50 Flicks for Prepper Movie Night

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

I know it isn’t just me.

Every prepper I know loves a good disaster movie.  Heck, it doesn’t even have to be that good for some of us to watch them.  We just enjoy sitting back and watching a fictional disaster unfold so that we can strategize how we would handle it, mock the hero for his or her poor decisions (you know, those dumb moves that a prepper would never make), and feel absolutely justified with regard to our lifestyle choices.

A movie is like the prepper version of a sporting event, where we can cheer, jeer, and scheme our ways through some imagined event. It engages our love for critical thinking while allowing us to take a break from our everyday activities. (Check out Fabian’s article on what you can learn from his favorite survival movies.)

Viewing a disaster movie or series actually serves a greater purpose than pure entertainment.  It’s a great way to introduce the preparedness mindset to your family.   (And remember, Fun isn’t the F-word for preppers!)

In our house, we often pause the movie (I swear, the kids do it too. It isn’t just me lecturing them!) so that we can discuss what the character’s next move should be.  It encourages family members to think a situation through and try to predict the outcome of the boneheaded decisions that characters often make.

Just in time for your next Survival Movie Marathon

Below are some of our favorite survival-themed movies.  They aren’t all cinematic epochs, but there are lessons to be learned from them.  Often those lessons are “Here’s what you should never, never do in the event of a giant earthquake.” The shows can provide launching points for discussion with the kids. I shouldn’t have to say this, but before someone complains and thinks that I watched “The Road” with a 5-year-old, you must use your discretion and not scare the pants off of small children.

There’s a mixture of genres on our list: dystopian, wilderness survival, rebellion, natural disaster, manmade disaster, and even some sci-fi.  The common thread is that there are good lessons about humanity, how a crisis can bring out the worst in some folks, how you always have to think a step ahead, and how you must always have not only Plan B, but sometimes, C, D, or even the whole darned alphabet.

This list only contains movies. If you’re looking for a series to binge-watch instead, check out this article. If you prefer prepper/survival reality shows, this article contains some suggestions for that genre.  This is an updated version of the list that includes some of the great suggestions from you, the readers. 🙂

50 Movies for Preppers

I chose only movies that can be found on Amazon or Netflix for immediate streaming.  Don’t worry, there’ll be another even longer list in the future!

In absolutely no particular order, just in time for your next Survival Movie Marathon:

