Best apocalyptic and post apocalyptic movies and TV series (part 2)

You can read part 1 here.

This is part 2 of  a list of movies and TV shows that (in my humble opinion are the best) in the apocalyptic and post apocalyptic genres. This is based on personal preference and nothing more.

A word of warning: like in part 1, some of the movies here include gore and splatter. Where applicable, and depending on how I perceive something as containing extensive gore or not (very subjective), I’ll note it, but understand that this is based on how I see things. If you’re sensitive about this, read some of the reviews first or watch the trailer to get an idea of the feel and mood before you start watching it.

As always, the movies are in no particular order other than the way they came to my mind.

Children of men (2006)

This is the second movie of the entire list that depicts desolation and bleakness in the best way possible. Children of Men is based on the novel with the same title by P. D. James written in 1992. I’ve read the book while researching for my own post apocalyptic novel, The Darkening, and even though I am a writer and I loved P. D. James’s book, I have to admit that I absolutely adored the movie and prefer it to the book.

Much like the book, the movie takes place in the not too distant future and deals with the aftermath of an epidemic that has rendered the human race infertile and about to be extinct. The movie explores the bleakness and the finality of a doomed species, and how hard it is to maintain a semblance of order as the entire societal structure collapses along with the will to live and carry on. Just so we’re clear, this is an apocalyptic movie, not a post apocalyptic. The hero is tasked with helping a refugee reach a safe place, and is only told that the refugee must survive no matter what. Watch it because Clive Owen plays wonderfully here. Watch it because, as a post apocalypse fan, you like the bleakness and hopelessness that this movie shows. Expect mild violence and an overall feeling of depression to overwhelm you. This is my all time favourite post apocalyptic movie!

Buy it from Amazon

Blindness (2008)

Blindness is an apocalyptic movie that deals with how humans will most likely act once civilisation crumbles, or when placed in a confined space with no set rules or laws to regulate life and every day activities.

A strange epidemic causes people to lose their sight, which consequently brings the collapse of civilisation. The movie follows a group of people placed in quarantine in an old mental institution and their struggle for power and dominance. One of those quarantined still has her sight and witnesses everything that’s been happening to them. It’s up to her to lead a group of survivors outside and keep them safe from a second group who have turned violent against those who can’t defend themselves. It doesn’t take long for their jail to descend into chaos. Expect some violence.

Buy it from Amazon

The Day (2011)

Expect some gore with this one. This movie has gone unnoticed by a lot of people. Maybe this was due to a low budget. It’s a post apocalyptic movie that takes place primarily in a farmhouse (low budget, remember?) and the surrounding area, where a group of five people seek shelter, food, and some rest, since one of their own is sick. As they search the house for food, they activate a trap set by the cannibals who control the region. This is when things really start to worsen. Like many movies before, it also focuses on the question of how far humans would go to survive and how much that survival would come at a cost of their humanity. The setting is exactly as it should be (bleak and grey) and helps the viewer experience the aftermath of the apocalypse. Expect violence and some gore. I wish people had paid more attention to this movie, despite its low budget and the lack of big movie stars (though I’m sure a lot of you will recognise at least two of the actors).

Buy it from Amazon

The Divide (2011)

I’m going to say it right out: expect excessive amounts of violence and gore. This is a very graphic movie not meant for kids or even teens. You will need to have a rather strong stomach for this one.

Having said that, it is probably one of the best apocalyptic movies, not because of the stellar script (it’s anything but stellar or original, since it has a few cliches here and there, some plot points feel as if they were rushed, and a few plot holes), but for the very strong performances. If only it wasn’t as graphic, then people might appreciate it more.

The movie takes place immediately after a nuclear strike on a major city. A few residents of one of the buildings make it to the basement where they seal themselves and supposedly wait the whole thing out. But, as is expected when a lot of people are gathered in a small space and there are hardly enough supplies to go around, things get out of control pretty fast. In this case, a little too fast. “Hell is other people,” one reviewer said about this movie and they were right! Like many other movies of the genre, The Divide also shows the viewer how far humans could go to survive and how easy it is to lose ourselves and become savage.

Again, this is not a movie for the faint of heart or for young viewers.

Buy it from Amazon

Hidden (2015)

Hidden is a post apocalyptic horror film that, for the most part, takes place in a basement (anyone who has read my own The Darkening should be able to see a pattern here as well as with The Divide and other movies in this list).

