Post-apocalyptic scans from the
United Kingdom

Michael Petch


Other Countries profiled:
Turkey
Australia
Finland




There have been a surprising amount of post-apocalyptic films made here in the UK, although the style tends to be very different to that of the Mad Max 2, barbarian-style copy-cat films made in the US, Italy and the Philippines. Landmark early titles like Things to Come (1936) helped establish the genre when film itself was still a new medium, but there were few early PA films from the UK.

The British film industry has taken itself very seriously when it comes to PA films. Whilst the Americans were making drive-in Atom age PA movies, we were making depressingly real life dramas like The War Game (1965).  Even The Bed Sitting Room (1969), an out-and-out comedy, had a darkly depressing streak running through it.

Later, in the 70's, the genre was starting to look tired, despite the fact that the Cold War raged on. The TV show Survivors (1975-77) again highlighted the horrors that would befall the country in the event of a nuclear war. In the US, the late 70's saw a spate of "city gang" films that hinted at a new angle for the genre. When Mad Max 2arrived in 1981 there was an explosion in the genre, mixing an easy-to-film wasteland setting with barbaric gangs and a worthy hero figure to rescue the hopeless. Surprisingly, Britain was one of the few countries to not capitalise at the time, possibly because we lacked an abundance of desert scenery (although we have an  abundance of rock quarries), or maybe because that "action-hero thing" was just something we have never been able to do well. In 1984, Threads continued the British tradition of shocking, depressing post-nuke films that highlighted the immediate aftermath of a nuclear strike rather than looking into the future.

1990's Hardware looked, from the outside, to be a typical PA film, but the story had a unusual style and lots to think about. It seems  nobody would commission a PA in the UK if it didn't give you something to think about. A commendable ideal, but not much fun for this particular website that revels in the crapness of the Mad Max 2 rip-offs.

Now in the 00's we are seeing a real revival in the PA-style films. Gone are the nukes, replaced by natural disasters, zombie hordes and even female infertility. Some of the best films in the genre from the past few years have come from the UK (Children of Men, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Zombie Diaries, Flood) although the onus is still on the immediate after-effects of the disaster, and they very rarely delve far into the future.

So what does the actual future hold for the genre in the UK? Well, Doomsday is shaping up nicely for a 2008 release and there are a number of medium to large-budget book adaptations that may or may not be filmed here. Additionally, the chance of a 28 Months(or Years) Later movie is quite high.

Below is my personal collection of PA VHS and DVD scans. The films are in year-of-release order and seperated into A, B and C catagories. Some of the DVDs are European-wide releases or even worldwide but most are UK releases.

Click on any picture to see a larger version!
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Survivors Volume 1 (1975)
BBC VHS from 1993.


Survivors Volume 2 (1975)
BBC VHS from 1993.



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Mad Max (1979)
Warner Home Video re-release.


Mad Max (1979)
Beyond Vision/Warner Video re-release. Display/sample cover and tape.


Virus (1980)
Boulavard DVD release from 2004.


Mad Max 2 AKA The Road Warrior (1981)
Original Warner 1983 release with added age certificate VHS. Ex-rental.


Mad Max 2 AKA The Road Warrior (1981)
Warner 1998 re-release .


2020: Freedom Fighters AKA 2020: Texas Warriors (1982)
Filmtown Video distributing through VTC (Video Tape Center) big-box VHS. The film title on the actual movie is 2020: Texas Warriors, despite the alternative title on the cover.


The New Barbarians (1982)
pre-cert EV (Entertainment in Video) VHS, big-box.
Our Review


The New Barbarians (1982)
Vipco Region 2 DVD.
Our Review


Battletruck AKA Warlords of the 21st Century (1982)
1989 Cannon VHS release.
Our Review


2019 (1983)
pre-cert VTC (Video Tape Center) VHS, big-box. Description of the film on the box is vastly different to the actual film (see our review).
Our Review

   
2019 (1983)
Card slip case VHS re-release. Includes the same description as above.
Our Review


Endgame (1983)
pre-cert VTC (Video Tape Center) VHS, big-box.
Our Review


Exterminators of the Year 3000 (1983)
pre-cert Medusa VHS, big-box.
Our Review


Stryker (1983)
Thorne EMI VHS. Imcludes additional 18 symbol stickers on the front and side and a picture on the back that doesn't apear in this cut of the film.
Our Review


Survival Zone (1983)
Pyramid VHS, big box.
Our Review


Final Executioner (1984)
23rd Century Region 0 DVD.


Rats: Night of Terror (1984)
Vipco Region 2 DVD.


Clash of the Warlords (1985)
23rd Century Region 0 DVD. The cover art is flipped from the original VHS showing Malsam's mask on the wrong side of his head.
Our Review


Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Original Warner Home Video big-box VHS.


Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Warner 1998 re-release.