  1. Zombieland (The first rule of Zombieland?  Say it with me, everyone: CARDIO!)
  2. How It Ends: A Netflix original about an apocalypse of unknown origin. I like that it starts off with the guy being anti-gun but shows his quick evolution.
  3. Waterworld (The planet is completely covered with water, ala a futuristic Noah’s flood, but with more boats)
  4. The Hunger Games (The first in the series, this movie takes place in a dystopian future where young people are pitted against one another in an effort to keep the majority of the country from rebelling against the pampered few in charge.)
  5. World War Z (Another zombie movie – this one features a virus run amok, civil breakdown, and a family struggling to survive.  My biggest issue with this movie was the whole “The UN will save you” and “Get your vaccines” theme.)
  6. Divergent (It’s another story about dividing and conquering in the quest for control)
  7. Red Dawn (’84) (The original tale of teens fighting an enemy occupation.  WOLVERINES!)
  8. Red Dawn (2012) (The remake with a new enemy and better clothes)
  9. Adrift (Based on a true story, a young couple manages to sail into a hurricane which all but destroys their boat and injures the guy. Talk about a survival mindset with this woman.)
  10. Tomorrow When The War Began (This is an Australian flick about some kids who come home from a camping trip only to discover that their country has been invaded by a foreign army)
  11. The Maze Runner (This is another dystopian teen movie, but it’s a good way to make survival skills look cool to teenagers)
  12. Swiss Family Robinson (This is from the 60s but a great family flick. It’s interesting to see how a shipwrecked family reuses things from the boat to make their survival tree-house more comfortable.)
  13. Aftermath (Maybe not the world’s finest film, but a good look at how hysteria prompts perfectly normal people to behave horribly.)
  14. L.A. Apocalypse (Even Hollywood knows that Los Angeles would be a terrible place to be in the midst of a disaster.)
  15. The Book of Eli (Brutal, but with a beautiful message.)
  16. The Day After Tomorrow (No!  Don’t burn the books!!!)
  17. 2012 (Mostly, I just love the Woody Harrelson conspiracy nut character who turns out to be right about everything.)
  18. The Road (So horrifying and dark I could only watch it once.)
  19. Elysium (The Earth has been all but destroyed, and the elite look down from above…as always.)
  20. Terminator Salvation (The most “survivalist” of all the Terminator movies, it takes place after the whole shindig at Cyberdyne, when machines rule the world)
  21. Alive (The one about the plane crash survivors who ate their teammates.)
  22. Cast Away (Love this! It points out the value of creative problem-solving but also explores the mental toll that survival can take on a person, particularly if they are alone.)
  23. Poseidon (2006) (There is so much “what NOT to do” in this movie!)
  24. Defiance (A story of resistance against a much greater fighting force)
  25. The Revenant (A man who makes his living in the outdoors is mauled by a bear and left for dead by his “friends.”)
  26. The Edge (This wilderness survival saga emphasizes skills and smarts over the usual macho special effects ninja stuff)
  27. The Grey (Plane crash, frigid elements, very uncool fellow survivors, and hungry wolves.)
  28. Against the Sun (Holy cow. Being stranded at sea. NOT the way I’d want to go.)
  29. Snowpiercer (I have to admit, I didn’t really love this movie. But it’s a good illustration of how power can corrupt even a good person.)
  30. Panic in Year Zero (A family heads off to go camping shortly before a nuke hits Los Angeles. A good example of the “Golden Horde” here, even though the nuclear stuff wasn’t super accurate.)
  31. Behind Enemy Lines (A soldier who was shot down in enemy territory must use his skills to survive until he can be rescued.)
  32. Into the Wild (A young guy gives away all his stuff and hitchhikes to live off the land in Alaska.)
  33. Contagion (Two awesome lessons in this movie: how easily a virus can be spread and how important it is to be able to lock down and shelter in place in the event of a pandemic.)
  34. Outbreak (Another deadly virus movie that emphasizes the ease at which a pandemic can take place.)
  35. V for Vendetta (Dystopian cinema at it’s finest. I absolutely LOVE this movie. Not really about survival, but about the value of freedom and the importance of standing up for what is right)
  36. War of The Worlds (The original invasion of Earth by aliens. The classic has the added bonus of not having a highly annoying character played by Tom Cruise, who you will itch to slap in the newer version)
  37. How I Live Now (A girl moves to the English countryside, but soon the idyllic setting is marred by war and a military state. She has to hide out to survive.)
  38. Soylent Green (Too many people on the planet means not enough food. Watch as the horrifying truth comes out about what people are actually being fed.)
  39. Children of Men (There is only one last ray of hope in a world where no babies have been born in nearly 20 years.)
  40. Extinction (Aliens have invaded and a dad will do whatever he must to save his family. Twist at the end)
  41. Goodbye World (You’ll be envious of the awesome SHTF set-up these people have.  That is, until you find out they are completely unarmed and horrified that someone has a gun. IT’S AN APOCALYPSE, PEOPLE!)
  42. The Postman (There’s often civil unrest after a war. This movie is about hope in the American West after civilization has basically been destroyed.)
  43. Remnants (Solar flare. Continuity of government plan. Total chaos in the streets.)
  44. Deep Impact (Doomsday is approaching in the form of a giant comet that is due to impact Earth and cause an extinction level event.)
  45. The Host (Don’t pre-judge this movie based on the fact that the author also wrote The Twilight Saga. It’s about a group of survivors who create a sustainable lifestyle after aliens eradicated most of the humans. And of course, the subsequent rebellion against the aliens.)
  46. Dante’s Peak (When the volcano near a small town is discovered to be no longer dormant, it’s time to get the heck out of Dodge.)
  47. Solar Attack (A solar flare is racing towards earth, changing the climate, and promising massive devastation if not extinction. The plan to stop it is kind of silly, but there’s a lot of interesting information about CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections)
  48. Cat.8 (Who’s surprised that the government uses some technology they should never have invented and causes Armageddon?)
  49. 127 Hours (A hiker gets his hand stuck between two rocks. Waits. Waits. No help. Not many people would have the courage to do what they’ve gotta do to survive.)
  50. Birdbox (Yes, the premise is kind of stupid. But the survival aspects of letting the wrong people in, gangs of crazy people, and operating by the new rules of a chaotic situation are well-illustrated.)

What are your favorite prepping or survival movies?

I know you’ve got movies to add to the list!  Please share them in the comments below. Remember, they don’t have to be examples of GOOD survival skills. They can also be cautionary tales!

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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    • I really wish I had seen this movie when I had the chance. It was free On Demand on cable a few years ago. But I could only get through the first three minutes because I was so creeped out by it.

    • Excellent choice, once you get past Stephen King’s massive incompetence when describing firearms (and, no surprise, the total lack of such expertise among his New York editors). Good luck finding that .38-cal Colt Woodsman he describes many times (only mf’d in .22 cal). Or the impossible military weapon found in the security post at some military installation. I started marking down a list of firearms goofs in THE STAND, but eventually just gave up.

      Still a great book, and a great Prepper film.

      • Initially, King was very firearms ignorant. But at this point, he’s probably had 500 people inform him that “there is NO SAFETY to release on a Glock.” I really believe he continues to use that phrase just to annoy his gun enthusiast readers. 🙂

    • I love Lucifer’s Hammer. There is an entire chapter in this book that is so reminiscent of The Postman.
      Didn’t know they had made a movie of Lucifer’s Hammer.
      I would also add the book “Alas, Babylon” One of my all time favorites.

      • Oh, I *LOVE* “Alas, Babylon”. I have it on Audible and have listened to it at least a dozen times. Such a great book!

    • The first one on my list. Protecting and storing valuable books for future re-development of a civilized world would be paramount.

    • I believe that you are mistaken about “Lucifer’s Hammer” ever being made into a movie. If I am wrong, I hope that someone will tell me where to find it.