The world has been ravaged by a viral outbreak that has turned humans into monsters. A family of three (father, mother, and daughter) have taken refuge in a basement from those they call the Breathers, and have turned the cramped basement into home. They have set several rules to make their life easier and to help as much as possible with the situation. Up to that point, the monsters outside (the Breathers) have been actively hunting the family but have never managed to find them. However, accidents happen and things turn ugly after a while. The movie starts slowly, and it may even bore you at first, but don’t judge it hastily. It will pay you off later when we learn more about what has happened.

Expect some violence, some heightened heartbeats (after all, this is a thriller/horror movie), and yes some depressing feelings.

Buy it from Amazon

These Final Hours (2013)

You’d be surprised at how much this film can affect and move you in the end. This is an apocalyptic movie, though to be honest, it takes place a few hours before the apocalypse strikes the area where the protagonists are. I wonder if there’s a term for something that happens moments before the apocalypse strikes, like pre-apocalypse? Prepocalypse…?

Anyway, an asteroid has hit the Earth, giving twelve hours of life for the heroes before the coming firestorm reaches them at the other side of the planet. Unlike the previous films, there are no confined spaces here. The hero wants to go to the party-to-end-all-parties but on the way there, he encounters a little girl, who is about to be raped. The hero saves the girl, and she tells him that she wants to find her father. Throughout the movie the two form a strong bond that will help the hero understand a few things about himself. There’s some violence, some nudity, a lot of feelings of redemption, and you can’t help but cheer for the two main characters. Don’t let that fool you, it’s still a depressing movie that borrows bitter-sweet elements from movies like The Road (just borrows though, and only a couple of elements–you’ll know once you make it all the way to the end).

Buy it from Amazon

Jericho (2006 – 2008)

Ah, my favourite post apocalyptic show. Cancelled, unfortunately 🙁 but still a great show to watch. Oh, and for the record, technically speaking, though the show was cancelled, the creators have given an end to the events with two more seasons of comic book series.

As a TV show without the time constraints found on movies (I’m sick and tired of movies lasting only 90-100 minutes!), Jericho deals more with the social dynamics of a community (the town of Jericho) in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, rather than dealing with hardcore survival and going to the extreme to accomplish that. As such, it is much milder with hardly any violent scenes that you haven’t already seen in nearly every TV show out there.

Nuclear explosions have devastated several of the major US cities, leaving the inhabitants of Jericho cut off from the outside world. When they manage to establish communications and an economy system with a neighbouring town, they end up in a bloody conflict with them. As is expected with TV shows, we learn bits and pieces of each character’s background and how they all tie in with the situation at hand. And we also start getting glimpses of what has actually happened and who was behind the attacks.

Buy it from Amazon

Season 1, Season 2

The Walking Dead (2010-still on air as of this writing)

You thought I had forgotten this one, didn’t you? Well, my personal dislike for most anything zombie related, this show has a massive following. So I couldn’t help but include it. After all, it is a good show.

The Walking Dead is based on a comic book series, if I’m not mistaken. The show starts off with a sheriff waking up from a coma, after being shot in the line of duty, and finding himself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. After the shock of waking up surrounded by walking corpses passes, he sets off to find his family. Eventually he ends up leading a group of survivors and with them he travels the country in search of food and safety. However, living in a world overrun by zombies takes its toll, not only to the number of survivors that make it alive after each episode, but also to what those survivors are willing to do to carry on living. You can expect a great deal of interpersonal conflict (as is the case with most TV shows of this kind) that sometimes may end up being just as bad as facing the zombie horde. Constant exposure to death and danger changes everyone and the same is true for the heroes of this show. Expect mild horror scenes and some chilling encounters with zombies early on. Nothing over the top, nothing you won’t get used to over the course of the show, and certainly nothing that should deter you from watching it.

Buy it from Amazon

Season 1, season 2, season 3, season 4, season 5, season 6, season, 7, season 8, season 9.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

I saved the best for the end. The last entry of this two-part list is a comedy. Yes, a comedy, and I left it for the end in an attempt to cheer you up a bit. Shaun of the Dead is a British movie set in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The movie follows Shaun, who is having a rather bad day. His girlfriend has left him and he is sharing his place with his best friend. So he decides to turn his life around. The only problem is, he decided to do it at the worst time possible: when zombies are running (or shuffling) rampant in the streets.

Expect a lot of laughter from two very talented British actors caught up in some pretty comical situations. A must-see movie!

