End of the World: 8 Post-Apocalyptic Movies You Have to See

Kevin Costner

Waterworld | Gordan Company

So what happens after the bomb hits, the zombies arrive, disease ravages the population, and the earth floods? If you take dystopia just one step further, what do you end up with? The end of the world, of course — and all the fantastic cinematic interpretations that we’ve made while pondering our ultimate demise. Post-apocalyptic films are an interesting genre, usually combining utter degradation and human devolution in the struggle for survival with hope, and the bonds of love and friendship.

Seeing a destroyed version of a city we know and love can certainly put life and politics into perspective, as is often the intention of filmmakers. With Mad Max: Fury Road recently reinvigorating the genre, let’s  take a look at eight other post-apocalyptic movies that ended the world in style.

1. Waterworld

Waterworld follows a pretty obvious premise: the ice caps have melted and the entire planet has become one gigantic ocean. Surviving humans live on floating make-shift civilizations and boats, fending off pirates. Kevin Costner stars as an outcast, born with marine mutations, who befriends a woman and small girl on the run from criminals who know their secret: a map tattooed on the child that could lead to a fabled dry land.

Released in 1995, Waterworld is something of a classic post-apocalyptic film, though it faced a great deal of criticism when it first hit theaters — a result of its budgetary problems, since water isn’t as easy to film on as some expected. Some of the costuming is a bit corny admittedly, but the set and special effects were rather well done for the 90s, and if all else fails, you get to see Deb from Napoleon Dynamite (Tina Majorino) as a little tattooed girl.