Def-Con 4 (1985)
Hollywood DVD, Pal Encoded, Region 0 release.
Our Review


The Quiet Earth (1985)
Pegasus DVD, Region 0 release.


Land of Doom (1985)
Pegasus Home Video ex-rental big box VHS.


Cherry 2000 (1987)
Columbia/RCA big-box VHS.


Hard Knuckle(1987)
Guild Home Video big-box VHS.


Steel Dawn (1987)
Virgin Film Collection VHS.
Our Review


Steel Dawn (1987)
Virgin Film Collection re-release on the 4 Front label. VHS.
Our Review


Creepozoids (1987)
Hard Gore/Screen Entertainment DVD.


The Sisterhood (1988)
Moon Stone VHS.
Our Review


The Sisterhood (1988)
Moon Stone Region Free DVD.
Our Review


Empire of Ash (1988)
Mogul Communications big-box VHS release.
Our Review


Fire Fight (1988)
Video Vacations/Watershed Pictures VHS.


World Gone Wild (1988)
Warner Home Video big box VHS.


Deadly Reactor (1989)
AIP VHS release.
Our Review


Deadly Reactor (1989)
Pal Encoded, Region 0 DVD release.
Our Review


Slipstream (1989) Partially produced in the UK.
Entertainment in Video VHS.
Our Review


Salute of the Jugger AKA The Blood of Heroes (1989)
Virgin Premiere/Virgin Vision Rental sample/display big-box VHS.


Salute of the Jugger AKA The Blood of Heroes (1989)
Virgin Premiere/Virgin Vision Rental sample/display big-box VHS. Interior cover with distributors information.


Salute of the Jugger AKA The Blood of Heroes (1989)
4 Front VHS release from 1994.


Cyborg (1989)
Cannon 1991 VHS.


Cyborg (1989)
MGM Region 2 DVD
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Dune Warriors (1990)
20-20 Vision big box VHS


Omega Cop (1990)
Hollywood DVD/AIR, Pal Encoded, Region 0 release.
Our Review


Hardware (1990) Produced in the UK.
Palace Premiere big-box VHS.


Hardware (1990) Produced in the UK.
4 Front VHS release from 1994.


Dragon Cop AKA Karate Cop (1991) 
Columbia Tristar big-box sample (timecoded tape).
Our Review


Dragon Cop AKA Karate Cop (1991) 
Columbia Tristar big-box sample inside cover.
Our Review


Steel Dawn (1995)
Pal Encoded, Region 0 DVD release. Special feature list on the back only mentions scene selection but misses that there is also a trailer.
Our Review


Nemesis 2: Nebula (1995)
M.I.A. Video VHS.


Tank Girl (1995)
MGM/UA Home Video, big box.
Our Review


Tank Girl (1995)
MGM/UA Home Video.
Our Review

The Postman (1997)
Warner Bros VHS.


The Postman (1997)
Warner Bros Region 2 DVD.


Cold Harvest (1999)
Pal Encoded, Region 0 DVD release.





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Mindwarp (1990)
20-20 Vision big-box sample (timecoded tape).


Mindwarp (1990)
20-20 Vision big-box sample inside cover.


Robot Jox (1990)
Entertainment In Video VHS.



Until the End of the World (1991)
Entertainment in Video big-box VHS.


TC 2000 (1993)
Region 0 DVD from 2006.


New Eden(1994)
Universal/CIC big-box VHS.


Waterworld (1995)
Universal/CIC VHS.


Waterworld (1995)
Universal Region 2 DVD.


Bridge of Dragons (1999)
Nu Image big-box VHS.


? And other related titles.


The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)
Network/Carlton "first time on video" VHS.


La Jetee AKA The Pier (1962)
Academy Video/British Film Institute VHS.



La Jetee AKA The Pier (1962)
Academy Video/British Film Institute VHS. Inside cover notes.


Deathsport (1978)
Prism Leisure Region 2 DVD.


The Humanoid (1979)
RCA Columbia Pictures 1993 release.


The Last Chase (1981)
VTC pre-cert big-box.


Firebird 2015 A.D. (1981)
Video Form Pictures VHS.


Escape From New York (1981)
Universal/4 Front VHS.


Turkey Shoot AKA Escape 2000 AKA Blood Camp Thatcher (1982).
Hard Gore/Screen Entertainment DVD.


Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)
RCA Columbia Pictures big-box VHS.


Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)
RCA Columbia Pictures VHS.


Rock & Rule (1983)
Embassy Home Entertainment VHS.


Eliminators (1986)
Entertainment in Video big-box VHS.


The Survivalist (1987)
Heron/skouras Pictures VHS.


Replikator (1994)
High Fliers Video distribution big-box VHS.


No Escape(1994)
Guild Home Video/4 Front VHS.


Escape From L.A. (1995)
Universal/CIC VHS. Note the poorly replaced ESCAPE on the front.


4 in 1
Prism Leisure region 2 DVD.