Buy it from Amazon

And that’s it. I hope you enjoyed reading this list. Naturally, the movies and TV shows mentioned here are some of my personal favourites. I’m sure there are other movies and shows out there that I either forgot to mention or haven’t seen. Feel free to comment with your choices.

One step at a time

It’s been a little while, right? I apologise for that. 2018 was a year full of ups and downs, with things happening at an alarmingly fast pace. So much so that at times it was hard for me to keep up. Those of you who know me in person, know that I like things to happen slowly over time. But such is life; it rarely does our bidding. Which is probably why I write fiction, I guess. Anything can happen there.

Though I’m not a big fan of new year resolutions (in other words, I don’t like them at all), this year I decided to stick to at least one that I feel is extremely important to me: reduce my stress levels considerably and, in doing so, enjoy writing once again. Between publishing my début novel, The Darkening, dealing with family-related health issues, trying to learn new skills (anyone willing to teach a Photoshop newbie like me some things in record time?), and other things that life often throws our way, I neglected a lot of things that I shouldn’t have, but most importantly, I drifted away from much of social life.

So what are this year’s plans? First of all, acquire the necessary funds to publish book 1 of my upcoming cyberpunk trilogy, then publish said book. I have decided to worry about funding books 2 and 3 after book 1 has gone live. The reason for that is in part that I have not yet written books 2 and 3. Chances are that all three books will be funded, in part or full, through crowdfunding, assuming the campaigns are successful.

As for other plans… drum roll please…

I have started drafting book 2. I believe I have a solid story, as well as strong and interesting set of characters.

After that, I’ll start outlining book 3… for the sixth time (!!), since nothing seems to be good enough. Again, I’ll worry about that in due time.

Best wishes for Christmas

I want to wish you all a happy holiday and Merry Christmas! Whatever you do, I hope you get to spend the festive period surrounded by the people you love and love you, doing all the things that give meaning to your lives!!

And myself?

I’ll be spending it with my family, trying hard to relax and stressing as little as possible with work related things.

I have noticed a serious decline in my productivity the past few months, which I believe is a direct result of me working non-stop for the past 3-4 years (including summers). My prediction for 2019 is that it will be a difficult and stressful year for me, so I have decided to take some much needed vacation. The plan is to abstain from all writing activities from Christmas day (which is also my nameday, so if you remember to wish me Happy Nameday, I will respond with a thank you message) until January 2, or January 6 (depending on how fast my internal batteries will recharge).

Whatever you do, however you do it, have fun and enjoy yourselves!

10 things you’ll need to survive the apocalypse

It’s been a month since my debut post-apocalyptic horror novel, The Darkening, hit the electronic and physical shelves (you can check it out here and here), and I’ve been looking into things that one should do to survive an apocalyptic event. Now, a few months back, I wrote a list with the 10 post apocalyptic scenarios most possible to happen. Inspired from these, I thought I should come up with a list of things one should do to be prepared for such an event.

Please note, though I have written a post apocalyptic novel, that does not mean I am a prepper, or that I have done or tried any of the following things. So don’t take my word for any of these. You see, I’m more like this:

Keep in mind that everything depends on the type of the apocalypse you’ll be dealing with, however, there are a few things that will prove helpful no matter what the scenario is. With the following list, I tried to take into account as many different scenarios as possible.

1. A satchel or backpack

Imagine this: something catastrophic happened a couple of days ago on the other side of the planet. The effects spread rapidly and are not too far away from where you live. Others have seen it too and are acting accordingly.

The local infrastructure is already ruined because… panic, and from whatever the effects of the apocalypse may be. You’re going to have to leave, but you should take some items with you. No, grocery store bags are not ideal for something like this. You need something to carry your gear, and it had better be something that will last you a long time. Bug out bags, as they’re often called, are lightweight and can carry provisions and items that you will need for the first couple of days. Some of them come pre-stocked with items like water purification tablets and other useful items. Make sure you keep it somewhere handy, and that its provisions have not expired.

2. Knife

This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Skin your food, hunt, or defend yourself out there. In an apocalyptic scenario, you’re not going to be the only survivor (hopefully). However, usually, when things get really ugly and resources necessary for survival become too scarce, people tend to look after themselves. Survival instincts and desperation kicks in. What you have and I don’t, I can try taking it from you. So make sure you keep your knife sharp.

