WAr for the Planet of the Apes

Hollywood loves a good apocalypse. Post-apocalyptic films continue to flourish, and with the way current events seem to be headed, these movies are becoming even more relevant. Be it exciting adventure films or bleak existential reflections, the end of the world is big business for show business. After all, who doesn’t want to see the human race meet its demise at this point?

This week, those damn dirty apes are back for War For the Planet of the Apes, the latest film in the surprisingly excellent reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise. Once again, humanity inches ever-closer to extinction while intelligent apes claim the planet for themselves. Good for them! In the grand scheme of post-apocalyptic films, it’s not that bad, especially when compared to some other films in a similar vein. In the spirit of this latest cinematic excursion into the aftermath of the end of the world, let’s rank some cinematic post-apocalypses from how tolerable they seem to how devastatingly awful they are. Sounds pleasant! Ever wonder how you might fare in the aftermath of the end of the world? Reading this list is the only way to find out!



What killed the world: Over-crowding and an abundance of garbage, leading to adorable robots created to clean up after our mess.  

Daily Struggles: There actually aren’t any. Human beings have abandoned earth to live as boneless blobs who sit in hover-chairs all day, watching TV and living in a sort of oblivious bliss.

How bad would it be?: Not too bad! Being an amorphous blob sounds kind of nice right about now. Plus, you get to watch TV all day. Think of all the Peak TV you can finally catch up on! Missed the recent season of Fargo? Now you’re in luck! Sure, the argument could be made – as Wall-E does – that this is a bad thing, but as far as post-apocalypses go, it’s not as bad as dealing with cannibals or zombies. Let’s call this one tolerable.


The Matrix

What killed the world: Intelligent machines waged war against humanity, leading humanity to scorch the sky, because humanity is dumb.

Daily Struggles: Most human beings are being used as batteries, spending their days encased in goo pods with a bunch of tubes sticking out of them. Those who are aware of this spend their days and nights battling for survival while wearing the most popular fashion Hot Topic had to offer in the 1990s. Those who are unaware live in a simulation of the real world. 

How bad would it be?: Mostly tolerable. The majority of the people trapped in the Matrix don’t actually know they’re living in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. This is a case of ignorance being bliss – sure, you may be stuck in some terrible dead-end job when you’re jacked into the Matrix, but maybe that’s not so bad compared to the alternative. I say why not enjoy being a big battery? Everything is fine, unless that jerk Neo wakes us all up and makes us fight robot squids.


Turbo Kid

What killed the world: Undetermined, probably nuclear war.

Daily Struggles: Death; dismemberment; loneliness; Michael Ironside.

How bad would it be?: Not great, but not terrible either. Turbo Kid is set in the futuristic year of 1997, where the world is a wasteland and heroes are in short supply. Yet all you need to survive is a trusty BMX bike and a friendly robot companion. There’s a lot of blood flowing here, but it looks kind of fun. If you had to pick an apocalyptic wasteland to fight your way through, it would probably be this one.


The Book of Eli

What killed the world: Nuclear apocalypse.

Daily Struggles: Dust; cannibals; other humans; Gary Oldman.

How bad would it be?: Kind of bad, I guess? Really, it would just be like living in a Western, only with iPods. True, there are some cannibals to deal with from time to time, but who hasn’t dealt with cannibals at least once in their life? It seems that as long as you excel at wearing trench coats and sunglasses, you’ll be okay in this post-apocalypse.

day of the dead

George Romero’s Dead Franchise

What killed the world: Zombies! (cause unknown/no more room in hell).

Daily Struggles: Zombies! Also people, who are like, the real monsters, maaaaaaan.

How bad would it be?: Unpleasant, but possibly survivable. I won’t sugarcoat it: zombies are bad. But even though society breaks down bit by bit as George Romero’s Dead series goes on – starting with Night of the Living Dead, moving to Dawn of the Dead, then Day of the Dead, then some other sequels that we’ll mostly ignore because they’re terrible, conditions don’t seem that bad. In fact, greedy entrepreneurs like Dennis Hopper in Land of the Dead are able to milk this post-apocalypse and open a fancy high-rise for the upper class. Of course, if you’re in the lower class you’re screwed and more likely to become zombie chow. Yet if you’re able to stock up on enough ammo you might be able to make it – Romero’s zombies are slow, after all, and make easy targets.

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