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10 Best Apocalypse Movies of All Time

by James Tarr   |  March 12th, 2013 36

Shortly after being tasked to put together a list of the 10 best apocalypse movies, I realized that it wasn’t going to be as easy as I first thought. This being Guns & Ammo, firearms had to be if not an important part of the plot, at least appear in the movie. Upon review, it was interesting to me how many of the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies I tracked down hardly featured guns in them—I guess ammo doesn’t grow on trees.

The task soon became eliminating those great movies which didn’t qualify, either being pre-apocalyptic—the Terminator series, Soylent Green—those without any guns at all—On The Beach, The Hunger Games, The Blood of Heroes—simply dystopian movies—Minority Report, Blade Runner—or TV series—The Walking Dead, Jericho, Battlestar Galactica, and Falling Skies.

What’s left is a number of new and classic movies—some hugely successful, and some you might not have ever heard of.

  • Mike

    The Omega man was set in LA.

    • dylanpolk

      Right you are. Corrected. Thanks for the heads up.

      Dylan Polk
      G&A Social Media Editor

  • Dj

    The dawn of the dead remake?

    • Lt_Scrounge

      The remake was so much better than the original. The original was just plain cheesy. I have nearly every George Romero Zombie movie made, and all of the remakes that I know of. I love the original “Night of the Living Dead”. A little trivia for those who like that kind of stuff, the news reporter in the original “Night of the Living Dead” was played by Bill Cardille. Bill Cardille was the host of the Saturday night late night double feature horror show called “Chiller Theater” on channel 11 (which before the big PA lottery scandal) was called WIIC out of Pittsburgh.

      • Dj

        I disagree… sort of.
        I think you are right about the first several minutes. The remake was pretty scary. I always find the ‘collapse of society’ part of zombie pictures to be the most frightening.
        Beyond that, other than the ‘jay leno’ line, I found the remake to be a weaker movie in almost every respect.
        BTW: If you also find the ‘collapse’ part of the story scary there is a good BBC series called ‘survivors’. It’s not a zombie show (global pandemic). It is sometimes great, sometimes weak , but pretty entertaining.

        • Lt_Scrounge

          The production values on the remake were SOOOOO much better than the original. The original’s prop master must have had nearly zero knowledge on firearms. No swat team carries 22s and no police officer would carry a single action revolver when a store full of semi autos and double action revolvers was available.

          • Dj

            The budgets were a magnitude or two larger on the remake.

            If I remember correctly the original was made in the $100,000 range; and remember they were inventing the genre with the original dotd. It’s easy to re-imagine and extend a story someone else has invented.

            As far as the weapons go, yeah you’re right on all counts, but I’m sure they got what they could get. The money was spent on pioneering practical makeup effects by Tom Savini (who plays Bubba Pasquale, the lead biker).

          • Lt_Scrounge

            Tom Savini was in the remake, as well as Land of the Dead. He’s been in a lot of movies and no one even realizes that he’s a makeup artist. He was also in “From Dusk til Dawn” and the second “Lost Boys” movie.

  • Charles Gaillard

    I assume that something in the rules prevented – oh, what’s the name of the Patrick Swayze movie- Russia attacked, the kids were Wolverines…but that’s one of the great ones.

    • Nramem

      That was RED DAWN, an invasion/war movie, not apocalyptic.

  • Rick Patterson

    Where is Red Dawn, I Am Legend, and The Book of Eli???

    • Nramem

      I Am Legend is basically a remake of Omega Man.

  • Robert Mccallum

    Resident Evil, Book of Eli, Escape from New York

  • veniceneon

    Book of Eli should have been included. That’s an apocalyptic gunfest. I don’t know if I would include Red Dawn, it’s more of a war survival story. Terminator series would be good if Schwarzenegger wasn’t such a anti-gun putz. Thanks for putting in Omega Man, a Rod Serling-esque movie.

  • 2War Abn Vet

    Red Dawn (great movie) doesn’t fit into this list – an invasion movie,; not an apocalypse movie.

