In the lens of Hollywood, the world of tomorrow can be portrayed in variations that are as terrifying as they are accidentally comedic. Be it a Costner that flops or a Cameron that pops, we dare you to heed these seven Horrific Visions of a Nuclear Apocalypse in Movies.
This is a world that is dark and gritty enough that you can stand Ernest Borgnine as a cartoonish cab driver. I mean, Borgnine appears and saves the day. That’s bananas. Nobody saves Snake Plissken’s skin, let alone some Borgnine. The landscape is also ruled by a bad dude called The Duke of New York, delivered by the legendary Isaac Hayes, his chariot being a Cadillac with chandeliers mounted on the hood. Speaking of headlights, Adrienne Barbeau turns in a particularly boob-tacular performance, her helmet of hair as iconic as it is vexing.
Make no mistake, by 2026 there is no middle class in this futurescape. You’re either wearing burlap sweatpants and marching into a giant devil mouth that chugs with weird pistons or you’re up in one of the Space Needle-looking spires firing your assistant so nasty that he puts a gun to his head on the stairs outside your office. Meanwhile, in reality: nearly a century after this film, “steampunk” has been invented as a style of costumes, comic books, and other things that would make Fritz Lang gag. Future!
This little disco biscuit has been rumored to be in remake hell for over five years now. But how could you really repackage an epic tale of sassies with feathered hair and side-boob that thrive inside of a giant laser tag shopping mall? Don’t remake! RENEW!
Comprehend, if you will, a film that makes you cry over a robot. It portrays earth as a gutted, abandoned husk and all of the people are ignorant, fat, and addicted to the future version of the internet. Whaddaya you mean you don’t want to watch it when friends come over? Total life of the party, this one. The robot keeps little pieces of adorable memorabilia from our fallen civilization. If he had stockpiled dirty magazines, broken handguns, and Justin Bieber CDs, E.V.E. probably wouldn’t have sparked up a romance. In the end, thanks to the darling efforts of our characters, the barren atmosphere of earth is given the boot.
“Terminator” font: Check. “Terminator 2” jacket: Check. “Terminator 3” gaudiness: Check. “Terminator 4” decimated-landscape-shot-in-cheap-location: Check. Hey, it’s not all bad. At the very least, “Split Second” stands as a testament to the depths that Rutger Hauer rose from to land parts in films like “Sin City,” “Batman Begins,” and “Hobo with a Shotgun.” Needed Borgnine in a cab to save this one, fellas.
It’s terrible! Totally inhospitable! Civilized people cannot survive it! Oh…oh, the landscape? The landscape isn’t that great, either. And no, it’s not one of Richard Linklater‘s sequels to his “Before Sunrise” series. This movie is M. Night Shyamalan’s Hail Mary that will make “Men in Black 3” money based on casting alone, meaning the director’s career will continue to fester in our culture. Now that’s a horrific vision.
At a tight 95 minutes, this is the Thin Lizzy of post-apocalyptic movies. It’s essentially one long action scene that occasionally pauses for primitive dramatic action that can only be solved via interruptions from mutant bikers in buttless chaps. A feral kid murders a guy with a stainless steel boomerang to the head. Then he gets the boomerang back. Humungous gets turned into road hummus until the people of the Great Northern Tribe get what’s coming to them: fresh water, plenty of sunshine, and nothing to do but breed.