You know how some movies like to end in TFD? (Total F*cking Destruction) Yeah, we like those, too! The third act is when everything “comes together” and usually if you have a movie with a big buildup, you need a big payoff. Almost apocalyptic in feel. Maybe even an actual apocalypse sometimes. So here’s our list of the top 10 Apocalyptic Finales.
WARNING: There are spoilers here. The title of this post should clue you in that we spoil the endings! duh.
Note: we stayed away from certain films that had the apocalypse happening for most of their running times. So this would exclude pretty much any zombie movie, or anything where the end of the world starts off the film (so scratch Virus, Threads, The Stand, etc) and post-apocalyptic films aren’t included either (so scratch Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, A Boy And His Dog, The Road, etc).
Nuclear experiments near the earth’s core (to try to tap into geothermal energy) end up causing a crack to form in the earth’s crust, which eventually splits the earth in two. The ending sees part of the earth separate and fly off into space, presumably forming a new moon.
A star named Bellus is about to collide with Earth, so a spaceship is built to take some humans to the planet Zyra, which orbits Bellus and will be in the vicinity. Cheesy sci-fi that inspired some stuff later, like the even cheesier 2012.
It feels like the world is ending when the governator puts his hand on that alien machine trigger and all hell breaks loose. Glass shatters and people are thrown about, and bad guy Ronny Cox’s eyeballs pop out of his head. But when it’s all over Mars has a nice new atmosphere. Hey, if you want an omelet you have to break some eggs.
Kirsten Dunst’s wedding reception is full of drama. That’s not enough for director Lars von Trier, who decides to hurl a planet at them as well. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and nobody feels fine.
Harry (Anthony Edwards) finds out by accident that nuclear war will break out soon and struggles to reunite with his love Julie (Mare Winningham). They meet a crazed Kurt Fuller on the roof of a building before being picked up in a chopper by Brian Thompson. Too late. They crash into the La Brea Tar Pits (where they first met) and theorize that maybe a direct hit by a nuke will turn them into diamonds. Ooh, diamonds are pretty. Watch the cool scene below (even though the poster ruined it by putting another song over the soundtrack – people have their own ideas about the proper soundtrack to the end of the world).
This underrated film ends with a plague of space vampirism overtaking London. It’s very close to a true apocalypse movie ending. Lots of corpses, zombie-things, giant vampire bats, soul collecting, and a nude Mathilda May (presumably to make the vampire apocalypse go down easier).
Nazis get it good as the Ark of the Covenant delivers God’s vengeance in the form of lightning bolts, melting heads, and exploding bodies. Not wanting to leave a mess, God sucks up all the carnage through a hole in the sky. God’s a messy cook, but the meal is great and the kitchen is spotless afterward.
Nick Cage’s kid finds a random scribbling of numbers in a school time capsule. But they’re not random – they predict disasters and how many people are going to die. The biggest disaster is saved for last – where everybody dies! (Except Cage’s film career – somehow it still lives).
How in the world was this movie rated G for General Audiences? It has extended violence, an ending where all the good guys get shot (including the hot Linda Harrison), and the capper is really an apocalypse movie ending – the whole world blows up! Damn, that takes guts, son! Maybe the MPAA was asleep that day; we can only imagine all the horrified little kids, LOL.