Social distancing and self-quarantine. Scary but necessary.
Admit it, though: some of you are a little excited to have a ready-made excuse to stay home and binge on movies, TV, and takeout/delivery.
Of course, you can hide away with all those shows you’re behind on or wanted to start watching (You better call Saul Where The great British pastry fair Where Country Where Bojack Rider). But shouldn’t you take advantage of this downtime to take advantage of the many plague and pandemic-themed offers? There are several of them !
This guide will help you decide what to watch first, but don’t worry, you should have time to watch them all eventually. If you don’t have Netflix they offer a month free service to new subscribers now; other streaming services will also be featured in my recommendations, and they offer similar promotions, and remember that Tubi is free.
The pandemic viewing theme could include certain genres like zombie apocalypse movies, post-apocalyptic movies, disaster movies, urban robbery movies, survival movies, cult movies (as in real cult movies ) and other themes of social breakdown. Here are some of my favorites.
Let’s start by honoring the memory of the recently deceased great Swedish actor Max von Sydow, who died in early March at the age of 90, and who starred as a young crusading knight in the medieval plague story of Ingmar Bergman in 1957. The seventh seal (Prime, iTunes, Criterion Channel). The knight, Antonius Block, attempts to cheat death by challenging him to a game of chess, and as the two play their game, Block encounters various potential victims of the plague, including carnival performers and a doomed young witch. to be burned at the stake. Yeah, it’s dark, and it’s black and white too! But it is also beautiful and ultimately redemptive.
For something far more uplifting with similar themes, Monty Python riffs on the Black Death and The seventh seal in two of their films: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Netflix, Prime) and The meaning of life (Premium, Hulu, Vudu).
Another beautiful medieval plague film: Roger Corman’s fabulous and colorful 1964 adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s story The Masque of the Red Death (Prime, Vudu) with Vincent Price. There’s the wonderful and criminally underseen Australian film from 1988 The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (Tubi, Prime), about a boy on a mission to protect his family from the plague. There are modern plagues, including the Spanish flu epidemic of the early 20and century (films about the First World War will most certainly address this) and the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. Many great films address the AIDS crisis, including Farewell glances (1986, Tubi), long time companion (1989, Prime), Song of the Torch Trilogy (1988 (Netflix, Prime), and two excellent independent films by Thom Fitzgerald, The event (2003, First, Tubi) and 3 needles (2005, Prime).
Some Random Post-Apocalyptic/Social Collapse Treats: Ana Lily Amirpour The bad batchfeaturing an often shirtless Jason Momoa (2016, Netflix, Prime); The road (2009, Netflix) with Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron; 1991 Pick up with David Duchovny and Mimi Rogers (Prime, Vudu); and Martha Marcy May Marlene because you really just need to see it already. (2011, Premier, Hulu)
Then you have your kind of zombie apocalypse! There are so many here, I’m just going to give you my personal must-haves. Perhaps start with George Romero’s visionary franchise, starting with a super low-budget black-and-white film from 1968 night of the living dead and culminating in 2009 with his last film, Survival of the Dead. Romero’s evolving metaphorical comments on social ills were so apt it’s downright chilling.
Danny Boyle’s 28 days later (2002, Prime, Hulu) with a screenplay by Alex Garland – which also goes into total dystopia with Ex-Machina (2014, Prime, Netflix, Hulu) and Annihilation (2018, Prime, Hulu) — is one of my favorite movies of 21st century. It’s a crazy, brilliant tale of zombie infection in modern London, with an excellent British cast including Christopher Eccleston, also in the post-apocalyptic series. Leftovers (HBO, Hulu, Prime). The following 28 weeks later (2007, Prime, Vudu) is very good too.
I’m several seasons behind The Walking Dead (AMC, Netflix), the excellent and seemingly endless AMC series, but heck, now is a good time to catch up. As this show has implied from the start, we, yes we, are the walking dead whether we know it or not.
Be safe there, guys.