  • Sven79

    Way to go by putting The Omega Man on the list. I saw that film numerous times in the theater when it came out. I’m probably the only guy in the world that has that movie on Blu-ray. I wholeheartedly agree that The Omega Man was far superior to I am Legend. Even with the old cheesy villain characters, it was the superior film. Plus you just can’t go wrong with Charlton Heston stopping his convertible to blast away at some downtown Los Angeles office windows with a machine gun.


    The “Book of Eli” is the best post apocalypic movie EVER!!!! Some of the movies you list are TRASH!! Zombies – REALLY?!?!

  • gun movies

    ” The quiet earth” is another. I remember as a kid watching tv movie with a guy racing a darker sandy brown firefird car or something, around a city that was empty. I have never been able to find the movie. Probably early 70’s. Not sure if it was the last man on earth- or not? Will check some youtube vids for it.

  • Patrick Murtaugh

    Eh, Escape from New York doesn’t fit either, more dystopian than post-apocalyptic. A Boy and His Dog was a good one

  • Josh

    Should’ve included “The Day After” from the 80s.

  • Shawn Wesley Knight

    The Snake Pliskin Escape series and The Book of Eli didn’t make this list??? Guns and Ammo fail!

  • Jim_Macklin

    The Book of Eli movie Denzel Washington 2009

    World Without End movie 1956

  • wildmanjeffsmith

    logan’s run was great

  • denae

    this is so refreshing, ive been looking for a list of top ten post-appo and everyone had the same goddamn movies! all of you who are complaining about how i am legand and the book of eli isnt in this, you all are clearly aware of these movies, and in this top ten and least this guy tried to be original in his choices. when i look for top ten, im looking for something new and good to watch NOT something ive seen over and over or something that the geneal public believes is good. i really appriciate this list.

  • Michael

    Just to put it out there. The “zombies” in I am Legend are not zombies at all. They are simply humans who have been genetically altered by the effects of a virus. They are still living breathing creatures; albeit, with a taste for blood. If they are going to be classified as supernatural creatures, I believe, they more closely resemble vampires than zombies, as they, are intelligent, have human like emotions, have a general hierarchy, are burned more intensely by sunlight and as previously mentioned, have a taste for blood.

    • Malcolm

      in the book i am legend, they are actually vampires. very clever observation.

  • Jeff Korhorn

    Red Dawn & I Am Legend needs to definately be in there….maybe even the Book of Eli

  • Jeff Korhorn

    And Terminator!

  • boomy

    The Road wasn’t based on McCarthy’s “No Country for old Men”, it was based on McCarthy’s “The Road”. No Country for Old Men had its own separate thing.

  • squareWave

    Logan’s Run is one of my favorite sci-fi films because it portrays a dystopia that thinks it’s an utopia — pretty on the mark. And Jenny Agutter is crazy hot in this movie.

  • huz6

    I used to watch this film and I found that it’s so attractive ! if you haven’t seen it, try to watch it one times!

  • Nramem

    I think the scariest movies are the “28 Days” movies. The scary thing is the fact that they are NOT zombies, but people infected with the RAGE VIRUS which is most likely a mutated version of rabies. This is scary because it could actually happen. Where as zombies in the true sense could not exist.

    Viruses are constantly mutating making this highly possible. The other difference is those with the Rage virus could be killed with any shot to the vitals, not just the head. Also they can truly run fast where as “true” zombies would not move fast due to the stiffening of the muscles.

    On another note, I would like the authors here to post some new stories on the ZOMBIE BLOG. I’m tired of the nay sayers going out of their way to put down the Z blog. It’s fun to read the comments and it’s all about entertainment. If you don’t like it WHY IN THE HELL DO YOU CLICK ON IT ?!?!

    For new story suggestions, how about zombie proofing you body with some sort of armor or duck tape, armoring your vehicle, protecting yourself from zombie blood spatter, etc, etc . . . come on GUNS AND AMMO, give us something new to read on the zombie blog !!!!!

    • Jamie

      Lol, it could actually happen could it? Yeah it’s abpout a likely as the plot of ‘The Thing’ happening.

  • 101nomad

    I think ‘The Road’ was the only one I have not seen. Suspending reality is fun in small doses.

  • gun movies

    The Quiet Earth and maybe One blade of grass. (hard to find)

  • apa ma’un

    Thanks For Sharing that.............

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