Lord Reptile’s Top 5 Apocalypse Movies

You’re reading the concluding post for Preparedness Week, a weeklong series of blogs about disaster and emergency preparation inspired by the launch of Freedom Academy’s newest e-book, Surviving the End: A Practical Guide for Everyday Americans in the Age of Terrorby James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. You can download the e-book exclusively at the PJ Store here.


5. Mortal Kombat

If the apocalypse means having my skull smashed open on the rocks by Goro while Napalm Death plays then count me in. After all, Reptile is just Shang Tsung’s humble bodyguard for swatting down mortal weaklings in this film. The Reptile can take a few body slams with no problem.

Anyway, if you’re unfamiliar with the Mortal Kombat video games’ plot it shouldn’t matter. The movie involves a brutal tournament between the mortals of Earthrealm and Shang Tsung’s flunkies of Outworld. If Earth’s warriors lose the 10th tournament, the emperor Shao Khan becomes the ruler of Earthrealm.

I’m not going to spoil the ending but it should be fairly obvious that a certain Shaolin monk by the name of Louis Kang lays the smack down on the evil sorcerer and reappears for the sequel, Annihilation. This is the only proper MK film. Don’t bother with any others.

Mortal Kombat is a fine apocalyptic movie for parties or any situation.

4. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

I can think of no worse way for the earth to go out than by a stampeding horde of giant armored bugs. But when you throw in Hayao Miyazaki’s unique sci-fi character designs you realize that even terrifying insect creatures can be misunderstood. Still, that toxic jungle is a huge problem.

Princess Nausicaä reminds me of Samus from the Metroid series. When she rescues a baby Ohm and gains its trust is similar to when Samus rescues a Metroid hatchling at the end of Metroid II. If you’re looking for action-packed sci-fi anime that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Nausicaä delivers the goods.


Nausicaä also overcomes the bad English dub anime trope thanks to Sir Patrick Stewart for his voice talents in a secondary role. Then again, Shia Labeef is a loser and his performance is lackluster as always so maybe you would be better off watching in the Japanese with subtitles.

Technically Nausicaä is not a Studio Ghibli film, but it was crucial in the realization of Miyazaki’s creative genius.

3. Escape From New York

While you are watching John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, bear in mind that although this fictional version of Manhattan was turned into a prison in response to high crime rates, the movie’s antagonists are the fascist police.

The film is arguably the list’s most intense and features both special effects and action sequences way ahead of their time. The model of Manhattan looks incredible especially during the shots where the entire city is put under a black light. The computerized view of the city is an illusion — all they did was cover the model at select points with reflective tape.

Isaac Hayes plays one of the most imposing action villains ever as the Duke of New York — he’s definitely a worthy opponent. Kurt Russell also proves himself as one of the most iconic anti-heroes of all time as Snake Plissken, also known in the gaming community as Solid Snake. If that’s not enough for you, Carpenter’s score can even stand on its own.


2. Dark City

Dark City is the best apocalyptic film for bedtime. I can stay awake and remain thoroughly entertained by its extremely bleak, film noir-inspired atmosphere at any given time, but I’ve known some people who have difficulties. Perhaps the alien Strangers’ telepathic abilities are channeled through the film’s “tuning” segments and certain viewers are more sensitive to their powers. After all, if it worked on almost everyone in the city, why wouldn’t it work on some of the audience?

Dark City will appeal to you if you want to watch a film similar to The Matrix but without the non-stop action scenes and with a more thought-provoking plot. It’s also quite similar aesthetically to The Matrix as the vast majority of the characters wear trench coats.

1. Battle Royale

Battle Royale presents the most realistic apocalypse scenario of any movie to ever exist: the iron fisted Japanese government selects a high school class to fight to the death on a desert island once a year to instill fear in the populace.

Let that sink in. The friends you grew to know during your entire childhood are now your mortal enemy. But only one may survive in this tournament of gladiatorial school anime combat. Which schoolmates are your allies? How will you survive, and escape the island?


(Maybe the reason I love this movie so much is just because the overwhelming majority of my class definitely deserved to have their severed heads used as grenades.)

The dialogue is witty and the characters are lovable, you will miss every single one of them as they are chopped up, shot to pieces, or crushed into oblivion.

Battle Royale is definitely not for the squeamish.

Learn more about the inspiration for Disaster Week by downloading Surviving the End on the PJ Store today, and make sure your family is prepared.

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