  • There are a few series to add to your list. The 100, Jericho, Falling Skies, The Walking Dead, Revolution, Jeremiah, Under the Dome, The Last Ship. I’m sure there are more that I’m missing. But in this list there is everything from post nuclear situations, to alien invasions, to mysterious power global power outages, mysterious barriers cutting towns off from the world, to plague.

    • I’ve seen The 100,and am nearly done watching Revolution. Complete thrillers,with the biggest what-ifs, twists and escape & evasion plots! Love these 2 choices!

    • Yes, I never miss an episode — but it drives me nuts that they will pass through whole areas without scrounging carefully for (primarily) weapons and ammo. They have blown thru an incredible amount of ammo & seem to hardly bother replenishing it. Darryl doesn’t get a lot of his crossbow bolts back, so he should be going thru every gun store & hardware store they pass to renew his supply.

      Every cop shop (even small towns) and Reserve center should be thoroughly searched for ammo (and weapons), not to mention field rations, night vision equipment, etc. Every house, particularly rural ones, is likely to have a weapon and/or ammo (especially down South), yet they pass them by, or just hit the kitchen for food.

      A sensible leader would have them carefully searching each small town they go near, but this seldom happens. Granted, they are concentrating on the drama & interpersonal relationships, but the almost total lack of scrounging misses an important lesson all Preppers need to learn.

      • Not to mention sound suppressors. They worry about alerting zombies from a million miles away and some of the weapons would take a suppressor but not a single one .

  • 10.5 is a made for tv movie. Available on dvd. My family considers this a feel good movie…….snicker

  • LOL! I remember that part about them deciding what books to burn in “The Day After Tomorrow”. They decided that the tax code books were okay to burn. A wise choice! Then, I think they should start on all of the political biographies, and everything about the Kardashians.

    “Cast Away” was wonderful! I remember watching it when it came out in the movie theater. The plane crash scene was so terrifying to me as a teenager that it made me cry. But now that I’m older, I definitely appreciate the survival aspects of the movie. I still wouldn’t have been able to use an ice skate on my tooth, though. I would have gone the Clan of the Cave Bear route, with a chip of wood wedged against the tooth, and a whack with a rock. (Iza followed it up with burning out the pain with the coal on the end of a sliver of wood, and then putting some powdered spikenard — I think it was? — in the hole. But since I have no idea what spikenard even looks like, much less how to prepare it, and there probably wouldn’t be any on an island I got stuck on anyway, it doesn’t really matter.)

    Oh! But that tangent does remind me: Clan of the Cave Bear. The movie with Daryl Hannah. It was awful, and barely anything like the book series (which IS awesome, at least until books 5 and 6, which sucked, so don’t waste your time on them). Very interesting from a survival perspective.

    As far as more modern things go, I only saw the first two episodes of it (back to back) but Fox has a new show called “The Last Man On Earth.” It goes against EVERY SINGLE THING a prepper would ever do to survive after a virus wipes out everyone on the planet. Except for one guy, and apparently two women, so far. (A toilet POOL? Really?)

    • Loved this film. It’s so dumb and great at the same time. Did a lot of things wrong in it, but acquiring weapons was the smartest thing they did. Unfortunately the Mac10 was a poor choice. An Ak would have been better.

    • “Let’s play a game, it’s called scary noises.” Still one of my favorite lines from a movie, 35 years later! I loved that movie but even as a teenager I was mind-boggled by some of the dumb mistakes the supposed survivors made! (Also years later I couldn’t figure out why that guy Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager looked so familiar…it took me forever to realize it was Hector!)

  • Well its a oldie but a goodie how about Panic in the year Zero made in the early 60’s you can watch it on youtube some of the ideas still hold true maybe more now then ever.

  • The ending animation at the final seconds of the recent Planet of the Apes movie. It shows the rapid spread of a disease across the world, rapid, believable, and downright scary.

  • After the dark, good examples of how sometimes the valueable skill sets to survival aren’t always the obvious, really just great putting things in a different perspective type of movie

  • “The Last Valley” w Michael Caine & Omar Sharif. Europe at War, Plague, famine
    martial law, occupying troops,dissension among troops. Ultimate bug in location.
    Self-defense against armed intruders. Citizen revolt. Intense drama. F.Y.I.
    No car chases or crashes, no cars at all. No vulgarity. Scenic countryside.
    17th century Germany, The Thirty Years War.

  • The series Jericho is a favorite at our house.

    I also like the Swiss Family Robinson movie from the 60’s. (I think it was on Netflix.) They were creative using items from the ship to make their house in the tree more comfortable.

  • Look into the divide, one prepper has a bunker in the basement of an apartment complex, when shtf hits a few non preppers end up with him. It shows the danger that not like minded people can be a danger to you when shtf

    • Definitely a cautionary tale. I was going to mention this one. Although it is a particularly nasty one. As I’m a fan of Micheal Biehn it was good to see a bit of his more recent work. The modernist story itself illustrates a breakdown of a group dependent on each other for survival, but goes awry and shows a terrible glimpse into what humans are capable of. And if they can think it ..it can happen.

      For an ironic and downbeat tale, but somewhat educational with respect to a short term survival situation after a nuke goes off the coast of LA (I believe) I might add a more independent film by Chris Gorak called Right at Your Door. There are situational elements that I believe are worth paying attention to throughout.

