Favorite Survival Flicks

Posted on: December 2, 2014

As the weather gets colder and the snow blows around, many of us like to huddle inside for an evening of popcorn and movies, preferably while a fire roars in the fireplace or wood stove. To that end, I’ve assembled here a short list of my own personal favorite survival/prepper themed movies. This list certainly isn’t 100% complete, containing every single survival movie I’ve enjoyed. Rather, I’m just hitting some of the high points, trying to give y’all at least a somewhat rounded list, and including selections from various genres.

As with any such list like this, you may not agree with me on some, perhaps all, of my choices. That doesn’t make either of us wrong, just different. Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments.

One more thing…this list is in absolutely random order. They aren’t ranked in any way whatsoever.

Red Dawn (1984)
I first saw Red Dawn in the theater when I was a young teenager. My buddies and I were enthralled by this story of a group of kids not much older than ourselves living in the mountains and fighting off Russian and Cuban troops that had invaded America. I’ve watched this movie countless times since and still enjoy the hell out of it.

Red Dawn (2012)
When I’d first heard they were remaking Red Dawn, I was not a happy guy. How dare they take a classic movie from my youth and screw it up! Then, I saw the remake and found that my fears were for naught. They stayed true enough to the source material to make me happy, scattering little bits and pieces throughout that were homages to the original. At the same time, they made a very exciting movie, one that I’ve watched several times and have yet to tire of it. I was and still am most impressed with the performance of Josh Peck. Thanks to my own children, I’d spent countless hours watching him on various kid shows, typically playing the oafish nerd. His character here is light years away from that sort of typecasting and he handled it great.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse
This is the second movie in the long-running series and, in my opinion, the best of the lot. I’m not generally a fan of zombie movies as, of all the fictional end-of-the-world scenarios, a zombie uprising would be the easiest to survive. Picking out the bad guys is pretty darn easy, y’know? But, any list of survival movies just has to have a zombie appearance or all hell breaks loose, so this one is my choice. Watching the first movie in the series, aptly titled Resident Evil, isn’t necessary but would add a bit of background to the story here. Basically, an evil corporation came up with what is called the T-Virus, which turns people into undead zombies. The virus escapes and civilization takes a nose dive.

Tomorrow, When the War Began
This one is sort of the Australian version of Red Dawn. Group of high school kids return from a camping trip and discover their town has been taken over by foreign military forces. It is based on a series of novels by John Marsden. I absolutely love this movie. Very well done, the characters remain true to themselves throughout the flick. Sadly, my understanding is there are no plans to do any sequels.

The Day After Tomorrow
Lots of people didn’t care for this one but I really liked it. Dennis Quaid plays a scientist who is fighting to get people to understand the dangers of global warming. As his predictions start to come true, massive storms form and things get rather dicey for folks. Great special effects and the acting is pretty damn good as well.

This is NOT a feel good movie, not by any stretch. There are few, if any, chuckles. Instead, Contagion has perhaps the most realistic portrayal of a pandemic ever put on film. After watching this movie, try and pay attention to how many times you touch your face in an hour.

The Road Warrior
While it probably wasn’t the very first of the hero-in-black-leather-roaming-the-wastelands movies, it certainly is the most well known. Properly titled Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, it is the second in a series of movies portraying the trials and tribulations of Max, a former cop trying his hardest to just survive in a world gone crazy. This was the first post-apocalyptic themed movie I remember seeing and I’ve wanted a sawed off double barrel shotgun ever since.

The Day After
Some of you may recall when this TV miniseries first aired, back in 1983. It was quite an event, actually. There were hotlines set up so folks who were disturbed by the movie could call in to speak with counselors. Schools encouraged students to speak to faculty members and guidance counselors if the movie bothered them. I’ve seen it a few times in recent years and, if you overlook some of the attire and hairstyles, the movie holds up pretty well.

Okay, this one isn’t actually a movie but a TV series that lasted for 1.5 seasons. But, if you’ve not seen it yet, make it a point to do so soon. Nuclear strikes occur in the heartland and the small town of Jericho is left to its own devices. Very well done, with plenty of drama, action, and even a touch of romance here and there.

Another TV series rather than a single movie, Jeremiah tells the story of the title character, who was a young boy when a strange disease swept the country, killing anyone who had reached puberty. As a result of this plague, the world became sort of Lord of the Flies on steroids. Jeremiah is on the search for Valhalla Sector, a rumored safe haven his father had told him about before he died. There is a second season as well, though I’ve not seen it yet.

The Edge
Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin play two men who survive a plane crash in the mountains and have to work together to survive. Neither is well equipped for such an endeavor and they make numerous mistakes along the way, including incurring the wrath of a rather large bear.

There are plenty more great survival movies out there. What are some of your own favorites?

3 thoughts on “Favorite Survival Flicks

  1. Tried to watch Jeremiah but oh my word, the dialogue and acting were just SO awful! Shame. The concept is an interesting one.

  2. I liked The Trigger Effect from 1996. It’s a fairly obscure movie that portrays a power outage over several days. There are some scenes that will make you want to do a facepalm, but it is thought-provoking.

    Also recently saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. While I don’t think we’re in danger of being taken over by our distant cousins, the apes’ behavior does give you an idea how people would react in a post SHTF/WROL environment, particularly in a warlike setting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *