Post-apocalyptic movies? I love them. Always have. I appreciate the best ones, of course. You know the ones, the Mad Max series, Children of Men, The Road, etc. There are many more, however. There was a massive production of post-apocalyptic movies in the 1980s when people had a strong fear of nuclear war. Many of the films produced during that time were low-budget, and it shows.
But if you are looking for post-apocalyptic movies to watch, let this post be the mothership of listings. There are more and more post-apocalyptic movies being produced every year, so this list will never – ever – be complete. That’s why this post will forever – and ever – be updated.
The big question in building such a list is: How do you define “post-apocalyptic movies”? So many post-apocalyptic films (and post-apocalyptic books) cross over into other genres like dystopian, science fiction, and even horror.
To answer the question, I have to make a judgment call. I try to determine if the movie is post-apocalyptic first and foremost. For example, zombie-themed movies qualify as post-apocalyptic movies only if they’re set in a future post-apocalyptic environment, not in the present world. Most zombie movies are not, so we have made a list for those movies. Post-apocalyptic movies needs a distinct post-apocalyptic feel.
Please! If you know of post-apocalyptic movies not listed here – leave them in the comments.
I will keep this list updated so that it grows and grows and grows.
Complete List of Post-Apocalyptic Movies
9 (2009)– We’ll start with the one that barely made the list because it’s animated and science fiction, but it’s also post-apocalyptic and interesting enough to make the cut. A rag doll wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world, and he holds the key to humanity’s salvation.
20 Years After (2008) – Twenty years after the nuclear war followed by plagues, no children have been born in 15 years. A woman becomes pregnant, and people fight for control of her.
2019: After the Fall of New York (1983) – After a nuclear war, two groups fight in New York for the last fertile woman left on Earth.
2020 Texas Gladiators (1982) – This is an Italian film set in post-apocalyptic Texas where a band of warriors fight a fascist regime.
A Boy and His Dog (1975) – It’s a weird movie, but an 18-year-old boy concerned with food and sex is accompanied by a telepathic dog in post-nuclear war Earth. The dog helps the boy find women. The boy helps the dog find food.
A Quiet Place (2018) – Making noise equates to a death sentence. In this post-apocalyptic world, mysterious creatures hunt by sound. A family tries to survive.
After Earth (2013) – Mankind was forced to leave Earth a millennium ago. Gen. Cypher and his teenage son crash on Earth’s hostile surface, where they must fight for survival.
Aftermath (2014) – Mushroom clouds go up and nine desperate survivors have to decide between dying in their shelter or venturing into the terrors of the outside world.
Air (2015) – Air is no longer breathable, and after a malfunction at an underground bunker, they are forced to leave.
America 3000 (1986) – Nine hundred years in the future, after a nuclear war has reduced mankind to the stone age, women rule the world, but one man seeks to change that.
Apocalypse Road (2016) – Two sisters become separated during a post-apocalyptic depression.
Apocalyptic 2077 (2019) – Jack survives the apocalypse from a research bunker in the Scottish highlands with the station’s AI computer to keep him company. Eight years later, Jack & the AI computer set out across the post-apocalyptic wastelands to deliver a message.
Automata (2004) – Jacq is an insurance agent for a robotics corporation who investigates cases where robots alter themselves and find serious consequences for what this means for the human race.
Barb Wire (1996) – America’s second Civil War struck in 2017. Barb Wire (Pamela Anderson) owns a nightclub and she is the toughest woman in Steel Harbor, a crime-ridden city where a new kind of mercenary resides.
Barefoot Gen (1983) – (subtitles) An animated manga film that serves as an anti-atomic war statement. The film details how nuclear war impacts a young boy’s life and the Japanese people he lives with.
Battletruck (1982) – A film made following the success of Mad Max. Not-so-strangely, it follows a similar “need gas” storyline. Also went by the title Warlords of the Twenty-First Century.
Beyond Reason (1970) – A film out of Australia telling the story of employees and residents of a mental institution who retreat into an underground bunker after nuclear war begins. The become locked underground and it isn’t long before the residents of the institution seek to take control.
