of the apocalypse. So without further ado, here’s our mutant editor’s picks.
Di-Anne Takillya’s Pick: “Escape from New York”
Escape From New York: My favorite above all other post-apocalyptic movies; The president’s plane has crash-landed in the New York penal colony, and they’ve gotta get him out! But how? Send in the ultimate in bad-assery, Snake Plissken! The eyepatch wearin’, scruffy-cheeked, leather-clad assassin is basically shanghaied by the government to go get the President back. He’s given a glider, a tracker, and a gun, then dropped over the fence. He meets up with a cabbie who runs the streets like the Devil hisseself is at his heels, and joins forces with The Brain and Adrienne Barbeau to pry the president from the clutches of The Duke. (Who, incidentally, is A-Number 1, and don’t you forget it!) Chock full of fights, sneaking around, and horrible (early) computer graphics, you get your top-secret cassette tape’sworth out of this flick. I watch this movie almost religiously; which is getting rough on my liver, because if you watch the movie like I do, you take a drink every time someone says, “Snake,” “Plissken,” “Duke,” or “President.”
I can’t go this whole time without mentioning that Donald Plesance plays the president, and you can tell that Dr. Loomis has done very well for himself, except for now The Duke is holding him for ransom, and The Duke is one bad mother- Shut your mouth! Hey, I’m just talking about The Duke! He’s debasing and humiliating the president, and that just won’t be tolerated! The Snake… Plisskin busts him loose, and the chase is on! Blam, boom, POW! The president is safe, long live democracy! A happy, or at least as happy an ending as John Carpenter will allow, which I think is good when the apocalypse is going down. At least there aren’t any aliens or the anti-Christ!
Tiger Sixon’s Pick: “The Road Warrior”
Resource scarcity is a scary thing, be it water, Twinkies, or as Road Warrior (aka Mad Max 2) warns us, clothing. Wait, I mean gasoline. There seems to be a shortage of pants as well for some reason, as leather underwear is pretty much the standard workplace attire. As a post-apocalyptic fable, Road Warrior nails it: civilization has gone to hell (at least in Australia. Things might be slightly better in Milwaukee), gasoline is worth more than gold, and it is survival of the fittest.
And like any great b-movie, Road Warrior has a villain wearing a goalie mask: The Humungus. He speaks a bit more than Jason too, or heck even Max himself. That’s right, Mel Gibson, back before he went off the deep end, only has about four lines. Maybe five an’ half. I ain’t counting grunts an’ groans neither. That would probably bump him up to about ten.
Survival is a main theme of Road Warrior, as in bein’ able to survive on what ya can. If that means eatin’ dog food, so be it. If that means picking over corpses for music boxes, OK. And if’n that means having to sew yer own leather jackets or underoos, then go for it. Yes, Road Warrior is pretty much a documentary survival. Except super-violent and full of desolation. But, if you look past all the sand, blood, and leather, Road Warrior teaches ya a few things.
The most important of which might be: “Don’t try to catch a razor sharp boomerang with yer bare hands.”
Tiger Sixon says, Road Warrior is a must watch.
General Relativity’s Pick: “Waterworld.”
I am from the future, so to me what you call a “post-apocalyptic thriller” is what I would call a “documentary.” Of these, Waterworld most accurately portrays the poisoned ecological hellscape you people have inflicted upon my present. Sure, they laughed at Kevin Costner back in 1995, but now that your cities are flooding, and the fish and polar bears are dying, and the rains have stopped, I don’t see anyone giggling. Just wait until the fish-people start showing up.
Also, “Waterworld” is hilarious. I mean, the dude drinks his pee. And there is our dearly departed Dennis Hopper in a performance second only to his turn in “Super Mario Brothers.” And Jane Tripplehorn was at her hottest in 1995. And how did those horses survive on Everest? Wouldn’t the Yetis rule the Earth? These questions aside, I recommend you start saving up your dirt to use as money, because you want to be in the 1% when the ice caps flood and the evil jet ski pirates show up for your trimaran. Dry land is not a myth!
The Doktor’s Pick: “Hell Comes to Frogtown”
Michael Stipe said it best when he said, “Everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.” Personally that song gives me the diarrhea (cha, cha, cha), but that’s neither here nor there.
Speaking of painful colonic discharge, how’s about that Mayan end o’ the world stuff? If this is the end of the world, I feel fine. Mostly because the end is like every other day. Mostly.
What would be awesome is if the end of the world was exactly like Hell Comes to Frogtown. The frog mutant creatures would be a bummer, but getting chauffeured in a 50’s panel van with a M60 machine gun, piloted by Sandahl “Valeria” Bergman and Cec Verrell would more than make up for it.