      The top 40 list was fun to go through just to see how many I’ve seen and now, might want to. Thanks for the having some fun with it..

  • The War Game-it’s a film made in the 60’s for BBC that they banned because it was too realistic! It is in black and white but it is a great movie to watch!!!!!! It can be found on Youtube.

  • The Remnants, with Tom Sizemore. Solar flare grid down situation. It’s a mind blower. On Amazon instant but not prime.

    Also a huge Jericho fan here. Jeremiah is also interesting (series), albeit more crass. Loved Goodbye world, The Happening, American Blackout, the old Left Behind movies (religious).

  • The mini series Jericho is one of our favorites..Available on Netflix or just buy the DVD’s. You may want to watch over and over. A lot we can learn NOT to do as well as what we should be preparing for. Great show!!!

  • The Colony, The Way Back, Captain Phillips (yeah, I know: no zombies, but plenty of opportunities for prepping); Flight of The Phoenix (either 1965 or 2004; I like the 1965 version better), The Divide (even more depressing than The Road).

  • The 1975 BBC series titled “Survivors” is excellent in showing not only the immediate aftermath but also the long term (years) requirements for survival after TEOTWAWKI.

    If you don’t have time to watch all three seasons at least watch the first four or five episodes of season one. These episodes do an especially good job of showing the shock and disorientation of the survivors as well as the denial that some of them engage in.

    Be sure to watch the original 1975 series not the much later remake.

  • The Omega Man with Charlton Heston is mainly a what not to do when it comes to things like ammunition, fuel & food conservation. The last guy alive unaffected by some kind of zombie disease and he just sprays bullets everywhere like there are no limits…
    Still, he has some cool preps and safeguards.
    Very dated – 1971

  • I would also suggest “The Island on Bird Street”. It is about a boy who survived on his own hiding in a ghetto destroyed by the Nazis. His one book was “Robinson Crusoe” which gave him some ideas on how to survive. And this actually happened-this is a true story.

  • What about Threads, set in Sheffield (UK) after a nuclear holocaust. It shows the aftermath many years after the blast. Also Blackout in America (docu-drama) and Blackout in Britain (I am unsure of the actual title). Both of these are very realistic and show what to do (and not what to do) in a life-changing event. These can be viewed in full on You Tube.

    • Finally someone mentions ‘Threads’ as a candidate! One of the best in my opinion. Saw it when living overseas and it scared the bejesus out of me. The Day After, which was released in the US at about the same time, was like a cartoon in comparison.

  • I don’t know if you’d consider it a “survival” movie, but I found some interesting themes in “City of Ember”. I mean, they live underground, they are running out of stored-up food, corrupt politician… And, it’s not “kid-unfriendly”. So, the whole family could watch.

  • Great list, and great suggestions in the comments! I’d add a few foreign language flicks: Phase 7, The Last Days, and Hell.

  • It,s so neat, how everyone pulls together… So we can all be better prepared for what might come..thank you, good luck to us all…

  • British TV mini series called “Cruel Earth” in US & Canada, “The Last Train” in UK.
    Here’s the blurb from Imdb: A group of commuter train passagers are put in accidental suspended animation and emerge years later into a devastated world after an asteroid impact.

    I watched this when it played here (Canada) in 1998, was totally obsessed by it. Very dark, but compelling.

  • There was a movie on, I don’t know, A&E or History, I’ve never remembered which that was the story of a family that stayed in LA too long after a pandemic had wiped pretty much everyone out. They, the dad, who reminded me of Ray Ramano on “Everybody Loves Raymond”, finally decided it was time to bug out when he saw gangs ransacking houses systematically and were shortly coming toward his house. The rest of the story was their attempted escape from the city. They found that the on ramp was blocked and the freeway system was completely clogged with stalled and overturned wrecks. After a gang attempted to rob them there they abandoned their disabled car and took off on foot somehow reaching the outskirts of town with little more than what they could carry. At one point they came upon a storage area that a group had taken over. When the father asked for some food or water the guard took his watch at gunpoint and told him to leave. Sneaking in the back way the father, who by this time was at odds with his teen-age son, managed to snag a few bottles of water but shot one of the guards on the way out to save his son from capture. The story continues on for a short time with their subsequent trip to the desert and they finally wind up in a commune type group where the father succumbs to infection from a scratch he got while picking fruit.

    This was one of the best “get off yer butt and prepare for the worst” made for TV movies that I’d seen in quite a while and I’ve never seen it presented again on the channel or any where else. I can’t even remember the title since I figured it would be shown several more times. This viewing had to have been several years ago when I saw it. If anyone remembers it and knows how to get a copy it’s worth watching.


  • The Stand is on Netflix, as well as Jericho, The Running Man, Revolution, Continuum, and many others. The series, The Colony shows what to do and NOT to do during a survival situation. Youtube has a good many movies…But I can’t seem to find “They Live!” I haven’t seen it, but I want to.

  • See if you can find a twilight zone episode titled “The shelter” to see how quickly soceity can collapse.

