Watch: The real-world origin of the post-apocalypse trope in film

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Jan 18, 2017, 9:00 AM EST

The post-apocalypse is pretty much a genre unto itself these days, but how did it enter the cultural zeitgeist?

In this video feature, we trace the origins all the way back to Mary Shelley’s The Last Man and forward to the Resident Evil and Hunger Games flicks we know and love today. The threat of nuclear war also played a major role in creating the cultural fear of a world-ending apocalypse as B-movie filmmakers took the trope and ran with it; this also helped inspire the giant monster genre, as well as the narrative tool of time travel as a way to try to save the world and avert said apocalypse(s).

Eventually, George Romero took things in a different direction by almost single-handedly creating the zombie genre with Night of the Living Dead (1968); that same year, the apes took over in the original Planet of the Apes franchise.

But that's not all! Not by a long shot ... 

Check out the video feature below and let us know what you think.

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