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By March 13, 2013 Read More →

The Great Prepper Movie List

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, right here only on the American Preppers Network!  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

Trigger Effect
Deep Impact
Panic in the Year Zero
Phase 7
Children of Men
The Happening
Red Dawn (new movieoriginal movie)
Invasion USA
The Day After
Take Shelter
Dawn of the Dead (new movieoriginal movie)
28 Days Later
Toxic Skies
The Stand
The Sum of All Fears
The Patriot
Dante’s Peak
Enemy of the State
Soylent Green 



End of the World Movies

The Day After Tomorrow
The Day the Earth Stood Still
War of the Worlds
– When Worlds Collide 



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

The Postman
I AM Legend
The Road
The Book of Eli
Hunger Games
Mad Max
20 Years After
Water World
District 9
Babylon AD
Reign of Fire
– Stake Land 



Outdoor / Survival Movies

Cast Away
Into the Wild
127 Hours
Lord of the Flies
The Edge
The Village
Jeremiah Johnson
The Way Back
Rabbit-Proof Fence
Rescue Dawn
Quest for Fire
The Endurance
Snow Walker
The Donner Party
– Never Cry Wolf
Behind Enemy Lines
The Survivors
– The Grey

– Into the White
– The River Wild
– Rambo First Blood



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

Swiss Family Robinson
Left Behind (the trilogy)
My Side of the Mountain
Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog
The Adventures of the Wilderness Family
– Blast From the Past
A Cry in the Wild
– 6 Days and 7 Nights
– Little House on the Prairie Pilot Movie 
– Seven Alone
– White Fang
– Stranded
City of Ember 
– Grizzly Mountain 
Grizzly Adams (Season One and Two



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 you tube 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 you tube 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 Frontier:  A 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 People: A 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 Wild:  
A 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.

Hollywood and modern fiction doesn’t know how things are going to work out, it only knows what sells and what makes money.  Instead of Prepping for a “This is it!” event as Hollywood and modern literature would have you believe. It’s best to prep purely to be as independent as you can for whatever may come your way. In a way, don’t prep for a SHTF someday, Prep instead for the SHTF thats outside your door EVERYDAY.


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.



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About the Author:

Stephanie is a writer for the American Preppers Network, a small local paper and for her blog, The Home Front and was featured in Marie Claire UK in the October 2012 issue that featured women preppers. She is also the credited writer of "Emergency Bag Essentials (Swatchbook): Everything You Need to Bug Out" released in August 2014 and available on "I write articles based on my own experience with emergency preparedness, self-sufficiency, homesteading, food preservation and life around the farmstead. I grew up in a very rural area where I learned to garden, the art of canning, to hunt and fish, and to raise my own animals for food. I also spent 6 years volunteering for the local county Search and Rescue group where I learned a variety of survival skills and a little bit about law enforcement protocol. " "As a general rule of principle I do not write articles about information that I have only read - if I am writing about something it's because I have done it myself and gone to great lengths to provide you with the facts meshed with personal experience. My alter egos are as an full time mom, amateur photographer, and backpacker." Stephanie's past APN articles are featured below on several pages. To connect with her --> click on one of the many little square social media buttons below!

29 Comments on "The Great Prepper Movie List"

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  1. excellent list of movies,,they are great,,,i have most lol

  2. Man, I remember watching “Threads” through the banister on the stairs when I was like 8, because my dad was watching it and we were allowed to. I cried for WEEKS after watching it. That movie scared me really scared me. Unrelated- this is a great list!!

  3. Van Ambridge says:

    Take it from a U.S. ARMY vet with 10 years of service. These moves are only FYE.

  4. Bill Pike says:

    For Your Entertainment.

  5. This navy vet agrees, but it does give info for the absolute newbs!

  6. missing idiocracy. the dumbing down of this nation’s citizens is extremely dangerous and should be considered a national security issue.

  7. Alex Curly says:

    For your entertainment but also motivation and good old Hollywood optimism and maybe a bit of hero worship thrown in for good measure…

  8. Too bad they are mostly R-rated. :(

    • The family movies are not  ‘R’ rated – nor are the documentaries, and most of the TV shows (with the exception of a few) are fairly family friendly. Combined they make up nearly half the list…?

  9. “Children of Men”…… as a Environ-Anthropologist, this strikes me as a more sensible/realistic depiction to the Climate change issue.

  10. yes, there are a lot of documentaries that should be included…some are very entertaining too like “the colony”

  11. Sharon Davis says:

    The first time prepping ever crossed my mind was when I watched “Red Dawn” (the original). Navy vet here, and want to thank all the other vets in here.

    • Jerry Olson says:

      First time I thought of prepping was “The Omega Man”. Not so much the scenario but Neville’s setup, tool choices, etc., and the contrast between his setup and that of the young exiles. I was only 8 or so when it came out, but it planted a lot of thoughts. Followed closely by “Day the World Ended” and “Panic in the Year Zero”.

  12. Kurtis says:

    I would add “Falling Skies” to the TV list of Prepper / Post-TEOTWAWKI shows.  

  13. Mike Gregory says:

    Just got the new Red Dawn last night hope its as good as the first

  14. For anyone that is still following this thread I would like to recommend the youtube video under documentaries called “There is No Tomorrow” its a very eye opening perspective. Out of the Movies on of my favorites is “Trigger Effect”, came out in the late 90s but you is still completely if not more valid today.

  15. You can also see the full version of Earth2100 on youtube here:

  16. hey, and if you like DOOMSDAY PREPPERS, then check out the season finale – eating bugs! :)

  17. Marjory Wildcraft, the Martha Stewart of Prepping is a guest Host! Her grow your own groceries stuff is just fantastic :) even for us non-gardeners

  18. John Bates says:

    Question???? Good movies listed here, but what about some good prepper books???

  19. It’s surprising how some movies stick with you. I saw “Panic in the Year Zero” back in the ’60’s when it came out and never forgot what that family had to go thru to survive. Having to buy food, firearms and toilet paper AFTER the SHTF always stuck with me. My wife and I drag out our copy every so often just to remind us of what it could be like.

    The History Channel documentary “AFTER ARMAGEDDON” is also very good. My parents live in the LA Basin and I can’t seem to get them to watch it. A real eye opener.

  20. Dobro says:

    You might wish to add TV shows Jeremiah, The Last Train (U.K), and the miniseries Amerika. Falling Skies too.