Blood of Heroes (1989) – In a post-apocalyptic future, a woman joins a band of sport fighters (Juggers) who go on to battle against fighters of the ruling elite.
Blue World Order (2017) – An EMP kills all children on the planet but one – and now her father must protect her.
Bird Box (2018) – A mysterious force kills people all over the world. If you look at it – you die. Survivors must navigate the world blindfolded.
Bokeh (2017) – A couple is vacationing in Iceland when a flash of light happens and they wake up to find everyone else is missing. Now they must fight for survival while trying to make sense of what happened.
Bounty Killer (2013) – Corporate powers destroy the planet with their greed, so a bounty is placed on the heads of business leaders. Two bounty killers compete for the fame and fortune of having the most kills.
The Bad Batch (2016) – Starring Jason Momoa and Keanu Reeves, in a desert wasteland, a woman is kidnapped by a group of cannibals.
The Book of Eli (2010) – Thirty years after the apocalypse, a man travels west in the former United States, fighting for survival, and protecting an important book that he carries with him.
Cafe Flesh (1982) – (We told you this is a complete list of post-apocalyptic movies!) It’s a cult sci-fi porn film where, in the nuclear-ravaged future, people are either sex-positive or sex-negative. Negatives can’t have sex, and they force the Positives to perform for them.
Captive Women (1952) – free on YouTube – It’s post-apocalyptic NYC and three tribes of mutants fight each other for survival. Oh, and there are captive women.
Cherry 2000 (1987) – In the post-apocalyptic future, a man’s android wife shorts out and he won’t settle for any other model. This forces him to hire a tracker (Melanie Griffith) to get him through the dreaded Zone Seven to find another Cherry 2000.
Children of Men (2006) – A British/American film that takes place 18 years after the last baby was born and humanity has become infertile. Then a woman becomes pregnant.
City of Ember (2008) – A disaster was poised to destroy the world, so a “city of ember” was built underground to house survivors for 200 years. The movie takes place as the generators powering the city begin to fail.
Contagion (2011) – This movie saw a resurgence when Covid-19 hit. A movie with good reviews and strong actors. A virus strikes the world hard and fast.
Containment (2015) – Residents of an apartment complex wake up to find themselves sealed inside by people in hazmat suits. They don’t know who is infected and who isn’t. They begin to turn on each other.
Crumbs (2015) – The first post-apocalyptic film set in Africa? It’s post-apocalyptic Ethiopia in a strange but interesting film where an unexpected hero makes his way across the landscape in hopes of boarding a floating spaceship.
Cyborg (1989) – A typical Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, only post-apocalyptic. A plague cripples civilization. Watch Jean-Claude do what he does to a gang of bad dudes.
The Colony (2013) – The world froze over, but an underground colony must venture out to find another outpost.
Dark Vengeance (1992) – The environment is reduced to a poisoned wasteland and society is left with warring gangs. One warrior fights to bring order.
Damnation Alley (1977) – Barely more post-apocalyptic than it is science fiction. The world was tilted off its axes by the nuclear bombs of WWIII. Massive storms mutated giant scorpions, and an adventure to cross the country in an Air Force “Landmaster” armored personnel carrier.
Day the World Ended (1955) – free on YouTube – Sorta sci-fi with a mutant monster, but it takes place after a nuclear war. Seven people shelter in a protected valley with a survivalist and his daughter.
Dead Man’s Letters (1986) – free on YouTube – This one is interesting in that it’s a Russian story of post-nuclear war in the 1980s, which some believe was a Russian response to American films like War Games. People live in bunkers, with the main character holed up in the basement of a museum. What is life like outside?
Deadman Apocalypse (2016) – One man is the final hope to save the dying earth. Living in isolation, trapped deep beneath Labyrinthia, he must attempt an escape from the underground.
Def-Con 4 (1985) – A Canadian post-apocalyptic film. Three astronauts survive WWIII only to fight a paramilitary faction.
Delicatessen (1991) – Barely post-apocalyptic, but interesting to warrant inclusion. In post-apocalyptic France, a butcher who owns an apartment building occasionally carves tenants up and sells them as meat. This is a dark comedy.
