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Land of the Dead (also known as George A. Romero's Land of the Dead) is a post-apocalyptic horror film written and directed by George A. Romero; the fourth of Romero's six Living Dead movies, it is preceded by Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, and succeeded by Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead. It was produced with a budget of $15–19 million, the highest in Romero's Dead series and has grossed $46 million. The story of Land of the Dead deals with a zombie assault on Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where a feudal-like government exists. The survivors in the film have fled to the Golden Triangle area of downtown Pittsburgh. The region is protected on two sides by rivers and on the third by an electric barricade that survivors term "the Throat". Land of the Dead received mostly positive reviews from film critics.
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (also known as Mad Max 3) is a 1985 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller and George Ogilvie, and written by Miller and Terry Hayes. In this sequel to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Max (Mel Gibson) is exiled into the desert by the ruthless ruler of Bartertown, Aunty Entity (Tina Turner), and there encounters an isolated cargo cult centred on a crashed Boeing 747 and its deceased captain. The film is the third installment in the Mad Max film series and the last with Gibson as Max Rockatansky.
Mad Max 2 (originally released in the United States as The Road Warrior and sometimes known as Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior) is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. It is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson reprising his role as "Mad" Max Rockatansky. The film's tale of a community of settlers who moved to defend themselves against a roving band of marauders follows an archetypical "Western" frontier movie motif, as does Max's role as a hardened man who rediscovers his humanity when he decides to help the settlers. Filming took place in locations around Broken Hill, in the outback of New South Wales. Mad Max 2 was released on 24 December 1981, and received ample critical acclaim. Observers praised the visuals and Gibson's role. Noteworthy elements of the film also include cinematographer Dean Semler's widescreen photography of Australia's vast desert landscapes; the sparing use of dialogue throughout the film; costume designer Norma Moriceau's punk mohawked, leather bondage gear-wearing bikers; its fast-paced, tightly edited and violent battle and chase scenes; and Brian May's musical score.
The Divide is a post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Xavier Gens and written by Karl Mueller and Eron Sheean. It stars Michael Biehn, Lauren German, Milo Ventimiglia and Rosanna Arquette. The Divide was first screened at the SXSW festival then released in theaters in the United States, to negative reviews.
The Quiet Earth is a 1985 New Zealand science fiction post-apocalyptic film directed by Geoff Murphy and starring Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge and Peter Smith as three survivors of a cataclysmic disaster. It is loosely based on the 1981 science fiction novel of the same name by Craig Harrison. Its other sources of inspiration have been listed as the 1954 novel I Am Legend, Dawn of the Dead, and especially the 1959 film The World, the Flesh and the Devil, of which it has been called an unofficial remake. The precise meaning of the final scene is left to the audience. In his commentary on the Umbrella Entertainment DVD release, writer/producer Sam Pillsbury states, "...we all thought it was quite simple; I mean, our intention was just that, what happened was, he died at the moment of the effect for a second time and he's now found himself in another world, what the hell's he gonna do...", he then says, more or less jokingly, that director Geoff Murphy being "a Catholic or lapsed Catholic, [it] may well have been something to do with purgatory, and y'know, you being trapped in cyclical and going back into having to relive your thing until you work out your karma, [something; possibly 'if I'm not'] mixing my metaphors; anyway, enigmatic is good, I think, to a certain extent..."
Akira is a 1988 Japanese animated post-apocalyptic cyberpunk film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, produced by Ryōhei Suzuki and Shunzō Katō, and written by Otomo and Izo Hashimoto, based on Otomo's 1982 manga of the same name. The film had a production budget of ¥1.1 billion ($9 million), making it the most expensive anime film of its time. Set in a dystopian 2019, Akira tells the story of Shōtarō Kaneda, a leader of a local biker gang whose childhood friend, Tetsuo Shima, acquires incredible telekinetic abilities after a motorcycle accident, eventually threatening an entire military complex amidst chaos and rebellion in the sprawling futuristic metropolis of Neo-Tokyo. While most of the character designs and settings were adapted from the manga, the plot differs considerably, and does not include much of the last half of the manga. The soundtrack, which draws heavily from traditional Indonesian gamelan as well as Japanese noh music, was composed by Shōji Yamashiro and performed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi.
Escape from L.A. (also known as John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. or Escape from Los Angeles) is a 1996 American postapocalyptic action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter, co-written and produced by Debra Hill and Kurt Russell, with Russell also starring as Snake Plissken. A sequel to Escape from New York, Escape from L.A. co-stars Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach, Bruce Campbell, and Pam Grier.
