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Movies and series PERFECT for FALLOUT fans

Most post-apocalypse fans probably already know that Amazon’s experiment with “Fallout” turned out surprisingly well.

Odys Korczyński

18 April 2024

Most post-apocalypse fans probably already know that Amazon’s Fallout experiment turned out surprisingly well, although its storyline didn’t quite align with the visions of the utopian future’s heralds. However, neither the Fallout series nor the game would exist today without many films, especially from the late ’70s and ’80s, that inspired the creators. Fans of Amazon’s latest total war production should seriously consider the following post-apocalypse starter pack, which will immerse them in this phantasmagorical and ominous world. I’m sure that if they enjoyed Fallout, these productions will captivate them completely, even the oldest ones characterized by completely different stylistics and narratives.

“The Boy and His Dog,” 1975, dir. L.Q. Jones

boy and his dog fallout

One of the main cinematic inspirations for both the Fallout games and the series, although Jones’ film is much more psychological than action-packed. The general premises, however, are similar, so fans will likely enjoy the atmosphere if they haven’t encountered this title yet. America is covered in radioactive dust. Food is scarce, and people are forced to adopt behaviors they would have been ashamed of just a few years ago. It seems like civilization has ultimately collapsed. The disaster in the film, however, is not precisely defined. The series also has its fair share of interesting twists. Undoubtedly, the disaster was global and atomic. Yet, this isn’t crucial because psychological fiction, such as that in “The Boy and His Dog,” relies on analyzing the relationship between the main character Vic and his pup, aptly named Blood. In Fallout, we also have a dog.

“Mad Max” Series

mad max fallout

I won’t rank them, although there are better and worse productions within this list. However, they all possess an unforgettable atmosphere, much like Fallout. For instance, “Mad Max 2” is one of the best road films blending post-apocalyptic drama with science fiction elements. It’s not just about the intricately constructed post-nuclear war world for $2 million but also the combination of elements that leave an indelible mark on the imagination—like Max’s attire and the Ford Falcon GT’s turbine, with Wez and Humungus lurking in the background. It’s akin to an ’80s BDSM club. Therefore, I will always return to this collection of delightful experiences. Perhaps, as a Fallout fan, I’ll reminisce about a ghoul character or a post-apocalyptic cowboy, or perhaps a peculiar conversation between Lucy and Maximus about an exploding penis in a mutant-filled crypt.

“The Last of Us”

the last of us hbo

Fallout surpasses “The Last of Us” because it demythologizes and deconstructs the pop-cultural image of ghouls, whereas Pedro Pascal’s series is somewhat cliché, especially in terms of monsters. Nevertheless, it might still be enjoyable and resonate with our innate love for the post-apocalypse. So, why do we love post-apocalyptic cinema? On the one hand, it satisfies our curiosity about what the end might truly look like, and on the other, it familiarizes us with it, perhaps even teaching us how to cope if we survive. In post-apocalyptic cinema, we assume that something from our world will always remain—a vessel for new life. Therefore, we watch with hope that even in the face of the end of everything, we will endure. Moreover, we enjoy watching something rebuild, create, or even recreate from nothing. In both productions, we’ll also be fascinated by the journey of discovery and uncovering the causes of the apocalypse. “The Last of Us” falls short in this regard, being less creative and surprising. It’s interesting that when I watched this series before knowing about Fallout, I felt entirely different. However, I have no doubts that Pedro Pascal’s role in the series is crucial for his future career and emotionally resonant, drawing the viewer into this post-apocalyptic journey. Nevertheless, I question whether artistic merit in filmmaking lies in copying scenes from a game. There were decidedly too many copies, from which Fallout cleverly distanced itself by creating and interpreting, rather than executing creatively stale, template-like shots.

“The Planet of the Apes” Universe

planet of the apes fallout

I have no doubt that the entire “Planet of the Apes” universe will appeal to Fallout fans, but there’s a particular element they should pay attention to—time passing and humanity’s drive towards self-destruction. In Fallout, this annihilation had a particular character, as it was rational and marketing-driven. In “The Planet of the Apes,” however, it was either a pure evolutionary accident or a deliberate act to save some humans with knowledge that would offer a chance at civilization’s rebirth. “I never liked the 20th century anyway,” said George Taylor (Charlton Heston) while recording his final message for the ship’s log. He then went to sleep. He woke up in the next version of his world.

“The Omega Man,” 1971, dir. Boris Sagal

omega man fallout

In all versions of this production, the best part is the beginning, or perhaps the first 30 minutes. It’s the hero’s isolation in a desolate, mysterious world filled with hidden monsters, much like that in Fallout. It might sound unfair, but the best part of the entire film is indeed the first 30 minutes. Similarly, there’s decent suspense present in both “The Omega Man” and its later version titled “I Am Legend.” Both productions masterfully construct slowly building tension, based on presenting what we often dream of during times of pervasive globalization, traffic jams, and crowded sidewalks. Robert Neville (Charlton Heston, Will Smith)—the last man in a vast, empty city, with access to everything he could possibly want, which, however, proves to be entirely unnecessary in a post-biological disaster world. He ceases to desire those things and only wishes to be among people again.

