Author Topic: Classic "End of the World" movies  (Read 11406 times)

Flower

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2015, 01:45:02 PM »
I believe so. This is one movie that has taken me some time to learn to like. It's much more of an exploration on how different people approach their inevitable demise, which is tends to be the main "human" theme of these movies (the other theme being how the disaster plays out visually). It's taken me a while and a few attempted viewings before I felt I could really become engaged in the stories of the characters. Having done so, however, I find it a very interesting and watchable movie, just not something to watch on a cold and dreary day!

I first saw "On the Beach" when I was somewhere between twelve and fifteen years old .. if I remember correctly, it was an ABC Sunday Night Movie which I watched on channel 7 in New York.  I was shaken to my core and while I doubt if I got into the characters themselves .. I was upset by how possible it was that something like this could happen.  It was very real for me.

When I saw "I am Legend" in 2007, I had nightmares about it for a couple of weeks.  There was something about the movie that was very upsetting and 'real' .. maybe it was the townhouse on Washington Square Park as I knew the area so well? I don't know, I enjoyed the movie but it left a lingering effect.

Some of the "End of the World" movies are entertaining, some are scary but every now and again, one can really strike a nerve.
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Mike Scott

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2015, 06:45:39 PM »
Strangely enough, The World's End (2013) is not an "end of the world" movie.
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Haunted hearse

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2015, 11:02:27 AM »
Strangely enough, The World's End (2013) is not an "end of the world" movie.
Isn't that the name of the pub in the film?
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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2015, 11:25:35 AM »
Isn't that the name of the pub in the film?

It is. Very funny movie, from the makers of "Shaun of the Dead".
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Pauspy

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2015, 11:27:18 AM »
Isn't that the name of the pub in the film?

Very funny movie! I think this might qualify as an EOTW movie, as there was a threat that the world, as the character knew it, was ending spoiler alert:

...(and eventually did end-they were in left a world with no power).

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2015, 01:38:02 PM »

Usually the science is so bad, I like the little films that ignore the science angle altogether and go straight for the characters' reaction to the situation they find themselves in.  It's fun to see someone else's take on how people might deal with knowing when they will die.

I just watched "Seeking a Friend For the End of the World" and will be watching "Last Night" sometime today.
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Mord

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2015, 03:10:19 PM »
 I agree Adam, I don't look to films for science, history or even logic. Just entertain me enough to get through the next 90 minutes is enough for me.

Dr.Cyclops

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2015, 06:04:03 PM »
Not sure if this qualifies as 'Classic' but it's a great little cult sci-fi from Down Under from 1985:
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ChristineBCW

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2015, 11:10:17 AM »
This should not qualify as a "Classic" since it's an '90s film, but it's a powerful entry for that decade's submissions.

MIRACLE MILE (1988) takes us back to the moments before nuclear oblivion occurs.  Good tension-filed film where Anthony Edwards is waiting for a girlfriend and, while wandering around a bit, answers a pay-phone which is from an Air Force enlisted, seeking his father's home, trying to warn Dad about the full blown nuclear launch in 45 minutes.  Anthony wants to blow it off, but hears the voice die from gunshots, and proceeds to tell the diner crowd about it.  Everyone scoffs, at first.  But more events add to their tension and final desperate attempts to escape somewhere, anywhere.

This film receives many comparisons to the TV movie THE DAY AFTER (1983) which deals with the moments before the nuclear war and 'the day after', although MIRACLE focuses on the events leading up to the "white screen" ending.  I think the smaller scope of MIRACLE helps it achieve a tension that DAY AFTER can't sustain with its variety of tales.

While ON THE BEACH has a cold, hard blanket thrown over the inevitability of earth's demise, and in a stunningly powerful way, MIRACLE is tense and we're speeding toward doom much faster than the second-hands tick away. 
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 11:33:05 AM by ChristineBCW »

ChristineBCW

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2015, 11:16:03 AM »
Roger Corman's THE LAST WOMAN ON EARTH (1960) is fairly hilarious in all plot issues, writing, acting and those vast 'action sequences'.  A gangster, his 'wife' and his accountant head for a Caribbean snorkling vacation.  They dive, come up 20 minutes later, and all life on earth has vanished.  Corpses have apparently merrily evacuated the planet's surface, too, so none of that silly odor, flies, deviant mushroom triffid types are needed. 

This film devolves into a love-triangle mess, where the Last Woman fans the flames of passion to have the meek accountant add 2 and 2 and come up with "kill my husband, please". 

(The reason for life-on-earth's demise is thought to be - among these three brainiacs - a temporary loss of all oxygen in Earth's atmosphere but, fortunately, plant life is busily replenishing that stock.  Even as the film crew rolled.  Whew.  We are soooo lucky.)

ChristineBCW

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2015, 11:28:52 AM »
This should not qualify as a "Classic" since it's an '90s film, but it's a powerful entry for that decade's submissions.

1998's LAST NIGHT is the Canadian version of the end of the world. 

The film's a great mystery wrapped in an enigma of a riddle.  We don't get many answers.  We are simply thrown into a Toronto neighborhood or two while the last night of earth's existence is being lived out to whatever means people have.  Parties, crimes, suicide, depression, etc. 

We do have one of those mysteries finally exposed and because of the freshness of that writing, the film is more than a dull mass, which it seems to be in the first few minutes.  But in patience, there is a solid film-watching reward. 
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 11:32:54 AM by ChristineBCW »

ChristineBCW

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2015, 11:39:25 AM »
1962's PANIC IN YEAR ZERO stars Ray Milland and Jean Hagan as a family fleeing LA just as the nukes drop in their rear view mirrors, and follows them in the countryside where outlaws threaten their lives and they start threatening anyone they can as food and shelter are reintroduced to modern society's lexicon.  This might be one of those Survivalist's Handbook kind of films.