  • Lord of the Flies (1990’s film). The Andromeda Strain (1969 film), and a Yul Brenner 1970’s film, The Ultimate Warrior.

  • Movies: THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (Vincent Price 1964)
    THE NAKED PREY (1965)
    28 DAYS LATER (2002)

  • “All Is Lost”, recent Robert Redford film,
    about shipwreck at sea
    “Mad Max”
    “The Road Warrior”
    “Beyond Thunderdome”
    “Mad Max: Fury Road”

  • “The Quiet Earth”
    “The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959 film)”
    “A Man Called Horse”
    “Man in the Wilderness”
    “127 Hours”
    “Into the Wild”

  • One other very powerful movie to add to you great list: TAKE SHELTER. It won a Cannes Film Festival Award and hits many themes Preppers often face, such as disbelief and derision from others, even those very close to us.

  • No list is complete without “The Day After.” From Wikipedia: “The Day After is a 1983 American television film that aired on November 20, 1983, on the ABC television network. It was seen by more than 100 million people during its initial broadcast. It is currently the highest-rated television film in history.

    The film postulates a fictional war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact that rapidly escalates into a full-scale nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, the action itself focuses on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as several family farms situated next to nuclear missile silos.”

  • Saw quite a few goods ones in the comments, but how about The Purge, and one that was Brasil-esque, 12 Monkeys. I’ve been speaking to my oldest for several years now about prepping et AL and one day while watching Spy Kids with him, he pointed out those kids did indeed utilize Bug out bags… it was comforting to see knowledge retained….

  • Just a quick question, in case anyone here knows, has anyone heard anything about FUTURE episodes of the “Doomsday Preppers” show on NatGeo? I mean, I’ve gone to the natgeo website and all they talk about are past episodes. Can’t find any info on a new season of the show anywhere. Just curious, figured I’d ask you guys since I’m sure you’ve seen the show before.
    Thanks ahead of time, for any info on this.

  • I was thinking any of the Mad Max series. And Maze Runner is good on several levels. And an older Sci-Fi one that I think is good WOULD be “Enemy Mine”.

  • The Trigger Effect. 1996. Total power and communication failures. A bit of racism thrown in. Survival with no money and only a shotgun for 3 people and a baby.

  • (No blade of grass )came out around 1970 about a family in England who tries to make it to the fathers ,brothers farm in the country. If you have not seen this movie you will SEE THE REALITY of all your plans NOT working out the way you hoped they would. Find a copy and buy it then set down with NO DISTRACTIONS and watch it. Then IMAGINE YOU ARE EACH CHARACTER and watch it again as( that) person? NOW WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?????

  • As far as an (Escape & Evasion with survival elements)…BAT21. With Gene Hackman comes to mind. It’s just a good movie.

    Jeremiah Johnson. aka “Crow Killer”. This was a great movie, especially about the “What not to do” aspect of mountain man survival. …”Elk don’t know how many legs a horse has!”

    It’s a family film series, but “Mountain family Robinson” was one I always liked. Especially since they tried to show that it was a struggle, but you could do it if you set your mind to it.

    I like the show “Mountain Men”. It’s a good show that has more drama than is needed, but there are some nuggets of knowledge in every episode.

    The Walking Dead is a good series. But yes, I would scrounge around way more than they do.

    I’m on the fence about “Fear The Walking Dead” so far my favorite characters are the black guy and the druggie kid that looks like a young Johnny Depp, and yes…I’d loose the hippy step dad somewhere on the first day.

  • The Day, Deacon 4, Night of the Comet, Doomsday, and how do you have a list like this without any of the first three Mad Max movies.

  • Escape from New York is not about millions of people trying to escape a disaster. New York is being used as a prison in the movie.

  • what about the book of eli after all nothing else will have a more long term impact and scares the powers of the world more.

  • Bill–
    I believe you’re thinking of a movie/documentary/teach-prep-ideas program called “After Armageddon”. It’s usually on Youtube, free.

    • Those were to denote that the movie was free on Amazon Prime at the time I published the article 🙂

  • I was going to mention the Redford film All is Lost, but somebody beat me to it.

    Having been adrift at sea in a disabled sailboat, the movie gave me friggin’ nightmares. Still, from what I can recall, the protagonist did everything right with what he had at hand.

  • Would “They live” and “Last of the Dogmen” qualify? Great movies and about freedom and survival

  • New movie out called Amerigeddon. Pretty decent description of post EMP world and some of the things you may have to contend with from looters to rapists to government lackeys (or combinations of each).

  • Books-1984, Z for Zachariah
    Shows-Alaska the last frontier, Survivorman
    Movies-The Happening(people are killing themselves-not for kids), Signs(alien attack), Dr Zhivago & Black Book (both wartime movies where they hide from authorities), Nim’s Island (happy kids movie), Kit Kittredge(kids perspective of the Depression)

  • forgot “The Signal” This is a Brittish movie made, but it is with EOW results…a Television signal causes humans to destroy one another, and it is pretty gross! But could happen..