When Worlds Collide! is a 1951 American Technicolor science fiction disaster film directed by Rudolph Maté and starring Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen, and John Hoyt. It was produced by George Pal. The film is based on the 1932 science fiction novel of the same name, co-written by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer. The plot concerns the coming destruction of the Earth by a rogue star called Bellus and the desperate efforts to build a space ark to transport a group of men and women to Bellus' single planet, Zyra. The pilot David Randall flies top-secret photographs from the South African astronomer Dr. Emery Bronson to Dr. Cole Hendron in America. Hendron, with the assistance of his daughter Joyce Hendron, confirms their worst fears: Bronson has discovered that a rogue star named Bellus is on a collision course with Earth. Hendron warns the United Nations that the end of the world is little more than eight months away. He pleads for the construction of "arks" to transport a lucky few to Zyra, the sole planet orbiting Bellus, in the faint hope that the human race can be saved from extinction. Other scientists scoff at his claims, and he receives no support from the delegates....
Beyond Skyline is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Liam O'Donnell and stars Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Iko Uwais, Callan Mulvey, Yayan Ruhian, Betty Gabriel and Antonio Fargas. It is a sequel to the film Skyline. Unlike its critically panned predecessor, Beyond Skyline received mixed reviews, with several critics calling it an improvement over the original.
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Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent horror film written, directed, photographed and edited by George A. Romero, co-written by John Russo, and starring Duane Jones and Judith O'Dea. The story follows seven people who are trapped in a rural farmhouse in western Pennsylvania, which is besieged by a large and growing group of "living dead" monsters. The film was completed on a $114,000 budget and shot outside Pittsburgh, where it had its theatrical premiere on October 1, 1968. The film grossed $12 million domestically and $18 million internationally, earning over 250 times its budget. Night of the Living Dead has been regarded as a cult classic by film scholars and critics.
The Creation of the Humanoids is a 1962 American science fiction film release, directed by Wesley Barry and starring Don Megowan, Erica Elliot, Frances McCann, Don Doolittle and Dudley Manlove. The film is not based on the plot of Jack Williamson's novel The Humanoids, to which it bears little resemblance, but on an original story and screenplay written by Jay Simms. In a post-nuclear-war society, blue-skinned, silver-eyed human-like robots have become a common sight as the surviving population suffers from a decreasing birth rate and has grown dependent on their assistance. A fanatical organization tries to prevent the robots from becoming too human, fearing that they will take over. Meanwhile, a scientist experiments with creating human replicas that have genuine emotions and memories. The Creation of the Humanoids is normally dated to 1962, the year of its general release, but one screening in 1961 is documented by an advertising flyer and the film itself displays a 1960 copyright date (MCMLX in Roman numerals), indicating that it was a complete film before the end of that year. Short items in contemporary trade publications indicate that it was being filmed in the summer of 1960 under a working title variously reported as This Time Around or This Time Tomorrow. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences lists August 1960 as the completion date. Producer-director, former child star and Hollywood area native Wesley Barry's Genie Productions was located in Hollywood and the cast and crew credits are populated by Hollywood personnel, but no information about the actual filming location and other specific details has yet come to light. The film's limited budget is most apparent from its rudimentary sets, which consist mainly of a few blank flats, floor-to-ceiling drapes, or other simple elements set up in front of a painted background scene or a black void, as well as from its costumes, most of which are either generic jumpsuits or a uniform composed of stock costume rental items such as Confederate Army caps. Yet the producers opted for the added expense of filming in color at a time when black-and-white was still being used for many major-studio productions and was readily accepted by audiences, and they obtained the services of two top-tier behind-the-camera talents, albeit in the twilights of their careers. Cinematographer Hal Mohr had a very extensive Hollywood career and two Academy Awards to his credit. Mohr used lighting and camera angles to make the best of the sets and add some visual interest to the long, actionless talking-head scenes that make up nearly all of the film. He sometimes used classic Hollywood "glamor lighting" techniques when photographing the normal-looking "human" characters, giving some scenes a degree of visual polish seldom seen in a low-budget exploitation film. Jack Pierce master makeup artist during all of the 1930s and most of the 1940s and created the iconic Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein makeups among many others. The most unusual features of Pierce's makeup design for this film are the large reflective scleral contact lenses that give the humanoids the appearance of having metal ball eyes. The lenses were furnished by Dr. Louis M. Zabner, an optometrist who pioneered the use of contact lenses to change actors' eye color and is credited in the film for "special eye effects". At that time, scleral lenses were made of a hard plastic. Wearing