Jean Hagan, by the way, is the very faithful girlfriend to a dying Sterling Hayden in the excellent ASPHALT JUNGLE, and she's the dental-drill-voiced *itch in the wonderful SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, which gets my vote as Most Favorite Musical.  Ray Milland needs no further introduction except to say he deserves every award possible for strapping himself to hot, sweaty Rosey Greer in THE THING WITH TWO HEADS.  Rosey Greer deserves all the same awards for lugging around a 70-year-old flatulent Milland for that same film.  Could any two actors ever endure a worse fate? 

(Milland has no excuses.  "I coulda stayed in an English prison after trying to kill my wife Grace Kelly.")
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 12:22:53 PM by ChristineBCW »

ChristineBCW

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2015, 12:02:23 PM »
It's interesting to see how other countries script out blame for end-of-the-world scenarios.

We have New Zealand's blaming a giant US corporation for the end of the world in THIS QUIET EARTH - which rapidly deteriorates into a Last Woman On Earth triangle, the same idiotic plot device attempted in FIVE and THE WORLD THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL.  (It's the end of the world, people - you'd think there would be a few more things at the top of the To Do lists rather than fight over who's got the last chick's fondest attentions!)

Back in the mid-60s, as Czechoslovakia was getting ready to stretch their anti-Soviet muscles (and be crushed for it in 1968), they delivered their version of the post-apocalypse world in LATE AUGUST AT THE HOTEL OZONA
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061879/
which is the only Iron Curtain apocalyptic film I've ever found. 

The Italians offered up a spaghetti-apocalyptic film AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085125/
which I can heartily recommend viewing just after you've seen every horrible Lee Van Cleef film made during his trek thru Spain and Italy.  If you haven't turned to total mush after those, then AFTER THE FALL might be your cup o' tea.  Or hemlock - which you might wish to have imbibed prior to watching any of them.

Already mentioned was the British notion expressed in 1962's THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE, when the USA and Russia coincidentally tested nukes at the same moment, throwing off the earth's rotation.  The Brits wouldn't leave well enough alone, of course, and in 1969 released the post-apocalyptic film THE BED SITTING ROOM.

In 1979, the West Germans enticed Paul Newman to join them for a chilly bit o' film called QUINTET, set in some distant future where a new ice-age has overtaken earth.  Quintet's a board game but Paul Newman & Pals have devised a version where the board pieces are humans and the losers don't survive.  In an almost Solylent-Green mentality, they conclude that everyone's gonna die, so why not make sport of it?  Wait'll they see Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine in some spoofed-up dune buggies...

Then in 1984, back to the land of garlic and tomato sauce, Bruno Mattei went a hundred years past the apocalypse and delivered RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR where humans have evolved into an Eloi/Morlock division, and those furry li'l rodents seem to have an endless food supply.

ChristineBCW

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2015, 12:13:40 PM »
I can recommend LAST WOMAN ON EARTH for several reasons, one of which should be "how not to make a film". 

FIVE is a tremendous disappointment, but I'd be loathe to not recommend it - it's an Arch Oboler film, and Arch is the rightful predecessor to Rod Serling for Arch's '30s and '40s radio scripts.  FIVE should have been much MUCH better because the majority of the weaknesses are Schtoopid Plot Holes - walking from East Coast to West Coast, for one.  Why not stay on the East Coast for just as much ocean water, and far more fresh water?  Du-uh.  Well, Arch couldn't find spiffy locations like he could in the Malibu hills, that's why.  "So why not have the participants be in LA instead of NYC?!!"  Sheesh, Arch...  read yer own scripts - fill in yer own holes.

THE WORLD THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL starts off powerfully and continues a tension-filling exercise for the first half, then quickly devolves into a 2-man-1-woman triangle.  Such a useless, time-wasting plot device that replaces Good Dialog & Scripting with gunfire and sniper positionings.  "I don't feel like writing dialog... just get on top of that building and look down.  There - that killed half-a-day's shooting schedule!"

This too is a Must-See Film, however, because it puts race, front and center, in 1959, although it is quickly submerged beneath evil when one male has a sole intent on killing the other. 

(I think Michael Corleone said it best: "It's not business, Sonny.  It's personal.")

NO BLADE OF GRASS was mentioned earlier, too, and I consider that Must-See because it takes us along with an English family's trek northward to a brother's farm.  Along the way, they escape bandits and killers, then decide to become predators themselves. 
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 12:18:46 PM by ChristineBCW »

ChristineBCW

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Re: Classic "End of the World" movies
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2015, 12:32:55 PM »
The 1981 Brit mini series DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS is an excellent version of the tale, by the way.   And in the world where blindness has occurred en masse, then NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984) gets a mention too with a zombie-world chasing surviving Sighteds and there's a CDC-like subterranean enclave trying to cure the unbeknownst virus that's also spreading. 

And 1983's TESTAMENT with William Devane and a post-nuke-war San Francisco shows that side of life's possibilities. 

1974's CHOSEN SURVIVORS might get a look-at, too, since a motley collection of citizens are hidden, far underground, from the devastation of a nuked-out surface . Too bad the vast tunnels apparently included vampires.  Anyone seen a charred stake or enough garlic cloves to fill a man's mouth?