The Fallout series began in 1997, but it saw a resurgence in popularity with the release of Fallout 3 in 2008. It’s still a frequently played series, and the newest title, Fallout 4, recently saw a VR release. Here’s hoping Fallout 5 is right around the corner. But until then, here are some movies you might enjoy if you’re a fan of the franchise.
The Book of Eli
The Book of Eli sees Denzel Washington wander across post-apocalyptic American in order to take a book to a safe location. And he doesn’t have a fast travel system to help him. And a lot of people want this book—people who act like Fallout raiders. Unfortunately for us, and fortunately for him, other humans are the only external obstacles in his path on this quest. We soak in the scenery, the fight scenes, and one man on a quest from someone much more important than he is, even though he’s the protagonist.
City of Ember
City of Ember feels very much like the opening quest in a Fallout game—one where you live in a failing Vault, slowly learn that things aren’t quite what they seem, and eventually plan an escape. They’re even underground! And there’s a 200-year time frame for the city. Of course, it’s a movie for teens and isn’t anything special, but it’s probably the closest “escape from a Vault” movie we’re going to get.
The Road is a depressing version of the apocalypse—probably more like it’d actually be, and not these fantasy settings that seem like they’d be a bit of fun. It follows a man and a boy walking and walking and walking, sometimes stopping if they’re able to find shelter. They have a shopping cart with a limited supply of food, but every day is a struggle. It’s a very dark, grey film, but it’s probably the closest one on this list to Survival Mode.
I Am Legend
While I Am Legend might only be 3/4 of a decent film—the theatrical ending is bad—you can see the “proper” ending on the home video release, which makes me feel okay about including the film here. It fits, thematically, anyway, though. It’s about a man and his dog(meat) surviving in the post-apocalyptic land—this time, New York City. Also, there are supernatural creatures that try to kill him.
Doomsday feels like it could be Fallout DLC. It takes place in a walled-off Scotland, one which has its own themed areas. One area is like a ’70s punk rock festival, while another has regressed back to medieval warfare times. Our protagonist has to navigate between the two places and try to get the areas to have peace with one another. Well, kind of. In an ideal world, maybe. The movie … doesn’t quite get there, but, hey, if it were part of the game I’m sure you’d find a way, right?
A Boy and His Dog
It’s possible that A Boy and His Dog is the most direct inspiration for the Fallout games. The 1975 movie sees a lone wanderer try to survive in the wasteland against bandits and mutants—his only friend a telepathic dog. Okay, so the dogs in the Fallout games aren’t telepathic (as far as we know), but otherwise it’s a pretty solid comparison, I think.
Okay, so if City of Ember doesn’t do it for you when it comes to a Vault-type movie, how about Snowpiercer? It’s a movie that probably doesn’t “fit” as well into this narrative but iit is a significantly better watch. It takes place entirely on a train, one which separates its citizens by class and by car, and is all run by one person (the Overseer?). A group decides to rebel against this system and dethrone the ruler. If it wasn’t on a constantly moving train, it’d fit as a “vault” pretty well, I think. And, hey, do you think Vault-Tec would be against designing a moving train vault as an experiment?
Escape from New York
In the near-future of 1988, Manhattan has been turned into a maximum-security prison. Yes, all of Manhattan. They build a wall around it. But now there’s something inside of this prison that needs to be rescued: The President. So, a man named Snake Plissken is sent in to rescue him, dealing with all sorts of nasty ne’er do wells along the way. Aesthetically, the film looks like it’s taking place in a raider base—and most of the characters fit that bill, too. And it’s all just a long fetch quest. Lots of fun, though!
Turbo Kid has weird weapons—a Gnome Stick, for one, which parodies the boomstick—synths, and a fight to survive against various bandits in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Oh, and there are lots of references to classic pop culture. And people ride around on bicycles. I feel like Fallout should have more bicycles. After the bombs fall, wouldn’t they be one of the more preferable ways of getting around? Anyway, you man not have previously heard of Turbo Kid—but you should see it.
Mad Max (Franchise)
The Mad Max films are probably “the” post-apocalyptic movies. Only the second one, Road Warrior, really feels especially Fallout-y, but they do all follow a lone individual going on quests in various post-apocalyptic areas, so they all fit in a way. And there are certainly portions of each of them that will remind you of the games. You can certainly tell the movies’ influences on the Fallout franchise after you see them. The only one not really worthwhile is the third film, but even it is passable.