70s Dystopian Movies
70s Dystopian Movies
July 23, 2020
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July 24, 2020
80s Dystopian Movies

Dystopian Movies Produced in the 80s

The 80s was a glorious decade for the film industry. This decade saw a powerful and compelling array of films in the dystopian genre. Films like Mad Max, Robocop, and Blade Runner are just some of the most beloved dystopian films created in the 1980s. They will go on to be some of the most critically acclaimed films of all time.

80s Dystopian Movies
Image by Angel Chavez from Pixabay

For most film fans, the 80s films might even bring some nostalgia for its unique cinematography and daring characters. Here are some of the best dystopian movies created and released in the 80’s decade.

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Blade Runner

In an alternate dystopian 2019, a mega bioengineer corporation creates synthetic humans (Replicants) to work in outer space. When one Replicant goes on the loose in Earth, a police officer is tasked to track him down.

Blade Runner Movie

Underappreciated when it was released, the movie later goes on to become one of the most highly acclaimed movies of all time. Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer make for an excellent cat-and-mouse chase that’s truly entertaining.

This neo-noir film by acclaimed director Ridley Scott is a dystopian masterpiece that transcends time. With strong performances from its leads and an action-packed narrative, Blade Runner is a gem.

Genre – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Duration – 2h 19m

Rotten Tomatoes rating90%

My rating 9/10

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Blade Runner Movie
Blade Runner

The Running Man

Based on Stephen King’s bestselling horror novel, the Running Man follows the story of a wrongly imprisoned Ben Richards. He participates in a reality TV show to run for his freedom, all the while not knowing that the host has no intention of setting him free.

The Running Man

Arnold Schwarzenegger leaves a remarkable performance in this film. Along with Richard Dawson’s scene-stealing act, it’s an overall compelling satirical narrative of our current society.

Paul Michael Glaser, both director and writer, creates a solid film that will remain iconic and influential. The film is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

Genre – Dystopia, Horror

Duration – 1h 41m

Rotten Tomatoes rating 63%

My rating8/10

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The Running Man
The Running Man

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

The third movie in the Mad Max franchise, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome details Max’s exile to the desert and finds a town ruled by tyrannical Queen Aunty Entity. The film further follows an intense power struggle and more chaos.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

The film makes use of a well-established formula yet remains imaginative and wildly futuristic. With much punchier stunts and post-nuclear visuals, it’s a master film of entertainment.

George Miller and George Ogilvie’s directions make for a whole package film in this one. Mel Gibson and Tina Turner give powerhouse performances in this instalment in the franchise.

Genre – Dystopia, Action

Duration – 1h 47m

Rotten Tomatoes rating 80%

My rating 8.5/10

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Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

1984

Decades after the Second World War, Winston Smith works for the now totalitarian government to rewrite history, casting its leaders in an erroneously positive light. In a society that persecutes individualism, Winston falls in love with another rebel and is soon entangled in a socio-political mess.

Standing on the cult classic novel by George Orwell, the film still successfully gives its audience something more. This prescient film showcases poverty, passion, and power with well-written scripts and riveting narrative.

Michael Radford’s flair in directing holds true in the film. With solid performances from its actors, 1984 is a must-watch for everybody, even for those who haven’t read the novel.

Genre – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Duration – 1h 53m

Rotten Tomatoes rating76%

My rating – 9/10

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1984 movie
1984

Escape From New York

Set in fictional 1997, the film follows a chaotic New York City converted into a maximum-security prison centre. Plissken, a former soldier and current prisoner, must rescue the President of the United States after Air Force One is hijacked; in exchange for a pardon.

Escape From New York

The film uses a one-of-a-kind material that allows it to deliver satisfying thrills and action. Packed with adventure and decent performances, the film rises above and truly stands out.

John Carpenter creates an irresistible film that delivers on its daring premise. Escape From New York is surely an oddball yet a satisfying hell of a ride. You won’t view New York the same way after seeing the film.

Genre – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Duration – 1h 46m

Rotten Tomatoes rating 86%

My rating 9/10

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Escape From New York
Escape From New York

Brazil

The dystopian genre is as dark as it gets with this film by Terry Gillam. The film follows Sam Lowry, a dreamer, living in a rigidly bureaucratic future society. In an attempt to rectify a man’s wrongful conviction, he just gets sucked into an even bigger mess – one that’s beyond him.