Deluge (1933) (free on YouTube) – Based on a book of the same name, an enormous earthquake destroys the West Coast and now threatens the East Coast as well.
Doomsday (2008) – Twenty-five years after a devastating virus, a team goes into post-apocalyptic Scotland to fight feral survivors for a cure.
Dune Warriors (1990) – A wasteland warlord wants a town and its precious water. A woman and five warriors fight to defend it.
The Dark Age (2019) – A short, independent film that picks up seven years after a catastrophic solar storm destroys the global power grid, plunging humanity into darkness. It follows two women as they track down an electronic signal, leading to a deranged loner and his mysterious power supply.
The Day (2011) – A Canadian post-apocalyptic film where five survivors must battle cannibals at an isolated farmhouse.
The Day After (1983) – A made-for-TV movie where the U.S. is poised on the brink of nuclear war. Then it happens. People in small-town Kansas fight to survive.
The Day After (2017) – A drug company hoping to build the perfect race releases a deadly virus. Eleven strangers wake up in a bunker. This is a Russian series with English subtitles.
The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) – A British reporter, a veteran journalist, and a weather forecaster discover that nuclear explosions have altered the earth’s rotation. Fires and earthquakes strike cities as chaos and sickness descend as they try to put the planet back on its axis.
The Divide (2011) – Nine strangers find themselves together in a bunker after a nuclear attack. They try to adapt to one another, but what lurks outside?
The Domestics (2018) – A post-apocalyptic horror film where deadly gangs hunt a couple on the run.
Empire of Ash (1988) and Empire of Ash III (1989) – In the first movie, a virus has killed off much of civilization as people fight for survival. In the follow-up (labeled as III) new gangs fight for survival after the apocalypse.
Endgame – Bronx lotta finale (1983) – Yet another Italian film set after a nuclear holocaust. Endgame is a television show where hunters and gladiators fight in what’s left of New York City.
Equalizer 2000 (1988) – Two wasteland gangs fight for the “Equalizer 2000,” a powerful weapon that will ensure survival.
Exterminators of the Year 3000 (1983) – An Italian/Spanish post-apocalyptic action film spurred by the success of Mad Max, and not-so-strangely follows a similar storyline.
Five (1951) – An early nuclear war survival story, where only five Americans survive: a pregnant woman, a neo-Nazi, a black man and a bank clerk.
Future World (2018) – This movie skipped theaters altogether (an indication of its quality). The queen of a post-apocalyptic desert oases sends her son into the barren wastes in search of medicine that might save her life. Raiders, a robot sex companion, and a drug lord help make up this movie’s cast of bad characters.
Flu (2013) – English subtitles – A South Korean city near Seoul goes into chaos after an airborne virus begins infecting the population.
Gas-s-s-s (1970) – A post-apocalyptic dark comedy about survivors of an accidental military gas leak that kills everyone on Earth over the age of 25.
Glen and Randa (1971) – Decades after nuclear war devastated the earth, a young couple leave their tribe to explore what remains of the word. They know only what they’ve seen in pictures and comic books.
The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) – Twenty years ago a devastating fungus infected people and turned them into “hungries,” people that lose their mental capacity and feed on people. The uninfected live in heavily guarded areas or roam the wastes as scavenging “junkers.”
Hardware (1990) – Nomads scavange for scrap in a blasted landscape. An ex-soldier gains possession of some spare android parts. What he doesn’t know is that they go to a lethal new android that can reassemble itself and kill.
Hell (2011) – In the post-apocalyptic future, where rising temperatures have turned the world into a barren wasteland, survivors fight their greatest enemy – the sun. (English subtitles.)
Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988) – This is a questionable add, I know. A nuclear holocaust renders most people sterile. A drifter (Sam Hell) is recruited for a very special assignment. He, and the dangerous Spangle, must brave the barren wasteland ruled by overgrown amphibians.
Hostile (2018) – A lone survivor, Juliette, lives in a post-apocalyptic world fighting hunger, a broken leg, and strange, nocturnal creatures.
