Prepare to Meet Thy Maker…

With controversial indie director Abel Ferrara about to release his latest 4.44: Last Day on Earth in the US – let’s turn our attention to a perennial favourite of Hollywood and independent film makers – Armageddon. As the dreaded date of 21.12.12 gets closer – the day the Mayan calendar ends, possibly signifying the end of the world – here’s a list of some of the most original ‘Doomsday’ films that have either made us wish the world would end a lot sooner or sent us scurrying under our beds in terror.

4.44: Last Day on Earth US 2011 Dir: Abel Ferrara 85mins

What would you do if you knew the world was about to end?  Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh play a New York couple awaiting the impending apocalypse in this sharp two-hander from the director of Bad Lieutenant. Probably Ferrara’s most spiritual tale to date, the film looks at Armageddon with intelligence and originality.

Time of the Wolf Fra/Aus/Ger 2003 Dir: Michael Haneke 113mins subts

Disturbing film from award-winning director Michael Haneke.  Set against the backdrop of a global apocalypse, a family must fight for survival in an unnamed land where kindness and humanity no longer exist.

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Bomb UK/1964 Dir: Stanley Kubrick 94mins

Stanley Kubrick’s blackest of comedies, in which an unhinged American General dooms the world to a nuclear apocalypse.

Peter Sellers in Dr Strangelove

Mad Max Aus/1979 Dir: George Miller 88mins

Mel Gibson is Max, the original Australian anti-hero. Following the death of his best friend, wife and child, leather-clad Max sinks into the abyss in a barren, apocalyptic landscape.

La Jetée Fra/1962 Dir: Chris Marker 28mins subts

In a devastated Paris in the aftermath of WWIII, a few surviving humans begin researching time travel, hoping to send someone back to the pre-war world for food, supplies and maybe a solution to their dire position. One man is haunted by a vague childhood memory that will prove fateful.

Chris Marker's La Jetée

Planet of the Apes US/1968 Dir: Franklin J. Schaffner 112mins

Spawning a number of sequels and its own television series, the original film is still the best. An astronaut crew crash lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.

12 Monkeys US/1995 Dir: Terry Gilliam 129mins

An unknown and lethal virus has wiped out Earth, leaving only 1% of the population alive. A convict volunteers to be sent back in time to gather information about the origin of the virus but is mistakenly arrested and locked up in a mental institution.

Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys

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~ by cinemalicious on March 22, 2012.

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