9 Best Eco Apocalyptic Science Fiction Films of All Time
5. Logan's Run
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This 1976 film is introduced with the statement, "sometime in the 23rd century...the survivors of war, over population and pollution are living in a great doomed city, sealed away from the forgotten world outside. Here, in an ecologically balanced world, mankind lives only for pleasure, freed by the servo-mechanisms which provide everything." But the perfect society in "Logan's Run" has one problem: Population is strictly controlled, and citizens are killed off in a bizarre computer-controlled ritual at the age of 30. If you can't deal with the 1970's special effects, tune into the remake, scheduled to be released in 2010.
6. Soylent Green
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What happens when pollution and the greenhouse effect kills the oceans, the animals, and just about anything green? Well strawberry jam costs $150 a jar (by 1979 standards, that is one pricey jar of preserves) and you start eating people, naturally.
In "Soylent Green," winner of the Nebula Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film in 1973, the main problems are overpopulation and no food. The population is forced to consist on a diet entirely of "high energy vegetable concentrates Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow," and the "new delicious Soylent Green, the miracle food of high-energy plankton, gathered from the oceans of the world." Turns out it's not plankton, kids. Classic scenes are when New York City police detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) steps over dozens of people each time he climbs the stairs to his apartment, and a feast that contains a bunch of sad-looking vegetables and strip of meat. Cigarettes are absurdly expensive: "You know if I had the money, I'd smoke, two-three of these every day!" says Thorn. It's also interesting to note Thorn powers his apartment with a stationary bike and director Richard Fleischer clearly didn't think phones and TVs would be smaller in the future.
Trailer via YouTube
There's nothing like a trash-collecting robot looking for love to strike you right in the heart. In the computer-animated, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning "WALL-E," garbage covers the earth and humans (all comically obese and unable to move without hovering machines) are on an extended vacation in space until the earth is deemed habitable again. WALL-E, who is powered by solar power and fixes himself with recycled parts, saves the day when he gives a living plant to EVE, a robot that suddenly shows up looking for life on earth.
Honorable Mention in the Animation Category: 9Clip via YouTube
While "9," produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, didn't quite make the cut due to mixed reviews and its 56 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, visually it is amazing to watch. Once again, humanity has killed itself--this time down to the last man. In order to let humanity live on, a scientist puts his soul in nine ragdolls, or "stitchpunks."
8. The Twilight Zone: Midnight Sun
Clip via YouTube
While not a movie, this 1961 "Twilight Zone" episode makes this list for being so ahead of its time, released before the world was truly aware of global warming or climate change. In "Midnight Sun," (watch the whole episode here), the scene opens with the explanation "even at midnight it is high noon, the hottest day in history..." Norma and Mrs. Bronson are the only people left in their apartment building in New York: The whole population has deserted the city in search of cooler temperatures, and the world is literally cooking under the heat. But then, in a dramatic plot twist, Norma wakes up to find the whole world about to freeze under plummeting temperatures.
9. The RoadClip via YouTube
Although not scheduled for release until November 25, "The Road" makes this list because if it is even half as good as the book it is based on, the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2006 novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy, we have something to look forward to. Critics--including Esquire's Tom Chiarella--are already giving the film raving reviews. Following a father and son's (Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee) journey over a post-apocalyptic landscape, the book attracted global attention, and British environmental campaigner George Monbiot proclaimed "It could be the most important environmental book ever." Both the movie and the book are about survival after an unexplained apocalypse: Nearly all of mankind appears to be dead, the air is polluted, and plants don't grow.