  • The 1980s PBS TV series, The Voyage of the Mimi, Ben Affleck’s first acting role. The last few episodes are where they have to deal w/ being shipwrecked, but they cram a fair amt of stuff in there. My elementary school made all its 5th graders watch it. Hypothermia (& how stopping shivering can be a sign of a REALLY bad thing), desalinization/solar still, distress signals, SOS…yup. Check it out. First 15 mins are the fictional storyline, last 15 are the science behind the episode.

  • RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR (2007) –

    After multiple dirty bombs are detonated, spreading deadly toxic ash across Los Angeles, Brad inadvertently quarantines his wife, Lexi outside their new home by safely sealing himself inside. With the city under siege and martial law in affect, Brad and Lexi struggle to survive with few supplies, limited time and no information–all while separated by thin doors and thinner sheets of plastic. When “help” finally does arrive, it appears to be anything but.

  • There was a mini-series movie years ago that I wish I could find. I think it was Amerika staring Kris Kristofferson (the only actor I can recall anyway).

  • The Restoration Series by Terri Blackstone. First book is Last Light. It is about an Solar Flare that knocks out all power. Very realistic, at times scary in people’s response. It is a Christian based series, but I strongly recommend it.

  • It’s old (1962), black and white and obviously not big budget material, but from a preppers point of view this movie is worth watching. It’s about a family leaving Los Angeles for a camping trip with a camper in tow just before LA is nuked. The mobile family find themselves at the head of the pack trying to flee farther away from ground zero as they compete with other desperate travelers. It’s called Panic in the Year Zero. You can watch it here: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x21x586

    Other post apocalyptic movies which few likely remember: “Damnation Alley” (1977), “A Boy and his Dog” (1975). A better choice however would be “On the Beach” (1959).

  • Great List! Thank yoU For Sharing. ‘Into the Forest’ is a great movie for other lists, as well. A great wake up call to just how quickly your life could change and knowing how to survive, being prepared just in case is really important. Not a lot to say, but love that i have found your page. Thank yoU for being here.

  • This is very confusing to me. With all of the national disasters in the world, and news on national media being nothing short of pure fiction, what is the point of watching a disaster movie?

    The thing that is entirely baffling is that this article has 11 times or more comments than many articles of pressng importance.

    I realize that Daisy Luther sheds light on some of the critical issues of our times, for which I am grateful, but the fact that readers are more interest in resolving fictiscious problems, in the mists of ignoring the collapse of American society is alarming.

    I wish that the American public was as interested in resolving the problems of the real world, before it is too late.

    • Andrea, perhaps you should read this article to understand better:https://www.theorganicprepper.com/fun-is-not-the-f-word-for-preppers/

      A balance between the doom and gloom and having fun with your family is incredibly important. You cannot and should not be focused only on negative, stressful things at all times. I love movies and always have, and if I can find a way to introduce survival strategies to my kids through fun, I’m in!

      The world is such a dark place. We all need a break from that.

      • Thank you Daisy. In no way am I knocking having fun. It is strictly the glaringly obvious numbers contrast in response from readers that seems astounding to me. While many articles have 10 comments or less, and this now has 123 comments.

  • Of interest about “Red Dawn” (2012) is the influence of Chinese money in Hollywood. (As an aside, have you noticed the increase of Chinese characters in movies lately? Money talks.)

    Because of Chinese financial influence in Hollywood, the movie was filmed but was not released right away because the Chinese were depicted as the invaders. During this period when the movie sat on the shelf, Chris Hemsworth’s career in Hollywood took off.) When the decision to release the movie was made, the uniforms of the Chinese were digitally altered so as to make the occupiers North Koreans. Voila! No offense to the Chinese!

    Just like a Valley Girl might say, “as if” the North Koreans would have the capability of invading the US.

  • Scrolled through about 50 comments and no one mentioned “I AM LEGEND” (Will Smith), though “The Last Man on Earth” (“I Am Legend” is a remake of this movie) with Vincent Price is mentioned. Another one made in the late 50s or early 60s is “World Without End” about astronauts from the 1970s landing back on Earth after a 2188 nuclear war (they went through a time warp). Mutants attack them so they go into a cave where a “door” opens into an underground elite survivor society that about two hundred years later and no sunlight is becoming physically weaker and more morally corrupt. After an elitist tries to kill the three astronauts, they, led a a normal child woman of the mutants (who enslave all normally born children), defeat the mutants and then all the survivors including “normals” of mutants try to rebuild society. The message to me is this–you super rich elitists who think you can destroy earth and then go live underground–your hubris and arrogant agenda WILL NOT WORK. Us “useless eaters” will find a way…


    “As colonialism collapsed in 1960s Africa, filmmakers Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi rushed to the Dark Continent to record the horrifying battle for control that followed.”

    This is not a Hollywood movie but a SHTF documentary movie of various glimpses of what occurred. Therefore, it is closer to what will happen if and when rule of law breaks down. Chaos.

    • I enjoyed “Zombieland”, double-tap and all. But a lot of the movies listed above are well, garbage and have nada to do with a SHTF scenario. They’re more predictive programming. If you were to pick the movies apart and analyze them, symbols and all, good for you. But most people don’t and possibly will imitate what they saw in a SHTF situation to their demise.

      I recommend a movie like ”Alone In the Wilderness” (2004)
      “Documentary tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula, in what is now Lake Clark National Park …”.
      It is uplifting and educational.