“Logan’s Run,” 1976, dir. Michael Anderson

logans run fallout

Michael York is primarily associated with the Musketeer story, not science fiction cinema. Indeed, one doesn’t usually think of this actor in the context of this genre, let alone post-apocalypse. However, “Logan’s Run” will undoubtedly appeal to Fallout fans due to a similar model of the main character’s maturation—from ignorance and carefree life within a capsule to venturing outside and realizing the world after the war. It immediately brings to mind the idyllic life in the vault and the hostile world outside, which has more in common with the vault-dweller community than anyone might suspect. I couldn’t tear myself away from the suspenseful plot and the memorable ’70s atmosphere of this production. York could successfully play Luke Skywalker, given his acting skills in the ’70s were much better than Mark Hamill’s. “Logan’s Run” is somewhat like a futuristic Quatermain rediscovering the post-apocalyptic environment.

“Damnation Alley,” 1977, dir. Jack Smight

damnation alley fallout

Once, I wrote a piece for automotive enthusiasts in science fiction cinema, where I mentioned the landmaster—a 12-wheeled amphibious transporter. It was a memorable design. It’s a shame it didn’t become one of the cult vehicles. The Fallout series isn’t known for its post-apocalyptic motoring like “Mad Max,” for instance. However, “Damnation Alley” is a production from which the road warrior drew motifs and expanded them to a cult level. Few probably remember this film today,

and even fewer know it’s a loose adaptation of Roger Zelazny’s novel. I’m not sure how the younger generation will perceive the aesthetic sphere when monsters were pasted onto film tape, but I hope they’ll appreciate at least the road film’s suspense, which Jack Smight constructed with modest means but great heart for the post-apocalypse. I eagerly await a good remake or adaptation of Zelazny’s novel.

9,” 2009, dir. Shane Acker

9 fallout

An incredible post-apocalyptic world created by Shane Acker and Pamela Pettler. The visual presentation and the concept alone compensate for the somewhat scant dialogues. The idea itself—viewing human extinction from the perspective of dolls, human creations left with an entire future to navigate—is extraordinary. The antagonist is also unclassical—mechanical, technocratic, devoid of emotion, a herald of destruction, much like an executor of humanity’s last will, ensuring that nothing and no one survives them because as a species, they were tainted by self-destruction. The animation is almost like a live-action film. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a financial success, earning only $48 million against a $30 million budget, so it shouldn’t be forgotten.

“On the Beach,” 1959, dir. Stanley Kramer

on the beach fallout

When discussing Fallout, one cannot forget the 1950s, a time when the USA was enveloped in a strange atmosphere. What’s worse, it’s not fictional. Fallout condemned this reality, almost as deceitful as Orwell’s world. During this era, hysterically anti-communist and moralizing films were made, making it hard to believe that the United States was already a capitalist country. “On the Beach” is an example of somewhat comical yet thought-provoking cinema. Some of you may find the acting and psychological mannerisms amusing. It seems improbable that people facing extinction would behave this way. It’s all too theatrical, and the society is pristine because it couldn’t be anything else. Americans had to show the Russians that even in the face of the end, they behaved like well-behaved children in a Catholic school. Thanks to this production, however, one can verify how close the Fallout series was to that world, which, with its duplicity, had to lead the world to destruction.

“Twelve Monkeys,” 1995, dir. Terry Gilliam

12 monkeys fallout

Lastly, one of the more well-known SF films. Still, I’d like to discuss it in the context of a vault, resembling a psychiatric hospital ward where, for instance, Lucy from Fallout could have been confined. All of this might have seemed to her like what seemed to us—that the war was caused by China. Fans of “Twelve Monkeys” probably know the hypothesis that Cole’s time travels could merely be the result of his diseased mind. Much has been written about this, proving through plot analysis that delusion isn’t the basis of the depicted world. A similar conclusion can be drawn based on a general analysis of Gilliam’s work. Even though Gilliam occasionally introduced typical cognitive doubts into the film, knowing his work, one can reasonably conclude that he never dared to so broadly challenge a character’s motivations by making them a product of pathological delusion. He always tried to balance on the thin line between reality and unreality. The psychiatric hospital shown in “Twelve Monkeys” is palpable in its bestiality, much like the vaults—each one different, each one distorting human life in a unique way.

Odys Korczyński

Odys Korczyński

For years he has been passionate about computer games, in particular RPG productions, film, medicine, religious studies, psychoanalysis, artificial intelligence, physics, bioethics, as well as audiovisual media. He considers the story of a film to be a means and a pretext to talk about human culture in general, whose cinematography is one of many splinters.

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