I Am Legend (2007) – The third of three adaptations of Richard Matheson’s book I Am Legend. Dr. Neville survived a plague that turned humans into killing mutants. He wanders NYC in search of others and in hopes of a cure.
I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday (2019) – This is one to watch during the holiday season! A woman and her son, staying in a bomb shelter during end times, wait as Christmas Eve approaches and their supplies dwindle. Watch as the mother is faced with difficult situations in order to save her son.
In the Year 2889 (2016) – A B-grade movie that borders on a zombie film. It’s actually a remake of Day the World Ended (previously listed). Nuclear war and survivors fighting mutants (and each other).
Interzone (1987) – An Italian/American film where a monk is sent on a mission to protect the last fertile region left on earth.
Into the Forest (2015) – In the Pacific Northwest, two sisters fight for survival after an apocalyptic blackout strikes.
IO (2019) – The planet is devoid of oxygen and the last spaceship is about to leave for the colony on IO. Can they make it in time?
It Comes at Night (2017) – A mysterious apocalypse leaves few survivors, and two families must share a home to stay safe. But will the real horror come from within?
Land of Doom (1986) – Post-nuclear holocaust, survivors live in caves and roam the wasteland in gangs. A few want a better life – and go in search of a safe city.
Le Dernier Combat (1983) – A French post-apocalyptic film. Shot in black and white and containing only two words of dialogue, it’s a world where people have been rendered mute and fight one another for survival.
Light of My Life (2019) – In a post-apocalyptic world, years after a plague has wiped out nearly the entire female population, a man must hide his daughter from men the men looking for women.
The Last Days (2013) – (English subtitles.) – A mysterious epidemic spreads across the land where being outside causes death, trapping everyone indoors. A man sets off to find his girlfriend in Barcelona while trying to avoid ever going outside.
The Last Survivors (2014) – Society has collapsed and water is scarce. Set in Oregon, a greedy water baron begins clearing out survivors, but some won’t go without a fight.
Mad Max (1979) – The original. Old school.
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – Two men enter. One man leaves.
Mad Max Fury Road (2015) – This movie needs no explanation. Watch it again. It’s sick.
Malevil (1981) – In post-apocalyptic France, people struggle for survival and try to resist a dictator trying to force them under his control.
Mortal Engines (2018) – Steampunk meets the post-apocalyptic word. Hundreds of years after a cataclysm, cities now roam the wasteland as gigantic machines, and London wants to bring the power of the old world back.
Neon City (1991) – Another Mad Max clone movie that follows people trying to escape to Neon City after a solar disaster destroys much of earth.
No Blade of Grass (1970) – An adaptation of the classic novel The Death of Grass, this movie follows the survivors of a plague that hit London. Food riots cause famine, and a man tries to lead his family to safety.
The Noah (1975) – A nuclear war kills everyone on the earth except one man. He makes an imaginary friend to keep him company. Then a friend for his friend. Then an entire world.
The New Barbarians (1983) – After a nuclear war, a few survivors try to read a distant land, fighting of an evil force along the way.
The Northlander (2016) – The year is 2961, and a hunter in one of the last surviving group of humans goes on a dangerous journey to save his people.
O-bi, O-ba – The End of Civilization (1985) – (subtitles) Another nuclear holocaust film, this one is Polish and set in an dungeon. Exhausted survivors live there waiting for “the Ark” to arrive.
On the Beach (2000) – Based on the classic 1957 Novel, and a made-for-TV remake film of the 1959 version above, in the aftermath of nuclear war, a deadly radioactive cloud slowly moves toward Australia.
The Omega Man (1971) – The second of three adaptations of Richard Matheson’s book I Am Legend. Dr. Neville is the only survivor of an apocalyptic war beyond a few hundred nocturnal people that blame science and technology for their maniacal condition. Neville, a symbol of that science, is hunted by them.
Panic in Year Zero (1962) – The Baldwin family heads on vacation, but then Los Angeles falls victim to a nuclear attack. Harry and his family head to their fishing retreat in the mountains, but they can’t escape the frantic and irrational citizens.
Phoenix the Warrior (1988) – Also went by She-Wolves of the Wasteland. Women – lots of post-apocalyptic women – fight each other for a fertile man to preserve the species.
