The Best Prepper Movie List

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Originally published on The Home Front

Have you ever wanted to sit down and enjoy a good movie that has a little to do with prepping or surviving?

Me too, but there is never a “Preparedness”, “Survival“, or “Reasons to Prepare” category in the movie sections so finding new movies that peak my interest can be difficult. Therefore I present to you, The Great Prepper Movie List! There is a section for family appropriate movies but please consult the ratings and reviews of a movie before turning it on with the kids.

A lot of the older movies and documentaries on this list can be found on Netflix and/or YouTube, those are good places to look as well. Please note – due the nature of what we prepare for, outside of the family category, some of the movies on these lists are exceedingly violent in nature. I have linked the movies to Amazon or Wikipedia where ever possible, please read about the movie before you get it. Check the synopsis, ratings and reviews prior to viewing or purchasing especially if you are sensitive to certain types of violent situations.

Click on the listed Movies below to read more about them. Each one is linked to a purchasing source and/or more information.

“Why We Prepare” Movies


2012_oxcgnEnd of the World Movies


Post ‘TEOTWAWKI’ Movies (why we stock more than three days of food movies)


Outdoor / Survival Movies

Prepper Minded Family Movies (Ratings Range from G to PG 13)

Prepper Minded Documentaries / Docudramas

  • After Armageddon: Highly acclaimed docudrama about a runaway flu pandemic has swept the nation and killed a large part of the population, one family must learn to survive to make it to a safe haven. A couple of ‘doomsday preppers’ are featured in this special.
  • Yukon Passage: Older documentary of four young men retracing the foot steps of gold stampedes through the Yukon Territory surviving off of minimal supplies and the natural world around them.
  • Collapse (Michael Ruppert): Documentary about a former Los Angeles police officer, author, investigative reporter and radical thinker. He is interviewed about his beliefs that unsustainable energy and financial policies have led to an ongoing collapse of modern industrial civilization.
  •  Collapse (Nat GEO): Docudrama on how societies succeed or fail and how our own society may fail.
  • Earth 2100: Docudrama, a future look at our planet and society through the life of Lucy, and the input of experts. Good quality and chilling reality.
  • There is No Tomorrow: A fantastic 34 minute animated youtube documentary on how our “growth based” society is unsustainable even with ‘green energy’ and the future we will face. Full of facts; author unknown.
  • When Aliens Attack: Well done docudrama on the theory of a future alien attack and what human society could actually do about it.
  • Aftermath: World Without Oil: A docudrama that poses the question “what if the world ran out of oil?” and theorizes about what would happen. There is a you tube link here as I have not found an available DVD.
  • Aftermath: Population Zero: A docudrama that poses the question “what if all humans disappeared” and follows what would happen to the planet, our homes, structures, and pets…
  • Evacuate Earth: A fascinating docudrama that theorizes how we would evacuate the earth in the face of impending doom, and how society would react. There is a you tube link here as I have not found an available DVD.
  • Super-Volcano: A highly acclaimed docudrama on what would happen if the Yellowstone super-volcano erupted.
  • Perfect Disaster: Anatomy of a Solar Storm: Docudrama that theorizes what might happen to our civilization and technology if we are hit by a massive solar storm. This is part 1 of 5 all parts featured on you tube as I could not find an available DVD.
  • Apocalypse Man: History Channel special hosted by former U.S. Marine and martial-artist Rudy Reyes on how to survive the aftermath of “TEOTWAWKI” in an urban setting. This is a youtube link, as there was no available DVD.
  • American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl: Highly acclaimed documentary about the American Dust Bowl and how they survived it.
  • American Experience: Influenza 1918: Documentary about how America was ravaged by the flu epidemic of 1918 that killed 675,000 people–more than died in all the wars of this century combined–before disappearing as mysteriously as it began.
  • American Experience: The Crash of 1929: A documentary about the start of the Great Depression and what it meant to America.
  • The Day After Disaster: A docudrama about what would happen if a nuclear bomb exploded in the heart of Washington, D.C.
  • Training for the Apocalypse: A History Channel special about the personal stories of two men and what prompted them to prepare.
  • Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure: Highly acclaimed documentary about America’s beginnings and how that relates to where we are headed now.