Brazil

Reminiscent of the classic novel 1984, Brazil creates the perfect satire for a tyrannical government that’s dark and hauntingly realistic. Taking on tried-and-tested themes like a damsel in distress and making use of effective plot devices to propel itself.

The film echoes a much louder message of justice, resistance, and opposing ideologies. Fantasy and reality are twistedly blurred in this film. It’s a hauntingly dark, beautiful chaos all creatively rolled into one.

Genre – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Duration – 1h 19m

Rotten Tomatoes rating 100%

My rating10/10

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Brazil
Brazil

The Quiet Earth

A devastating power experiment gone-wrong wipes the Earth’s population and leaves only three survivors. They come together to figure out what went wrong and possibly get answers for other lingering mysteries.

The Quiet Earth

This post-apocalypse tale is refreshing and striking – a strangely original captivating film about how the world will end and people’s definition of doom.

This dystopian film stands out with its lack of zombies, violence, war, and autocratic governments. Director Geoff Murphy’s primary charm is in his uniqueness and boldness exemplified in the film’s characters and aesthetics.

Genre – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Duration – 1h 31m

Rotten Tomatoes rating 71%

My rating 7.5/10

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The Quiet Earth
The Quiet Earth

Robocob

Robocob

Set in a not-so-fictional Detroit, Alex Murphy is killed by a group of gangsters and was later resurrected by a mega-corp as a cyborg law enforcement officer. He soon becomes the main target of the gang leader, Boddicker.

Grappling with issues of greed, totalitarianism, violence, and utter dystopia, Robocop takes its audience in an adventure blast. It’s a flick that ageless and oozing with action and imagination.

Paul Verhoeven creates a cerebral and glorious vision of future society in this film. It’s difficult to not see how the film prophesied the current times. It’s a prime dystopian film that provides unfaltering entertainment.

Genre – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Duration – 1h 43m

Rotten Tomatoes rating 90%

My rating – 9.5/10

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Robocob
Robocob

Deathwatch

In a world where death is a rare phenomenon, dying Katherine Mortenhoe finds herself under a microscope. A reality TV show offers to publicize and televise her last days in exchange for money. Her life gets entangled with Roddy, a journalist who has cameras implanted inside his body – serving as the lens for the reality show.


Bertrand Tavernier magically blends sci-fi, dystopia, and drama into one beautiful film. This film is surely not flawless but works wonders with what it’s given.

Deathwatch

With an incredibly daring and riveting premise, Death Watch manages to deliver well on its expectations. It’s a murky satire on reality TV and the people who consume it – a must-watch for anyone who uses media for entertainment.

Genre – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Duration – 2h 19m

Rotten Tomatoes rating 73%

My rating – 8/10

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Deathwatch
Deathwatch

Akira

The Japanese animated film details Shotaro, a gang leader, whose friend mysteriously acquires telekinesis after an accident. In post-apocalyptic Tokyo, they find themselves in a great deal of conflict that exposes a government project and possibly so much more.

Akira

This cyberpunk madness depicts countercultural characters in an action-packed adventure film. A stylised and beautifully detailed animated film, Akira continues to be relevant decades after it was first released.

Katsuhiro Otomo sets the standard for the Japanese cyberpunk subgenre with this film. It’s one of the most outstanding animated films ever made and remains unbounded by time.

Genre – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Duration – 2h 5m

Rotten Tomatoes rating 90%

My rating 8.5/10

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Akira
Akira

The Terminator

A cyborg “Terminator” in fictional 2029 must travel back in time to kill Sarah Connor – a woman who will soon mother the man who will save humankind from machines.

The Terminator

Terminator is as exciting as it ought to be. Arnold Schwarzenegger truly stands out in this iconic cult classic. The first of its movie franchise, The Terminator gives its audience the closest taste of perfection. With balanced thrills and action, on top of a powerful narrative, it triumphantly delivers on its premise.

In the film that solidifies James Cameron’s name in the industry, audiences will come out extremely entertained and in awe. This iconic film is an organized hodge-podge of excellent direction, outstanding performances, and a compelling plot.

Genre – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Duration – 1h 48m

Rotten Tomatoes rating 100%

My rating 10/10

For The Latest Price To Rent/Buy:

The Terminator
The Terminator

Final Say

The ’80s brought to life some of the most sophisticated dystopian films ever made in the history of filmmaking. The genre truly flourished in this decade and set high standards for future films. Up to this day, the dystopian genre of film continues to challenge its audiences to go beyond mere entertainment.

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70s Dystopian Movies

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Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.