Let's be frank... humans ain’t perfect. Often on the big screen, man has become victim to his own hubris, whether it be through scientific curiosity or our own predilection for war.
Clearly this won’t be the first time humanity has been kicked to the curb. The 'post-apocalypse' is an idea beloved by many film makers, allowing them to explore humanity at its most desperate, most disparate and occasionally at its most absent. Let’s explore five examples of humanity receiving a good kicking.
5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Just as the simians supersede us in the Planet of the Apes saga, there was once an interstellar race of hot-shot gelatinous blobs who accomplished the same aim.
Replacing all the annoying things that humans do – mainly emoting – the so-called ‘pod people’ aim to eradicate mankind so that they can live in a peaceful, if a tad boring, society of conformity.
Dismissing humanity to the trash heap does not prove as easy as they thought, as they are met with some resistance from a curly-haired, gloriously mustachioed Donald Sutherland. Alas, in the end even his powerful facial hair cannot stop the inevitable collapse of humankind.
4. 9 (2009)
This beautifully animated film sadly struggled to find an audience at the time, a great shame as it is absolutely delightful. Well, delightful if you find delight in humanity being wiped out by robots, leaving nothing but a scorched, gloomy Earth. Of course you do.
9 follows a small homunculus-esque rag doll as he tries to discover exactly what left Earth in such a mess, and why humanity has been left extinct. That’s right, extinct. It features almost no human characters (aside from the odd cameo) so you can be sure they have been well and truly kicked curbside.
Turns out we don’t need them as title character 9 and his small band of heroes prove more than endearing enough. 9 is a film that deserves more recognition, with its non-human cast of characters giving it a unique quality. Poxy humans.
3. 12 Monkeys (1995)
Starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, and directed by master of the bizarre Terry Gilliam, 12 Monkeys gives humans a pretty hard time.
With humans forced underground due to a mysterious disease, the Earth now belongs to the animals as they roam the cities that humans held so dear. Whilst the beasts are free to enjoy the stunning architecture of Philadelphia, the humans live beneath in cramped squalor.
Thanks to a steampunk time machine and a team of creepy scientists, humans are given the possibility of a second chance to reverse the curb kickin’ – unless it’s too late of course.
2. The Road (2009)
This is the kind of film that you don’t necessarily enjoy – you merely sit and experience it.
After an unnamed global disaster wipes out all but a few remnants of humanity, Viggo Mortensen must protect his on-screen son from a variety of human enemies, mainly gangs with a penchant for violence and cannibalism, as they make their way to (hopefully) safer surroundings.
The film’s colour palette is nothing but varying shades of grey, as our father and son protagonists struggle and suffer to varying degrees to reach a salvation that may not even exist.
1. Snowpiercer (2013)
Nothing says ‘kicked to the curb’ like permanently living on a train. Not one of those fancy trains with a pool table either – we’re talking rickety, grubby and all-around unpleasant.
Set during a new ice age (created by humanity, of course), Snowpiercer stars Chris Evans as a man who must battle his way through the divided class system of the train in order to reach the front and perhaps change man’s destiny.
Snowpiercer contains not one, but two boots to humanity’s face, as we have caused our own near-extinction as well as kicking a faction of humans to the poor end of the train to die in poverty. Way to go, humanity!
Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.