Neil Marshall's 10 Post-Apocalyptic Picks

by | May 6, 2008 | Comments

Neil Marshall

Just a few scenes into Doomsday and we know we’re watching the work of someone who adores post-apocalyptic films, with every scene littered with references to end-of-the-world classics from the 70s and 80s. And writer-director Neil Marshall readily admits that’s exactly what he was going for.

“Right from the start, I wanted my film to be an homage to these sorts of movies, and deliberately so,” he says. “I wanted to make a movie for a new generation of audience that hadn’t seen those movies in the cinema – hadn’t seen them at all maybe – and to give them the same thrill that I got from watching them. But kind of contemporise it, pump up the action and the blood and guts.”

This is a rather surprising shift for the filmmaker behind Dog Soldiers and The Descent, two claustrophobic thrillers that got deep into their characters’ heads. But Doomsday is a big, loud action movie, and Marshall reveals to RT readers the films that inspired him most…


The Road Warrior (1981)

The Road WarriorThe three Mad Max movies set the bar for this kind of movie, but for me personally it’s the second one. I do love the third one, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985); there are elements in it that are rubbish, but most of it’s pretty good. The first one, Mad Max (1979), has a great car chase at the start – a real jaw-dropper – and a pretty good one at the end, but the rest of it is quite slow. But with The Road Warrior, once the bondage gear comes out – the Mohawks and all that kind of stuff – it was like, “Wow, OK, we haven’t seen this before.” My thinking is that if you’re in the apocalypse and you survive, you’re going to choose to wear a leather jacket instead of a tweed suit. People are going to look like punks, because it looks cool!

The Road Warrior is so concise, beautifully written and beautifully directed. I love the use of cars and locations. And Mel Gibson is just so perfect in that role. He hardly says a word, but when he does speak, it counts. Like him, Rhona Mitra‘s character in my film, Eden Sinclair, is a police officer who has a history. So there’s another connection.


Doomsday


Escape from New York (1981)

The Road WarriorWhat a fantastic vision and idea, and certainly my film is a huge homage to this film, what with the concept of something being walled off and all the gang warfare. The anarchic spirit of that movie is definitely something I was going for. And of course Eden Sinclair has an obvious connection with Snake Plisken. It’s no accident that she wears an eyepatch in the film. But I said right from the start that if I was going to have her wear an eyepatch, I’d have a bloody good reason for that. So the eyepatch became a plot point, with the fake eye and the camera. And that also enabled us to have her not wear the eyepatch all the time. So that was fun.


Excalibur (1981)

ExcaliburThis isn’t a post-apocalyptic film, but it had that same ethos, and it’s one of the films that deeply inspired me when I first saw it. I think John Boorman did a wonderful job with the whole genre; no one has ever touched the artistry of it. I mean, compare it to King Arthur! Excalibur has that beautiful look about it – it’s so rich, and I wanted to tap into that a little bit. There’s just a kind of logic in that they’re living in this castle, and they’ve gone to a feudal society and have divided into tribes at war with each other. Scotland is full of these amazing fortresses, so what better place to hide out? They’re all museums as well, so they’re all going to be full of suits of armour and swords and stuff. Maybe go that way – you don’t need to find ammunition when you’ve got bows and arrows and other useful kit.

Doomsday


The Warriors (1979)

The WarriorsOne of my biggest inspirations is Walter Hill. He made these very tough, very violent adult action movies during that period. And The Warriors is just a classic example. It’s completely nuts – just the visual style of the gang warfare. When I first saw it I took it as being pretty literal, like this kind of stuff was going on in New York. And now of course he’s explained that it was very much an exaggeration and he sees it as a comic book movie. And I don’t see it that way at all. I love the idea of these crazy gangs roaming around New York – it’s scary but fun. But its world is New York at night, and it’s a brilliant depiction. And he did a similar kind of thing with Streets of Fire, another great movie. It’s not post-apocalyptic, but it’s certainly set in a nonspecific future world.


No Blade of Grass (1970)

It’s about a virus that wipes out all the crops in the UK, and there’s bikers roaming the countryside, somebody trying to make their way up north, and they end up hiding in a country house full of soldiers – just like in 28 Days Later. And it was made more than 10 years before Mad Max. I think 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later are great movies, but they’re very straight-faced, and I wanted to make mine a lot of fun. It’s not to be taken seriously, really.

Doomsday


The Omega Man (1971)

My generation’s version of the whole empty city thing. It’s a subgenre that I really like. This generation has had 28 Days Later and I Am Legend. But I prefer the gritty, darker side of it.

Doomsday


A Boy and His Dog (1975)

I like the world of it, and that sort of sun-scorched look. And I just loved the relationship between Don Johnson and his dog, and then at the end when they eat the girl – one of the best endings ever. I think that’s kind of where the whole Sean Pertwee sequence in my film comes from – the cannibalism idea.