Planet of the Apes (1968) – Let this inclusion also stand for the original sequels (Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and Battle for the Planet of the Apes). I’m not adding the newer versions, but in the classic 1968 movie, astronauts find themselves in a strange, post-apocalyptic world where apes dominate over humans.
The Postman (1997) – A post-apocalyptic drifter (Kevin Costner) dons a postal worker’s uniform, grabs a bag of old mail, and heads out to deliver it.
Quintet (1979) – Starring Paul Newman and taking place during a new ice age, people play a strange game of life and death.
The Quiet Earth (1985) – A man awakens and find himself alone in the world. He finds two others.
Raiders of the Sun (1992) – The apocalypse hit, and now a commando must defend the only village with gunpowder from a gang of raiders.
Radioactive Dreams (1985) – This is a sci-fi comedy that takes place fifteen years after a nuclear war that expended the entire world’s nuclear arsenal but one missile, two nineteen-year-olds emerge from a bunker into a world of mutants and cannibals in a struggle to find the two keys that could launch the last missile.
Ravagers (1979) – Based on the 1966 novel Path to Savagery. After a nuclear holocaust, creatures roam the earth looking to kill all survivors.
Refuge (2013) – Society breaks down and the rules that bind us together rot as our selfish, animalistic qualities take over. Now a family struggles to survive.
Robot Monster (1953) – free on YouTube – Yes, this movie involves an alien, so it’s rather sci-fi, but oh isn’t it special (sarcasm). Anyway, the alien has killed off all but six people on the planet and is now trying to kill off the rest, but then he falls for a woman in the group…
The Road (2009) – Based on the best-selling book of the same name, America is a gray, desolate, post-apocalyptic mess. A man and his boy make a dangerous journey toward the sea. The movie is like the book – epic.
The Rover (2014) – Society has collapsed. A drifter crosses the wasteland, but a gang steals his car, so he goes on the hunt to get it back.
The Road Warrior (1981) – You already know this movie. It’s the best.
Scorched Earth (2018) – A Canadian/American post-apocalyptic film where a bounty hunter searches for the head of a dangerous gang.
She (1982) – Well after the apocalypse, She helps retrieve a captured sister from a dangerous tribe.
Six-String Samurai (1998) – This is a post-apocalyptic comedy following a rock ‘n’ roll samurai who takes an orphan under his wing on the way to Lost Vegas.
Snowpiercer (2013) – A climate change experiment failed and froze the globe. Everyone died. Everyone but those who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe.
Solar Babies (1986) – In the post-apocalyptic sun-scorched world, a group of young orphans spend their time avoiding the dreaded “Protectorate” authorities. Then one orphan discovers a strange sphere that leads to a struggle.
Soylent Green (1973) – Award-winning film starring Charlton Heston. Overcrowding, pollution, global warming – people in NYC struggle to stay fed. Great flick.
Stalker (1979) – This is a Soviet post-apocalyptic movie, where “Stalker” leads a small expedition into a mysterious post-apocalyptic landscape known as the “Zone.” They travel through the debris of modern society.
The Stand (1994) – Stephen King’s book taken to a TV miniseries. A deadly plague has wiped out most of the world and now there is a final battle between good and evil.
Steel Dawn (1987) – A Patrick Swayze post-apocalyptic action film where a warrior wanders the wasteland when he comes upon settlers who need his help.
Stryker (1983) – Amazon women (with the help of Stryker) fight to defend their water supply in the wasteland.
Survivors (2008 TV Series) – A British series depicting the lives of a group of people who survived a previously unknown strain of influenza that has wiped out most of the human race.
The Sisterhood (1988) – Amazon she-warriors fight a brutal group of men who survived the nuclear holocaust.
The Survivalist (2015) – A survivalist lives off a small plot of land during a period of starvation. Two women show up looking for help, and his existence becomes threatened.
Tank Girl (1995) – A comedy based on the comic series of the same name. Tank Girl is one of a few survivors left, and with her tank, she fights against those trying to dominate a water supply.