Here’s the gist: Nuclear war mutates frogs into mutant frog men creatures, sterilizes most of humanity and kills off most of the men. Into this arena comes a man, Sam Hell (Roddy “Hot Rod” Piper). Naturally, it’s his duty to get up in that boo— I, erhm, mean, he is sought after for his milk of mannesia, as it were, by the provisional government to help bolster the human population. The only problem is, the fertile virgins he has to impregnate are in the clutches of Commander Toty, the evil leader of the greenies, a derogatory term for the frog people. So Sam, Spangle and Centinella have to make a trip to Frogtown to get ‘em back. Can he do it? Hell yeah! It’s Roddy “Nada” Piper. Duh!
Giallo Goon’s Pick: “Future Force”
In the distant future 1991, so the distant future about twenty years ago, crime was at an all time high. The cops are no longer in control, so they were sold to a corporation (no, not OCP) who then rounded up the rootinest, tootenest rowdy bounty hunters there ever were. They were judge, jury and executioners. They were known as Judges… oh, sorry. I was thinking of a better movie. These dupes are known as COPS. I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, so they fired the cops and formed COPS?” Yup. Civilian Operated Police… Something. I can’t really remember what the ‘S’ stood for. So why wouldn’t they just give the police more power or declare martial law? Look, it’s all very complicated, but in a few words, you wouldn’t have David Carradine drunkenly beat people up. Carradine plays the lone wolf on a justice mission, John Tucker. He has the quickest draw and the meanest attitude. Cleary a healthy candidate to be dishing out lethal justice.
So in a huge shocking twist, turns out the CEO of this corporation (we are going to call them Evil Co), is *choke* *gasp* a bad guy! A TV reporter who will later become the pale, pasty love interest to Tucker, catches wind of all his wrong doings. A bounty is put on her head and Tucker intercepts her, only to learn the truth. Together, they fight through waves of mulleted thugs and misinformed mulleted COPS and finally take on the villain himself in the ultimate battle of good and evil. Tucker does this with the most advanced form of weaponry: A remote controlled, groin socking, laser shooting power glove! This advanced piece of death technology is at Tucker’s disposable whenever he needs, which is like twice. He could seriously use it all the time and it would save him so much trouble, but he only uses it at the beginning to show off his cool toys and then at the end to remind you so you go, ‘Oh yeah, I thought he had that thing.’ Nothing can stop him. Not the hundreds of thousands of bullets shot by machine guns, snipers, grenades, thugs with knives, people punching him in his doughy mid section or literally the dozens of jack booted thugs in leather vests that pile drive him. Nothing will stop Tucker from getting to the ultimate truth: That he was once in Kung Fu.
So if you like seeing ripped denim and eye patched thugs with the coolest hair styles in a post apocalyptic 90’s (sorry, Full House has been canceled… perminately!) or watching a drunken David Carradine phone in a performance and stumble around and slur cheesy one liners all to hair feathering 90’s rock, then Future Force is for you!
Oh and the best part… there is a sequel, Future Zone!
Barry Goodall’s Pick: “Zardoz”
Some movies make perfect sense. Movies like “the Godfather” , “Star Wars” or “Breaking 2: Electric Boogalloo” But others take you to a whole new level of weird and incomprehensible. A place where reality and time don’t matter. A dimension where you’ll find the movies like “Zardoz” waiting for you.
But what exactly is a Zardoz? Well, it’s not a new cholesterol drug but it could have some of the same long lasting side effects.. dizziness, upset stomach, a lost of free will. It could have been a 80’s hairband since it contains many of the same outfits. Zardoz is actually a giant floating head that upchucks guns and ammo to aborigines like an NRA bulimic. Sean Connery is our post apocalyptic hero in a leather man-kini who hides inside the giant noggin’ and shoots the pilot right above his drawn on mustache. Why? because he’s James Bond wearing hooker boots that’s why!
The head flies him to the Vortex, a land of cellophaned house plants and lazy immortals needing Viagara. That’s where he’s kept as a pet forced to watch 70’s porn and have tests performed on him, usually involving sharp things poked at his crotch. He escapes to a retirement home where a bunch of old people can’t die but are forced to listen to ragtime music and wear their prom outfits for eternity. Feeling sorry for all the old folk, He invites his aboriginal friends into the vortex to put them out of their misery. Oh, and there’s boobies…lots of boobies. So much nudity I felt overdressed watching it. At some point in the film Sean Connery wears a full on wedding gown… I passed out from shock & horror, “Double oh please make this stop!” Yes, this movie was bad but it was based on the Wizard of Oz book which makes perfect sense if you’re taking experimental drugs living in a 70’s commune. Barry Goodall says check it out and If you feel the same way then congratulations, you’ve been Zardozed. Now go get a job you dirty hippy.