Waterworld (1995)

I just love that gritty thing, with everyone just scavenging to survive, and how they’ve adapted to the future world. Although some of those things don’t really go there enough.

Doomsday


Gladiator (2000)

I think Ridley Scott gave us the most amazing spectacle put on screen in years. It’s brutal and giant. And it’s what my film is about – trial by combat. I wanted to put Eden Sinclair through that, and she’s not supposed to survive it. And I just liked the idea of this little woman facing off against this seven-foot knight in armour and managing to outwit him. She’s not stronger than him, but she outsmarts him, and I thought that was a lot of fun.

Doomsday


Children of Men (2006)

An excellent movie. But it was kind of frustrating that it came out during the course of making this film. Oh great, let’s do a version of post-apocalyptic London after they do it, and they had something like a $130m budget. So we knew we were going to have to make ours more bloody and more fun.

 

Tag Cloud

President Video Games south america Sundance TCA TruTV Countdown Trivia New York Comic Con E3 Film Festival Ellie Kemper Grammys romance politics Toys Crackle Captain marvel VICE spider-man psycho award winner Showtime Anna Paquin MCU television WarnerMedia NBC GLAAD IFC ESPN CW Seed 71st Emmy Awards facebook 2019 Amazon Prime First Look police drama Shondaland Elton John foreign LGBT Amazon technology El Rey GoT Rocky Valentine's Day kids Pop Superheroes Ghostbusters dragons Winners The Witch richard e. Grant period drama talk show See It Skip It 007 YouTube Red stand-up comedy biography Sci-Fi Western Photos mockumentary Kids & Family movies Rom-Com Binge Guide psychological thriller Apple cooking TNT mutant Rock Masterpiece Animation robots FXX Interview Lifetime anime witnail anthology Action travel RT History Food Network E! Calendar what to watch Britbox Comics on TV zombies toy story revenge ratings 2018 theme song Hulu Tarantino Tumblr HBO Max Brie Larson FX Awards Tour cops Film Musicals 24 frames VH1 TBS ITV zero dark thirty A&E serial killer Spring TV DC Comics unscripted Paramount GIFs Music Marvel CBS Biopics Fox News Polls and Games golden globes Arrowverse CNN Stephen King Chilling Adventures of Sabrina thriller The CW casting science fiction 20th Century Fox crossover Awards Super Bowl Mudbound composers Paramount Network Opinion sequel Dark Horse Comics Vudu historical drama Set visit DGA teaser Acorn TV Cartoon Network zombie Writers Guild of America TCA 2017 Esquire YA MSNBC Superheroe Freeform Star Wars Watching Series Cannes hispanic crime drama comic BBC Star Trek Comedy Women's History Month ABC Country Holidays TIFF Television Academy latino Quiz Warner Bros. Cosplay finale adventure Christmas CBS All Access quibi Family First Reviews transformers Drama Musical natural history TV Land PBS ABC Family justice league AMC Nat Geo Fantasy sitcom based on movie streaming docudrama X-Men diversity jamie lee curtis 2016 Reality Competition The Arrangement aliens Trailer CMT Lionsgate Horror Emmy Nominations Disney Channel Epix book Sneak Peek Pet Sematary Oscars Election game show APB Disney streaming service disaster Heroines RT21 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Shudder Netflix Disney Extras Summer USA Winter TV SXSW Trophy Talk 45 Schedule binge Nominations Logo History Song of Ice and Fire Teen harry potter social media Certified Fresh adaptation true crime 2015 political drama USA Network Pixar Lucasfilm IFC Films Thanksgiving Rocketman FOX Marathons cars cats Comedy Central Adult Swim TLC Mary Poppins Returns space discovery cinemax Pride Month WGN TCM boxoffice vampires Mindy Kaling singing competition American Society of Cinematographers Character Guide spinoff Nickelodeon MTV Box Office green book National Geographic 2017 Pirates blaxploitation ghosts PaleyFest spain Starz Premiere Dates elevated horror Creative Arts Emmys SDCC children's TV medical drama crime game of thrones video DirecTV Sony Pictures Columbia Pictures DC Universe San Diego Comic-Con Reality Comic Book Mystery dceu animated BBC America miniseries Chernobyl series Universal Podcast hist Mary poppins Mary Tyler Moore supernatural 21st Century Fox Tomatazos war BET Black Mirror cults nature sports dc YouTube Premium crime thriller Ovation strong female leads DC streaming service Red Carpet spanish language dramedy Infographic Martial Arts Spike Amazon Prime Video comiccon Fall TV doctor who Best and Worst NYCC LGBTQ OWN Walt Disney Pictures TV Bravo Year in Review Syfy Emmys Peacock festivals spy thriller Sundance Now tv talk HBO SundanceTV Spectrum Originals