them was uncomfortable and they had to be removed frequently. Pierce had used similar silvery lenses in 1957 for brief close-ups in The Brain from Planet Arous. Most of the considerable time and effort it took to apply the rest of the humanoid makeup was spent on hiding the actors' hair, which it would have been unthinkable to expect them to actually shave off for a few days' work in a low-budget film. Latex rubber "bald wigs" were glued on, eyebrows were stuck down flat, then putty was carefully applied to cover rough textures and blend in tell-tale edges. Finally, the actors' heads were painted all over with blue-gray greasepaint and they were given rubber gloves of the same color. The musical score consists of electronically generated sounds and wordless female vocalizing that suggests the Theremin music often used in science fiction films of the 1950s (e.g., The Day the Earth Stood Still and It Came from Outer Space). The credit appearing in the film is "Electronic Harmonics by I.F.M." The Internet Movie Database lists producer Edward J. Kay as the composer, though this information is nowhere verified. The Creation of the Humanoids is often said to be "Andy Warhol's favorite film". The original source for this claim appears to be a 1964 art review of new Warhol paintings that begins with a short description of the film and states that the protagonists' climactic discovery is "the happy ending of what Andy Warhol calls the best movie he has ever seen."
The Monolith Monsters (working title Monolith) is a 1957 American black-and-white science fiction film, produced by Howard Christie, directed by John Sherwood, that stars Grant Williams and Lola Albright. The film is based on a story by Jack Arnold and Robert M. Fresco, with a screenplay by Fresco and Norman Jolley. The Monolith Monsters tells the story of a large meteorite that crashes in a Southern California desert and explodes into hundreds of black fragments which have strange properties. When those fragments are exposed to water, they grow very large and tall. The fragments also begin to slowly petrify some of the inhabitants of a nearby small town. The story that unfolds becomes one of human survival against an encroaching unnatural disaster, that if not stopped, could become a national ecological nightmare that could pose a possible threat to all of humanity. Many of the exteriors were filmed in the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California, whose rugged landscape has been used in films such as Gunga Din, High Sierra, Maverick, How the West Was Won, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and Gladiator. Most of the exteriors of downtown San Angelo were shot on the studios back lot, particularly Courthouse Square. The film's "California Medical Research Institute" is the same fictional facility that also features prominently in Universal's The Incredible Shrinking Man, released eight months earlier, which also starred Grant Williams. The film's special effects were created by Clifford Stine, whose career began in 1933 with King Kong. Alternate takes from Universal's It Came from Outer Space (1953), which Stine also created, were used for the meteor crash in the film's opening sequence.
Five is an independently made 1951 American black-and-white post-apocalyptic science fiction film that was produced, written, and directed by Arch Oboler. The film stars William Phipps, Susan Douglas Rubeš, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin, and Earl Lee. Five was distributed by Columbia Pictures. The storyline of Five involves five survivors, one woman and four men, of an atomic bomb disaster. It appears to have wiped out the rest of the human race while leaving all infrastructure intact. The five come together at a remote, isolated hillside house; they not only try to figure out how to survive but come to terms with the loss of their own personal worlds, while also being forced to face an unknown future. According to Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, the film is the first to depict the aftermath of an atomic bomb catastrophe. The unusual house that is the setting for most of the film was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was the guesthouse at the ranch of producer/director/writer Arch Oboler at 32436 Mulholland Highway in Malibu, California. Actor Charles Lampkin came to Oboler's notice when reading the prose poem "The Creation" by James Weldon Johnson on an LA TV program and convinced him to include excerpts of it in the final script of Five. It would become Lampkin's soliloquy for his character Charles; this may be the first time that audiences in the USA, Latin America, and Europe were exposed to African-American poetry, albeit not identified as such in the film. Oboler shot this very low budget feature for $75,000, using as his crew a small group of recent graduates from the University of Southern California film school and starring five (then) unknown actors. Upon its completion, Oboler sold the film to Columbia Pictures for a large profit. Film reviewer Bosley Crowther in his review for The New York Times, noted the characters handicapped the film as much as the tepid plot line created by Arch Oboler, "the five people whom he has selected to forward the race of man are so cheerless, banal and generally static that they stir little interest in their fate. Furthermore, Mr. Oboler has imagined so little of significance for them to do in their fearfully unique situation that there is nothing to be learned from watching them. Mr. Oboler might as well be presenting five castaways on a desert isle." In a recent review film critic Sean Axmaker lauded the film, writing, "For all of his budgetary limitations, it's a strikingly atmospheric and handsome film, and Oboler creates an eerie sense of isolation with simple techniques.