Prepper Minded TV Shows

  • The Best Defense: An excellent current Outdoor Channel educational series teaching self-defense through knowledge, skill, practice, and emergency preparedness.
  • Dual Survival: Current Discovery Channel TV series featuring survivalist instructor Cody Lundin and his partner as place themselves in various locations to demonstrate how to get home alive.
  • Doomsday Preppers: Part of Nat GEO’s current ‘American Outliers’ group of shows featuring preppers from around the country.
  • Doomsday Bunkers: Discovery Channel Series focusing on a company that builds bunkers for those who prepare.
  • Meet the Preppers: APN’s own Phil Burns goes into depth on prepping with his family in this Animal Planet special.
  • Jericho: A CBS fictional series about a small town’s efforts to survive following a national terrorist attack and the collapse of the United States.
  • Survivorman: Discovery Channel series, survival expert Les Stroud strands himself in the wilderness for days on end in order to demonstrate how to survive and get home.
  • Man, Woman, Wild: Current Discover Channel series featuring special forces survival expert, Mykle Hawke, and his wife Ruth as they strand themselves in random locations to demonstrate how to get along, survive, and get home alive.
  • Alaska The Last FrontierA fantastic Discovery Channel series about the Kilcher family and their homesteading off-grid way of life in Alaska.
  • Revolution: NBC’s current post apocalyptic science fiction drama series that follows a group of people who are trying figure out how to turn the power back on, after losing planet wide electricity 15 years earlier.
  • The Walking Dead: A current AMC original fiction horror series about a zombie virus has infected most of the human population, those left fighting to survive battle the zombies and themselves.
  • Life After PeopleA History Channel series spin-off from their ‘Aftermath: Population Zero’ docudrama. See what happens to the cities and the structures we built after humans are not around to maintain them any longer. As a side note this series does cover some interesting information on the fate of un-maintained nuclear facilities and dams.
  • The Colony: A Discovery Channel series that is a reality hybrid show that challenges 24 very different people, to rebuild their own civilization in a post-apocalyptic world created for them.
  • The Alaska Experiment: Discovery Channel reality series, four teams of urbanites attempt to survive the wilds of Alaska for 3 months.
  • Alone in the WildA three-part series featuring extreme photographer, Ed Wardle, as he is dropped off in the middle of the wilderness and attempts to survive three solo months. Link to you tube provided as I could find no available DVD.
  • Survivors: A British sci-fi drama about a plague of global proportions. Anarchy in the streets. The collapse of government and the rule of law–perhaps even the end of civilization itself, followed by the rise of tyranny and vigilantism.
  • Out of the Wild: Nine ordinary people are given a three-day crash course in survival, then are dropped off in the depths of the rugged Alaska wilderness with minimal equipment and map to make it back to civilization.
  • 2012: Countdown to Armageddon: A five-part History Channel series which covers many different views of how the world will end. It features several different preppers in the series including APN’s own CEO, Hugh Vail.
  • I Shouldn’t Be Alive: An extremely well made and highly acclaimed series by the Animal Planet of harrowing reenacted survival stories from around the world. This is linked to one season, but there are 5 others available.
  • Little House on the Prairie: An American pioneer drama series about a family living on a farm in Walnut Grove, MI. Based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Books. The family appropriate show ran for nine seasons from 1974-1982, all seasons have been released to DVD.
As preppers, it’s important to remember that movies and TV shows are for entertainment purposes ONLY. Just because a hollywood director thinks modern society is going to end up like a scene from “The Road” after any given prolonged disaster doesn’t mean it’s really going to happen that way. Please don’t base your urgency, plans, or preps on movies or TV shows, instead base them on careful research and common sense.
Do you know of a good movie that folks may enjoy, but it’s not on the list? Add it to the comments section below to share it with everyone else.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

  • Irish-7

    I bought the movie The Road, very excited about the plot because my family is into the “prepare for crisis / disaster” scene. I thought it was HORRIBLE. A gun with 2 bullets, COME ON! The wife walks off into oblivion, WHY? The dedicated father, still daydreaming about her throughout the whole picture. And when they find the underground bunker, stocked with food and supplies to last them for months, THEY LEAVE? In contrast, I thought The Book Of Eli was very good.

    • Sov

      There are 2 bullets because thats what hes saved after shooting all the rest, after years of fallout, in order to kill himself and his kid if it comes to that. It conveys the utter desperation of their situation- there is almost no resources left in the world, they’re hanging on by a thread.

      The book was written by Cormac McCarthy. Who is an asshole. He puts his characters in desperate situations. Someone always dies a horrible and unjustifiable death. You read his books if you want that “socked in the stomach and plunged into ice cold water” feeling. By his standards, Cormac was probably being generous when he gave them 2 bullets.

  • Ohio-Prep

    Just saw the movie “Threads” on Youtube; just as powerful as when I saw it 30 years ago on TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MCbTvoNrAg

  • Bret

    The Day After (not sure if I saw it in the list)and Amerika (TV min-series from ’87-’88 with Kris Kristofferson).

  • Eric

    I am guessing you left off any Bear Grylls shows out of spite since he is obviously in this genre and offers more useful advice than many of the other TV shows listed.

  • Amalia

    McGyver the TV series is a good one to watch.

  • Dglswlz

    Terminator 2 and terminator 3 also have prepping attributes

  • Caitlin

    Thanks for this! I have been prepping for about a year now but haven’t quite got my significant other onboard. He lets me do my thing and sometimes thinks I’m nuts but sometimes acknowledges I have a point. I’ve realized every prepper has an “ah-ha!” moment and so I don’t push it and hope he may have his own. I’d like to try to sit down for a survivalist type story occasionally that may just get his wheels turning. I’m sure they will get mine going anyway and at the very least be entertaining for him if not enlightening 🙂

    • Caitlin

      I should note, I am not basing any plans on hollywood movies 🙂 I just added a bunch of these to my netflix que. Thanks again!

  • Sov

    The Way We Live Now <- About teens in WWIII in Britain under martial law. OK for older teens. Trigger warnings for gun fights, sexual violence and dead kids.

  • LadyVi

    PBS’s Testament was terrific and there are several movies about the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that might be helpful…even the anime ones.

  • James Lewis

    Just watched “Goodbye World” and it has some benefit for preppers

    • I watched that several months back and was a little disappointed. Reminded me of doomsday meets the Big Chill. I agree there are a few lessons, like don’t tell everyone about your stash of antibiotics if you don’t want to share.