We're leaving Halloween far behind in the rear view mirror of a post apocalyptic Monday with a stark series of radioactive dreams and hazy haunted hallucinations of mutation and high weirdness. I've been drawing upon a deep reservoir of post apocalyptic films from my days of working in an old video rental shop in a quiet back alley in China Town in Boston back in the 90's. These were the heady days of the second golden age of the video tape before DVD and Blue ray technology made it far easier to go to the Red box vending machines or simply grab a streaming line of Net Flix downloaded into your tablet. These films were from a time when you had to root around shelves of science fiction films and reference material to find resources for your old school table post apocalyptic games. Many of these films are mostly forgotten but you could pull some really interesting choices form the pile of taped mutant mayhem.
'The Quiet Earth' is a 1985 New Zealand film from 1985 & is the sort of film that David Lynch might turn in if he did a remake Of 'The World, The Flesh, And The Devil' if he turned in a film that was way ahead of its time. The Quit Earth is about a scientist who wakes up in an empty Earth and proceeds to go slightly mad and then begins to unravel the clues about what happened to him after something goes horribly wrong. The situation of this film might be used to trap a group of PC's upon an alternative world and simply allow them to deal with the situation organically. Naw, add in some zombies, mutant monsters, and allow them to deal with a different kind of post apocalyptic adventure one shot ripe with potential. If you want the lowdown on this film with major spoilers go HERE
The Quiet Earth 1985
Does it get more iconic then the Road Warrior? The second in the Mad Max series has so many of the awesome elements of the Eighties in its post apocalyptic viewing. This film might be the one that launched a million imitators and now with the remake is bound to be dusted off and paraded out in the light but for the moment its mostly forgotten by the general populace.There is so much to mine in this film, from the factions to the iconic villains, to the various cars, trucks, etc. down to Max's ward robe. All of this film is classic post apocalyptic mayhem. From Car Wars To Gamma World this film series casts a very long shadow.
The Road Warrior 1981
Eighty nine was a very odd year in some respects, a year not quite out of the Eighties but with the uncertainty of the Nineties just around the corner. Blood of Heroes stands right in the hallway of this year with some weird post apocalyptic highlights to borrow from. This is a mostly forgotten film that has some great bits to borrow from if as a DM your so inclined. Many of the best bits are scattered throughout the film. This one has some very odd bits and pieces of setting material to pick through.The nice part is that this is mostly a forgotten film. This one might make an excellent point of reference for Mutant Future or another post apocalyptic retro clone.
Blood Of Heroes 1989
The Stand television min series was a Stephen King effort to capitalize on his massive hit novel of post apocalyptic plague and Biblical hi jinks. This one features a pandemic that wipes out a good chunk of the world. A super flu called Captain Trips takes down everyone in the United States except for a few survivors who go on to deal with the specter of a Biblical style prophecy that then signals the final show down between good and evil.
This one is getting remade but its going to be awhile for it to hit the interwebz. The truth is that this made for television mini series was a pretty interesting alternative Earth for a post apocalyptic game. And I used it as such because of its connections to the Dark Tower and as a raid point as well as adventure location for various games in college. Its now mostly forgotten but this world offers some interesting possibilities for relic and treasure recovery which what I've used it for in the past with the PC's visiting this mostly dead and silent world.
The Stand from 1994
A movie adaption of the Harlan Ellison book A Boy and His Dog pretty much has everything an old school DM is going to need starting with near human mutants with psychic uplifred mutant animals, odd encounters, incredibly weird societies, murderous androids, odd Seventies technology and much more. This is completely forgotten film these days and yet there is ton of material that could be gotten from this film. This includes the mega underground location with its off the wall inhabitants, totally odd communities, factions, and more. This is a mostly forgotten film these days even though there are some who insist that this film is an instant flop and that there is nothing to recommend this film yet there is plenty of potental to suggest this film. The book is really much better with some great 1970's style
A Boy And His Dog 1975