      If you like dark comedies, Vincent Ward’s “The Navigator” is good. “After Hours” and its bookend movie “Bringing out the Dead” by Martin Scorsese is ok. “Something Wild” by John Demme is another.

  • Testament I believe it was a made for TV movie with Jane Alexander. Soooo good. Really shows what life could become after an unknown nuclear event. Small town, and how people went on, or tried to.

  • As a I know, nothing new planned. My sister found all four seasons available in Hulu. You can buy the dvd maybe on Amazon or an online site, but the prices are crazy sometimes.

  • I never get tired of the original Red Dawn. I haven’t even watched the re-make. Without Patrick Swayze it just wouldn’t be the same. The Australian Tomorrow When The War Began was fantastic.

  • I Am Legend should definitely be added to this list, just for his awesome set up at home, how he rotated his food, stays in shape and using generators for power.

  • Nobody yet has mentioned “Tremors” and its multiple sequels. Who can ever forget the satirical, yet iconic character, Burt Gummer?

    Never mind this “pepper” stuff…….I wanna be a Survivalist, just like Burt! His wife in the original, played by Reba McEntire, was pretty hard core too (hot even, way back then.)

    You say you don’t believe in Grabboids or Dirt Dragons? I say they’re just hibernating…

  • I lived in Florida near where Ft. Repose “shoulda” been…scary back during the cold war! GREAT book! Started stocking up on iodized salt!!

  • The survivalist is a brit movie. Very dark , like the road. No special effects just dirty people that have to trade sex for food. They have an old shotgun and only a few shells.

  • 51. These Final Hours – An Australia movie about an meteor that strikes the northern hemisphere and creates a pyroclastic flow that encompasses the planet and how the people of Australia deal with their inevitable doom.


    52. The Survivalist – Post-apocalyptic thriller in which a lone man strikes a bargain with two women as they fight to survive roving gangs and the harsh isolation of a kill-or-be-killed world.


    53. Into The Forest – After a massive power outage, two sisters learn to survive on their own in their isolated woodland home.


    54. – A Quiet Place – In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.


    55. The Quiet Earth – In this sci-fi cult classic, Zac Hobson, a mid-level scientist working on a global energy project, wakes up to a nightmare. After his project malfunctions, Zac discovers that he may be the last man on Earth. As he searches empty cities for other survivors, Zac’s mental state begins to deteriorate – culminating in the film’s iconic and hotly debated ending.


    56. Three movies based on the novel “I Am Legend”:

    The Last Man On Earth (1964) – starring Vincent Price
    The Omega Man (1971) – starring Charlton Heston
    I Am Legend (2007) – starring Will Smith

    Just to name a few extra. Some of these MUCH better than some listed above.

  • “Look Who’s Back” (German: Er Ist Weider Da) is a German satirical comedy film directed by David Wnendt. Berlin, 2014. Adolf Hitler wakes up in the park where his former wartime bunker once stood. As he wanders, disoriented, through the city, he interprets modern situations and things from a wartime perspective.

    Youtube 2:15 min. clip, critique of television,


  • Return Of The Living Dead
    The Omega Man
    Land Of The Dead
    Alien Resurrection

    Especially Threads. It’s hard to find; I got it off of P2P.

    IMHO, Threads is how we’re all gonna end up.

    It makes The Road look like Mary Poppins in comparison.

    Agree about Terminator Salvation-i know the fans hate it, but I really like it.

    • Oh, and Hardware – it’s a survivalist movie in a dystopian world – but not for the kids (none on my list would be child appropriate)

  • I haven’t watch a movie or TV in a few years, and since then, I understand the Pink Floyd The Wall lyrics, “How shall I fill the empty spaces where we used to talk? How shall I complete the wall?”

    This is a Roosevelt era predatory distraction to prevent people from communicating sustantive topics and from learning the truth.

    • I haven’t watched a movie or TV in a few years, and since then, I have come to understand the Pink Floyd The Wall lyrics, “How shall I fill the empty spaces where we used to talk? How shall I complete the wall?”

      This is a Roosevelt era predatory distraction to prevent people from communicating sustantive topics and from learning the truth.

      I keep getting attacked by the predatory hackers while posting. What total losers! Their highest aspiratiions in life are to hack me?! LOL! talk about low-lifes!,!!

  • The Snow Walker
    The Snow Walker is a 2003 Canadian survival drama film written and directed by Charles Martin Smith and starring Barry Pepper. Based on the short story Walk Well, My Brother by Farley Mowat, the film is about a Canadian bush pilot whose life is changed through an encounter with a young Inuit woman and their challenge to survive the harsh conditions of the Northwest Territories following an aircraft crash.

  • Great list and great comments by everyone except Andrea.

    I would recommend ‘Off the Map’ as an absolutely fantastic movie that stands up to repeated watching. While not really a prepper movie at all, the film follows a family living very much ‘off the grid’ in New Mexico in the seventies. They have a big garden, scrounge from the dump, can their own food and do most everything themselves instead of going out to buy or hire what they need. The little girl is the star of the pic and she is a treasure.

    I tend to like things that are not preachy, but quietly show you a way that is sane and sustainable. I think this movie does that in a very subtle way. Enjoy.