The Last Man on Earth (Italian: L'ultimo uomo della Terra) is a 1964 American-Italian science-fiction horror film based on the 1954 Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend. The film was directed by Ubaldo Ragona and Sidney Salkow, and stars Vincent Price. The script was written in part by Matheson, but he was dissatisfied with the result and chose to be credited as "Logan Swanson". William Leicester, Furio M. Monetti, and Ubaldo Ragona were the other writers. It was filmed in Rome, Italy, with some location shots taken at Esposizione Universale Roma. It was released theatrically in the United States by American International Pictures and the UK in 1966. In the 1980s, the film entered the public domain. In the year 1968, every day is the same for Dr. Robert Morgan (Price): he wakes up, gathers his weapons, and then goes hunting for vampires. Morgan lives in a world where everyone else has been infected by a plague that has turned them into undead, vampiric creatures that cannot stand sunlight, fear mirrors, and are repelled by garlic. They would kill Morgan if they could, but fortunately, they are weak and unintelligent. At night, Morgan locks himself inside his house; during the day, he kills as many vampires as he can, burning the bodies. "The Last Man on Earth" is an early example of how fantastic, even on a minimal budget, a movie set in a post-apocalyptic world can be.
Last Woman on Earth (often referred to as The Last Woman On Earth, but it appeared without The in the film's actual title card) is a 1960 American science fiction film that was produced and directed by Roger Corman. Starring Betsy Jones-Moreland, Antony Carbone, Robert Towne, It tells the story of three survivors of a mysterious apocalypse, which appears to have wiped out all human life on earth. The screenplay is by Robert Towne, who also appears in the film under the pseudonym Edward Wain. The music was composed and conducted by Ronald Stein. The film was originally released as a double feature with The Little Shop of Horrors. This is a fine film that does much with almost nothing; shot on location in Puerto Rico without a finished script, 'The Last Woman on Earth' is a lean, mean post apocalyptic drama machine. Despite the poor print(s) the DVD was assembled from, Roger Corman's minor directorial genius shines through, especially in shots like the one where Harold, Martin and Ev all confront each other after coming back from the beach. Narratively efficient, suspenseful and even kind of thought-provoking, this film is a well-crafted low budget classic. If you want an interesting and engaging vision of what the world might be like after it ends, you won't be disappointed here. It was Roger Corman's practice when going on location to make the most of that location by shooting a second film. This film was made because Corman was in Puerto Rico to shoot Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961).
On the Beach is a 1959 American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, that stars Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, and Anthony Perkins. This black-and-white film is based on Nevil Shute's 1957 novel of the same name depicting the aftermath of a nuclear war. Unlike the novel, no blame is placed on whoever started the war; it is hinted in the film that the threat of annihilation may have arisen from an accident or misjudgment. In early 1964, in the months following World War III, the conflict has devastated the Northern Hemisphere, polluting the atmosphere with nuclear fallout, killing all life there. Air currents are slowly carrying the fallout south; the only areas still habitable are in the far reaches of the Southern Hemisphere. From Australia, survivors detect an incomprehensible Morse code signal coming from the West Coast of the United States. The American nuclear submarine, USS Sawfish, now under Royal Australian Navy command, is ordered to sail north to the United States to attempt to make contact with the sender of the Morse signal. The submarine is commanded by Capt. Dwight Towers (Gregory Peck), who must leave his new friend, the alcoholic Moira Davidson (Ava Gardner). The Australian government arranges for its citizens to receive suicide pills or prepared injections so they may end things quickly before there is prolonged suffering from radiation sickness. An Australian naval officer, Peter Holmes (Anthony Perkins) and his wife, Mary, who is in denial about the impending disaster, have a baby daughter. Assigned to travel with the American sub for several weeks, Peter tries to explain to Mary how to euthanize their baby and then kill herself should he not be home yet when the end comes; Mary reacts very emotionally to this prospect.
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