1. The Quiet Earth (1986): This post-apocalyptic film from New Zealand focuses on a scientist named Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) who is part of a project to create a global energy grid. One day the sun darkens for only a moment, followed by a red light surrounded by darkness. Once all of this passes Zac finds himself to be only person left on earth, and this global grid apparently caused many people to simply vanish without a trace. The ending of this movie is a surprise, but not really for those who saw the movie poster of Zac staring at a nearby planet similar to Saturn. Even so the movie only ends with every more questions and speculations.
2. A Boy And His Dog (1975): Before the Max Max movies, and before Don Johnson would achieve greater fame in the TV series Miami Vice; Johnson played a horny teen age scavenger named Vic in a post-apocalyptic world. His only companion is a dog named Blood, who is able to commentate with Vic via telepathy. The two have a Laurel & Hardy styled relationship. This movie is not for children hands down but is popular with die hard sci-fi fans looking for great cult movies.
3. Alphaville (1965): This French film builds on George Orwell’s novel “1984” and throws in a touch of classic gumshoeism with the film’s protagonist whose mission is the destroy an oppressive computer named Alpha 60 who controls the people residing the city called Alphaville. The film makers were quite smart in trying not to create a future by making it different and based on the imaginations of men, but rather create that future is if it was in the present. After all we are way passed the year 2001 and we have not achieved what the namesake movie thought we would. A synthpop band from Germany would name their band after this movie and would be known for the songs “Big In Japan” and “Forever Young.”
4. Metropolis (1927): The talkies were taking shape but Metropolis was part of the norm of its day. The silent film. Still it would lay the ground work of many sci-fi greats to come. It deals with the class warfare in the year 2026, and an evil plot to take a young woman with vision of a better world, and take her likeness, incorporate that into an android and watch the workers self-destruct as the rich elite of Metropolis try to reap the rewards. This movie also inspired the music videos “Radio Ga Ga” and “Express Yourself” by Queen and Madonna respectfully.
5. Westworld (1973): Before you check out the current HBO series you might want to give this movie a good watch. It takes place in the near future in which allows us every day humans to interact with live like androids in a recreation of the wild west. There are other historic recreations including medieval Europe and the Roman Empire but the wild west focus gives the movie its title. The best part of the movie is when the androids (especially the android gun slinger played by Yul Brynner) actually kills the tourists with real bullets. Michael Crichton’s movie was way ahead of its time. Crichton would go on create the much popular movie trilogy Jurassic Park. There is something about his fictional theme parks. Makes you want to avoid them at all costs in the real world.
6. Scanners (1981): A weapon and security corporation called ConSec has been able to create a powerful weapon. Human beings with abilities of telekinesis, telepathy and mind control. However, a secret war breaks out and the Scanners must fight back against a Rouge scanner named Darryl Revok who wants to create his own army of Scanners to rule the world.
7. Soylent Green (1973): After still pics of the greatness of 20th Century industrialization, it shows its dark side as this movie takes place in the year 2022. The movie focuses on police detective Frank Thorn (Charlton Heston) as he tries to make an honest living and upholding justice in this brave new world. A murder of a very rich man leads Thorn to a corporation called Soylent who is a food producer and just created ahigh-energy plankton from the world’s oceans. But as Thorn will eventually discover, Soylent Green is not from the oceans and the company is determined to keep its secrets from the general public. It also scary that they use garbage trucks to transport human corpses.