3. Stormproof matches

I don’t know about you, but I suck at lighting fires. And I don’t mean trying to light a fire out there in the wilderness (Chris and the wild don’t mix together, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post). I’m talking about trying to get a fire going in a fireplace. If you’re like me, and for some reason you have yet to master evolutionary basics, like getting a fire going in a warm, summer day for a barbecue, imagine how much harder it will be to light a fire when it’s raining outside your shelter, you’re miserable, cold, and drenched to the bone from hunting the foul beast of Caerbannog in the rain.

Your hands are shaking. You strike the match, and just as it lights up, a gust of wind puts it out. Meanwhile, you’re still freezing, and you’re also one match shorter than before. Still no fire. Bet now you wish you had bought stormproof matches, huh?

4. Flint and steel

Eventually your stormproof matches will run out. Then what? Well, time to go old school. Flint and steel. I’ll leave the pros do the talking for this one, so watch the videos and mimic them.

If you want to know more about how to start a fire, you can check this site out. Please don’t do it in the middle of forests or in your homes, m’kay? This knowledge should only be used in case of emergency.

5. Flashlight

We take electricity for granted nowadays. Just over a century and a half ago, in some places, the streets at night were dark, and unless the sky was clear and the moon big enough to shine, you couldn’t see where you were going. Modern power grid requires constant monitoring and maintenance, so if an apocalyptic situation occurs and civilisation collapses around you, the power will be one of the first things to go. And if the scenario forces you to leave the city (assuming you live in one), you’re going to have to see where you’re going in order to avoid falling and breaking a bone. Make sure you have plenty of batteries with you, but bear in mind that they won’t last you forever. For that you may want to consider a solar-powered flashlight.

6. A compass

– Does it need batteries?
– No.
– Good. Will it save my life?
– Yes.
– Approved!

Seriously, if you have to travel and you’re miles away from any roads, or even if you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, a compass will save your life, provided you know the relative location of wherever it is you wish to go to with respect to your current general location (in other words, “I’m in Pennsylvania and I want to go to Florida. Florida is south of where I am now”). The only chance a compass will fail you, is if you fail yourself and mistake north for south, or if something happens to the Earth’s magnetic poles. Of course in the case of the Earth’s magnetic poles disappearing, going in the wrong direction would be the least of your worries…

7. First aid kit

Regardless of the apocalyptic scenario, if you’re one of the survivors, your primary objective is to keep yourself safe. Yes, our bodies can cope with a lot of things, but would you be willing to test your limits during an apocalypse? Potentially, even a scrape from a rusty piece of metal can be fatal, so do make sure you have a handy first aid kit with you. And keep it safe. Even if you’re Superman in disguise and viruses and diseases run away from you in terror, you can always use it to barter for something you don’t have. Not that I advise you to trade away your medical supplies.

8. Hard Currency

Speaking of bartering, remember the time when banks and politicians created money out of nothing and gave us all thin plastic cards that supposedly represented equal value to hard currency, like gold? Now let’s imagine a situation where the world’s banking system has collapsed. Power and telecommunications are also no more, so no internet or electricity. And you need food and water. Lucky you, there’s a store across the street with a couple of walking mountains-for-guards keeping an eye on things, that still has some food. Of course prices will be inflated, but who cares? You have your mighty plastic card! Gold or platinum coloured!

When was the last time you tried trading plastic strips (with fancy colours) for food or water or anything valuable? Mine was in kindergarten or maybe early elementary years. So, do consider grabbing and holding onto some hard currency. Gold, silver, jewels. Things you can actually barter with. Depending on the crisis at hand, food, water, or antibiotics may be even more precious than gold and silver. While we’re looking at alternative forms of currency, and if the apocalypse allows it, consider seeds from plants that bear fruits. Preferably not from genetically modified plants, since seeds from most of these cannot grow after a couple of harvests.

9. Warm and sturdy clothes

Imagine surviving whatever apocalypse befell the world, only to succumb to a cold or hypothermia. That would really suck. So, the next time you go to a shopping spree to buy the latest awesome and fashionable clothes, you may want to consider adding something less fashionable but more durable and warm.


Honourable mention

10. Guns

Yeah, that also goes without saying, however, how long will it be practical for? Assuming the apocalypse at hand is here to stay for the foreseeable future, how many bullets will you be able to carry around? And how much weight will that add to your backpack? What will you do with the gun once you have no more bullets? Throw it at the enemy? Maybe, if it’s heavy and reliable.

And there you have it, folks. Now, I tried my best to take something grim that potentially could scare a lot of people, and turn it into an enjoyable read. A lot of people take the end of the world seriously. Even if the end never comes during our lifetime, it’s always best to be prepared, right?