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A Doomsday film is a motion picture which tells the story of an actual or fictitious doomsday event and/or its aftermath. The true Doomsday film chronicles an event that is global in scale. A more localized catastrophe, such as the destruction of a city, which can serve as a dramatic microcosm of a full-scale doomsday event is more accurately categorized as a disaster film, although the line is flexible, and in many cases it is not known to the characters (or the viewer) whether the cataclysm is local or global. Alternatively, a Doomsday film may tell a suspenseful story in which a doomsday event is narrowly averted. The doomsday theme can be regarded as defining a distinct sub-genre of such broader film genres as suspense, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, action, disaster, war, adventure, or even comedy.

List of noteworthy Doomsday films in chronological order[]

Before 1950[]

  • Things to Come (1936, UK)
  • The Beginning or the End (1947, US)

1950s[]

  • When Worlds Collide (1951, US)
  • Above and Beyond (1952, US)
  • The War of the Worlds (1953, US; remade in 2005)
  • Godzilla (1954, JA; remade in 1998.)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, US; remade in 1978, 1995 and 2007)
  • Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956, US)
  • On the Beach (1959, US)
  • The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1958, US)

1960s[]

  • The Time Machine (1960, US; remade in 2002)
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961 US)
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961, UK)
  • The Day of the Triffids (1962, UK)
  • Panic in Year Zero!, (1962, US)
  • This is Not a Test (1962, US)
  • The Birds (1963, US)
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, US)
  • Fail-Safe (1964, US)
  • The Last Man on Earth (1964, US; Remade in 1971 as The Omega Man and in 2007 as I Am Legend)
  • Crack in the World (1965, US)
  • The End of August at the Hotel Ozone (1966, Czech)
  • The War Game (1965, UK)
  • Doomsday Machine (1967, US)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968, US)

1970s[]

  • The Bed-Sitting Room (1970, UK)
  • Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970, US)
  • No Blade Of Grass (1970, US)
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1971, US)
  • The Omega Man (1971, US)
  • The Andromeda Strain (1971, US)
  • The Crazies (1973, US)
  • A Boy and His Dog (1975, US)
  • Damnation Alley (1977, US)
  • Deadly Harvest (1977, Canada)
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978, US; remade in 2004)
  • Mad Max (1979, AU)
  • Meteor (1979, US)

1980s[]

  • The Last Chase (1980, Canada)
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981, AU)
  • When the Wind Blows (1982, UK)
  • Special Bulletin (1983, US)
  • Testament (1983, US)
  • The Day After (1983, US)
  • Night of the Comet (1984, US)
  • The Terminator (1984, US)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984, JA)
  • Threads (1984, UK)
  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985, AU)
  • The Quiet Earth (1985, NZ)
  • Maximum Overdrive (1986, US)
  • Miracle Mile (1988, US)

1990s[]

  • By Dawn's Early Light (1990, US)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991, US)
  • The Stand (1994, US)
  • Ghost in the Shell (1995, JA)
  • Twelve Monkeys (1995, US)
  • Waterworld (1995, US)
  • Independence Day (1996, US)
  • Mars Attacks! (1996, US)
  • The Postman (1997, US)
  • The End of Evangelion (1997, JA)
  • Armageddon (1998, US)
  • Deep Impact (1998, US)
  • Last Night (1998, CA)
  • The Matrix (1999, US/AU)

2000s[]

  • Titan A.E. (2000, US)
  • Reign of Fire (2002, US)
  • Resident Evil (2002, US)
  • The Sum of All Fears (2002, US)
  • 28 Days Later (2002, UK)
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003, US)
  • The Core (2003, US)
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004, US)
  • Dirty War (2004, UK)
  • The Day After Tomorrow (2004, US)
  • Shaun of the Dead (2004, UK)
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004, US)
  • Hellboy (2004, US)
  • Land of the Dead (2005, US)
  • A Sound of Thunder (2005, US)
  • War of the Worlds (2005, US)
  • Children of Men (2006, US/UK)
  • Sinking of Japan (2006, JA)
  • Sunshine (2007, UK)
  • 28 Weeks Later (2007, UK)
  • Resident Evil: Extinction (2007, US)
  • The Invasion (2007, US)
  • Mulberry Street (2007, US)
  • Tooth and Nail (2007, US)
  • I Am Legend (2007, US)
  • Cloverfield (2008, US)
  • Doomsday (2008, UK)
  • Day of the Dead (2008, US)
  • The Happening (2008, US)

2010s[]

  • Y: The Last Man (est. 2010, US)

Television series[]

Several television series have also been based upon Doomsday or post-Doomsday scenarios:

  • Survivors (1975-77, UK)
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978-79 and 2003-present, US)
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-81, US)
  • Jericho (2006-08, US)
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-present, US)

Doomsday scenarios have also been featured or referenced in many science fiction television series, often as part of the show's backstory, including Star Trek and its spinoffs (particularly Star Trek: Enterprise), Doctor Who, Dark Angel and The Twilight Zone. Throughout the Futurama series, professor Farnsworth boasts about his nine different doomsday devices and they are often referred to or a part of the plot.

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