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

Drama ID MSNBC Best Picture zombie cinemax Marvel Character Guide mutant movies Emmys indiana jones superman Freeform Amazon Tarantino kong scary movies versus DC streaming service social media blockbuster posters Video Games television indie spinoff spanish Tubi Polls and Games RT History Exclusive Video golden globes Shondaland Quiz Rocketman archives 2018 LGBTQ DirecTV Geeked Week boxing spy thriller toy story dramedy name the review discovery Universal Pictures Spring TV Black Mirror screenings slasher CMT sitcom BET Awards Western japan Song of Ice and Fire mission: impossible finale IFC Films CBS All Access dreamworks new star wars movies Focus Features PBS Turner NBA MGM joker dragons fast and furious Hear Us Out crime drama First Look The CW DC Universe Tokyo Olympics legend FXX scene in color film series Travel Channel Food Network Mudbound Elton John Disney Plus psychological thriller Marathons 45 Lifetime Super Bowl Pirates Comic Book black BBC America TV movies National Geographic Hallmark Christmas movies facebook vampires children's TV cooking Sundance TV transformers Image Comics lord of the rings CW Seed Stephen King series king kong tv talk mockumentary YouTube Premium streaming movies MCU heist movie Superheroes festivals Pet Sematary HFPA Reality Competition rom-coms natural history comiccon Star Trek game show romantic comedy Schedule FX on Hulu Country Extras E! satire OWN foreign Photos women marvel comics Baby Yoda Podcast Grammys fresh LGBT cars Television Academy Sundance Toys screen actors guild olympics basketball Awards vs. Trivia CNN Disney Martial Arts Infographic Premiere Dates Lucasfilm Dark Horse Comics Best Director feel good 93rd Oscars stoner cartoon biography spider-verse sopranos X-Men psycho 2020 Mary Tyler Moore period drama Paramount Plus TV renewals telelvision thriller 72 Emmy Awards live event Countdown Writers Guild of America Paramount spain Epix movie adaptation Lifetime Christmas movies jamie lee curtis sequels sequel rotten movies we love Nat Geo casting 24 frames comic books GoT Amazon Prime Video Ghostbusters chucky TCA Winter 2020 scary Syfy animated travel golden globe awards parents obi wan Anna Paquin Animation Lionsgate MTV singing competition italian slashers cops hollywood elevated horror Showtime New York Comic Con Classic Film BET TLC Rom-Com dc miniseries Star Wars 21st Century Fox art house 79th Golden Globes Awards Trailer obituary Musical YA Paramount Pictures Ovation werewolf free movies best ABC Family Turner Classic Movies comics Winter TV Best Actress strong female leads scorecard Sundance Now The Purge 73rd Emmy Awards History Family See It Skip It zombies cancelled television The Walking Dead debate Tumblr Box Office Trophy Talk teaser scene in color political drama razzies 2019 crime thriller Best and Worst E3 Neflix Mary poppins hispanic award winner TV Land know your critic Comedy 99% DC Comics Native ITV Certified Fresh TV concert Adult Swim stop motion rt labs critics edition Women's History Month TCA Masterpiece Binge Guide Television Critics Association kaiju adenture Set visit docudrama docuseries Marvel Television Hallmark Action rt labs TCM Creative Arts Emmys anthology king arthur cancelled TV series interviews Red Carpet Awards Tour canceled TV shows Netflix Christmas movies hidden camera Cosplay Disney streaming service Reality TruTV what to watch Election comic book movies El Rey historical drama Comic-Con@Home 2021 Christmas james bond mob South by Southwest Film Festival Brie Larson 94th Oscars dceu Sony Pictures Nickelodeon Fall TV adventure japanese spider-man royal family Columbia Pictures video on demand ESPN Mary Poppins Returns cats aapi PlayStation summer TV blockbusters streamig franchise politics stand-up comedy AMC football IFC streaming live action medical drama YouTube supernatural Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Best Actor sports ABC Signature American Society of Cinematographers worst disaster trophy worst movies Pride Month science fiction green book reviews Captain marvel VICE SXSW book Star Wars Celebration revenge TV One broadcast Amazon Studios aliens Acorn TV independent Funimation Avengers black comedy video Apple TV+ APB FX genre 4/20 a nightmare on elm street police drama GIFs Logo documentaries nbcuniversal RT21 all-time GLAAD Discovery Channel Paramount Network Pixar Watching Series zero dark thirty Comics on TV dark doctor who richard e. Grant godzilla Film VOD christmas movies 2021 Valentine's Day TBS Biopics anime Marvel Studios rotten Academy Awards leaderboard Summer deadpool asian-american 2016 TIFF OneApp Legendary boxoffice latino AMC Plus new zealand comic blaxploitation HBO Max superhero remakes WGN Universal Warner Bros. FOX based on movie scene in color series Britbox book adaptation Amazon Prime Comedy Central Pop TV Opinion venice Prime Video Sony Fantasy BAFTA sag awards Superheroe Mystery romance summer preview hist directors A24 Cartoon Network Sci-Fi Fox News diversity Nominations Winners Rocky kids Mindy Kaling Wes Anderson dogs south america SXSW 2022 true crime Kids & Family San Diego Comic-Con Broadway VH1 Teen Instagram Live Starz high school crossover Chernobyl NBC ABC festival toronto Spike talk show hispanic heritage month HBO Go Hulu Oscars Music BBC One Crackle 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards comedies popular Crunchyroll laika comic book movie robots Vudu nfl Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Fox Searchlight Walt Disney Pictures 90s 20th Century Fox Thanksgiving SundanceTV CBS 71st Emmy Awards gangster mcc action-comedy IMDb TV Ellie Kemper Calendar breaking bad Rock target scene in color films Tomatazos batman Emmy Nominations serial killer 007 Indigenous First Reviews Year in Review Esquire Heroines new york Oscar classics USA Disney Channel crime TCA 2017 technology composers Tags: Comedy TNT YouTube Red Horror Disney+ Disney Plus halloween tv twilight Apple international Spectrum Originals young adult ViacomCBS HBO spanish language Musicals 2017 news nature NYCC unscripted criterion SDCC Holidays A&E die hard 1990s Interview cancelled critics reboot Black History Month The Academy theme song Netflix quibi WarnerMedia Alien ghosts Pacific Islander game of thrones child's play Apple TV Plus pirates of the caribbean TCA Awards documentary Shudder Fargo harry potter witnail summer TV preview cults war BBC marvel cinematic universe Sneak Peek Pop emmy awards space wonder woman prank renewed TV shows french trailers monster movies Holiday The Witch Hollywood Foreign Press Association target rt archives The Arrangement justice league Cannes ratings 2015 cancelled TV shows The Walt Disney Company dexter Arrowverse canceled binge Film Festival universal monsters Bravo critic resources DGA Peacock saw biopic suspense jurassic park USA Network PaleyFest President Endgame australia halloween