Things to Come (1936) – free on YouTube – An HG Wells classic. This British science fiction movie set as war leaves nothing but plague and anarchy. A new government built on reason rebuilds society and attempts space travel.
Threads (1984) – The U.S. and the Soviet Union go to war. A nuclear attack destroys a NATO base in England and a young couple struggles to escape the fallout.
Time of the Wolf (2003) – A French post-apocalyptic film that follows a family as they seek safe haven at their holiday home only to find it occupied by others, and they are then turned away by neighbors.
Tooth and Nail (2007) – “Foragers” fight cannibalistic “Rovers” in this post-apocalyptic horror film.
Turbo Kid (2015) – In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, an orphaned teen battles a warlord to save the girl of his dreams.
The Ultimate Warrior (1975) – Post-plague NYC. A fighter helps defend a community with food, before they need to leave for shelter elsewhere.
Virus (1980) – This Japanese films that also went by the title Day of Resurrection. A virus kills nearly the entire population, but the virus is ineffective at -10 degrees Celsius. Those stationed at Antarctica survive, but they have to race to stop nuclear missiles from being launched.
Visitors of a Museum (1989) – free on YouTube – a.k.a. Posetitel muzeya – (subtitles) It’s a post-apocalyptic world where most people have been reduced to deformed mutants. The lead character decides to visit the ruins of an underwater museum.
WALL-E (2008) – A computer-animated science fiction flick where a robot, WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class), spends his days cleaning up the planet for the last 700 years. He develops a sense of personality, and then meets a sleek and feminine robot sent down to scan for signs of life.
Warrior of the Lost World (1983) – This is an Italian post-apocalyptic science fiction film where a warrior helps find a woman’s kidnapped father.
Warriors of the Apocalypse (1985) – Civilization is destroyed by a nuclear war, and now an adventurer leads wanderers on a search for the Mountain of Life, encountering tribes, savages, and Amazon women along the way.
Warriors of the Wasteland (1983) – After a nuclear holocaust, two mercenaries help wanderers fight off an evil band of bikers.
Water Wars (2014) – Earth’s ecosystems have been destroyed and mankind is on the brink of extinction. Let the war for water begin.
Waterworld (1995) – Polar ice-caps melted and the Earth is flooded, but a mutated mariner (Kevin Costner) fights to find dry land.
What Still Remains (2018) – A young woman loses her family and comes upon a man from a religious commune who invites her to join them…
Wheels of Fire (1985) – Another B movie attempt at Road Warrior. A bounty hunter, with his wheels of fire car, helps rescue a girl from a wasteland road gang.
When the Wind Blows (1986) – Tough call whether to add this movie hear or at the list of survival movies, but in the end, the world has gone MAD (mutually assured destruction). A unique, stop-motion animation that tells the tale of an elderly couple hunkered down in a bunker during nuclear war.
Where Have All the People Gone (1974) – A massive solar flare decimates almost all life on Earth. You only survived if you were underground at the time. A group of survivors goes cross country to find others.
World Gone Wild (1987) – Earth in 2087 is a nuclear wasteland. An isolated outpost of survivors guard the source of their existence, but a mercenary leaders his gang of bikers to take it over.
The World, The Flesh and The Devil (1959) – One of the earlier post-apocalyptic movies listed here, but – not surprisingly – filmed after the dawning of the nuclear age. Nuclear doomsday struck, set in NYC, the main character, Ralph, thinks he’s the last person left alive. Then he finds a woman, then another man, and has to proceed with caution.
Young Ones (2014) – Water is scarce and a farmer must defend his land if he hopes to bring his parched soil back to life.
Z for Zachariah (2015) – Most of civilization has been destroyed, and now two men compete for the love of a woman who may be the last female left alive.
Zardoz (1974) – An Irish-American post-apocalyptic film set far in the future where Eternals rule over a savage group of Brutals. Zed (Sean Connery) questions the existence of the Eternals’ god.
There you have it – hours upon hours post-apocalyptic movies for your enjoyment. Again, if you are seeing holes in our list, please add the movie to the comments section below. I want this list of post-apocalyptic movies to be as complete as it can be.