  • How about “man in the wilderness” with Richard Harris? Hunter/scout gets mauled by a bear and left to die in early american wilderness. But survives.

  • “World War Z” Read the book. Much better, more insightful, and little if anything in common with the movie.

  • “The Rover” (2014) with Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson is a brutal and utterly superb movie set in the Australian Outback 5-20 years from now as the whole society teeters on the brink of collapse. It’s never explained what went wrong but government services have evaporated and the Australian state is only maintaining a tenuous hold on the interior though military occupation. Violent crime is endemic, everybody is armed, and human life is virtually worthless.

    If this sounds like the set-up to “Mad Max” (ie the legendary, low-budget prequel to “The Road Warrior”), I’m convinced that’s no accident. The movie plays like the writer and directer were trying to create an origin story for the character of Max without the fantasy elements that reduced the original “Road Warrior” trilogy to the level of mass-entertainment shlock. The great Australian actor, Guy Pearce, plays ‘Eric’, the film’s stand-in for Max. Eric is a tormented, damaged, and extremely dangerous man who may or may not have once been normal but is clearly nothing of the kind now. Your milage may vary but I found him and the movie unforgettable.

    Final notes: The script of the “The Rover” makes references to adultery, rape, pedophilia and gay prostitution but nothing explicit is ever shown on screen nor is there propaganda advocating for any of these things. The film is light on gore and splatter but there is lots of violence and it isn’t prettified.

  • Amerigedon is as real as it gets. Many truths in the movie, including UN troop on our soil. Available on Amazon Prime or buy the CD. I bet you watch it many time.

  • The Martian because of how he sets up the gardening and uses his science/biology brains and background to create a life on a barren planet.

  • A little-known TV movie from about 1999 called “Ice”, presently on Youtube and Amazon prime. Forget global warming; the sun has moved into a new pattern and most of the world is freezing. The mistakes these people make will keep you busy. Not great, but a fun watch.

  • One of my favorite lines from The Book of Eli, “We threw away things people kill each other for now.”

  • I do love it when Bruce Willis is able to save the world. I like Anaconda series or Lake Placid for survival from stupidity movies.

  • I like the old Disney movie I saw in the mid 60’s called “Robinson Crusoe on Mars”. I have it on disc, don’t know if it is on Prime or Netflix. A great survival movie IMO.

  • IMO – The best of the best is two post-apocalyptic TV shows:
    1. Jericho – life after a nuke is detonated in Denver, Colorado. Take notes on the episode at the barter and trade market … very relevant. Also, the importance of having antibiotics before you need them.
    2. Jeremiah – pandemic has wiped out nearly everyone – factions are everywhere – grisly at times, ruthless and quite the depiction of what a lawless society is capable of carrying out.

  • Jeremiah Johnson (a true historical mountain man played by Robert Redford) is perhaps the most realistic survival movie of them all and should be #1 this list!

  • “Melancholia” left me feeling totally depressed at the end. It was an excellent movie but with a feeling of hopelessness. Brought out all the characteristics in people and how they handle things differently.

  • The Girl with all the Gifts could be on this list, Biology adapts and the human spirit endures.

    I was in junior high when “The day after tomorrow came out” it was mandatory to watch it with our parents. We had assigned questions to discuss and in Canada at the end of the movie, it listed how many war heads were aimed at each of the major city centers. My home city of Calgary AB had 5, ensuring nothing would survive but that didn’t stop my dad from making sure I knew our survival plan and my responsibility for taking care of my younger sibling.

  • I watched Panic in the Year Zero on Creature Feature in the early 70’s when I was around 8 or 9; it’s probably what got me started on the road to prepping and survival. LOL

    I’d add 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead (the original and the remake), which are not only entertaining, but good as thought exercises for small groups of people surviving deadly mobs after a complete societal collapse.

  • Yes definitely the stand, Book of Eli & the road. All of the ones you listed were very good but my top three were the previous!

  • “Interstate 60”. May not be a prepper, survivalist or dooms day movie but I highly recommend it. It says a lot about modern society and what needs to change and how to stay on your path.

  • Gone With The Wind. Basic synopsis: We lived this way.. now as god is my witness, we live this other way. And do we give a damn? Not if you are young, gorgeous and prepared to do what you must to keep your standard of living up and move on to whatever the future may bring. SHTF? Absolutely, Sherman!

  • Someone mentioned The Snow Walker (as of today on Amazon on the IMDB channel free with ads). Amazing movie; my mom wanted and ulu knife after watching all of the things the woman did with hers (I had to remind her the skills were in the woman, not the knife).
    If you get Tubi, there are lots of disaster type movies there, from the old Airport 75,77, etc. to others. Good list.

  • The BBC Survivor series from 1975 to 1977 is a brilliant depiction of how the remnant survivors of a global pandemic learn to survive in disparate communities in Great Britain. Focus is mostly on how the survivors come to learn and share practical skills as well as learn and practice defensive skills against predatory groups. Informative as well as gripping.

  • I thought I’d leave a recommendation. I recently stumbled onto “The Reliant” it has like a pretty good story that made me think through some things I previously had not.

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