There's a scene in “War of the Worlds,” the 2005 remake not the 1953 original, when Tom Cruise finds berserker survivalist Tim Robbins holed up in his basement. After sheltering him from the aliens, Robbins offers him peach schnapps. Even amid the diminished standards of a violent alien invasion, he makes a point of saying how disgusting the liqueur is. The peach schnapps also proves to be a harbinger of doom. When Robbins' unhinged ranting threatens to get them killed, Cruise shoots him. No more schnapps for him, but here are five more apocalypse movie food scenes to help you prepare for life after tomorrow, May 21st a.k.a. Judgment Day.
5. “The Omega Man”: After a virus kills most of humanity, Charlton Heston spends his days holed up in his fortress hiding from albino zombies. Even amid the carnage, he clings to civilization, playing chess with a mannequin and dressing for Sunday dinner — in an outfit that looks like a castoff from “Barry Lyndon.”
4. “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior”: It's the post-apocalyptic Australian outback. A hungry and hunky Mel Gibson discovers a can of Dinki-Di dog food and chows down on it, with gusto. He even shares some with his dog. When another drifter tries to take the pup's portion, the guy nearly gets his arm torn off. Doesn't he know better than to mess with an onscreen dog? Rule #1 of screenwriting: Don't hurt the dog! (Dinki-Di, by the way, isn't a real brand. It was invented for the movie and is supposedly Aussie slang for “genuine” or “real.”)
3. “The Quiet Earth”: In this underrated Kiwi last-man-on-earth movie, the hero, played by Bruno Lawrence, is slowly going insane. He wears a woman's slip, declares himself “President of this Quiet Earth” and lectures cardboard cutouts of Adolf Hitler, Queen Elizabeth and the Pope. He also indulges in the obligatory, “I am king of the world, now I shall feast!” scene.
2. “The Road”: It's the end of the world as we know it in this, the most plausible of modern post-apocalypse films. Viggo Mortenson is a protective dad, trying to save himself and his son as they struggle to make it to the coast, battling other survivors turned cannibals alogn the way. At one point, father and son break into an abandoned house and find a bomb shelter full of canned food, where the boy relishes the fizzyness of soda. As with many of these scenes, it functions as a brief respite from the unrelenting bleakness and terror of the rest of the movie.
1. “Red Dawn”: Amid the chilliest part of the Cold War, the Soviet invasion of the United States finally begins — in a small Colorado town, naturally. A group of high school kids (including Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen) take to the hills, dub themselves the Wolverines and launch their armed resistance against the occupying forces. In the infamous campfire scene, the awesome and deadly serious Powers Boothe, playing a downed Air Force pilot, tells them, “You think you're tough cuz you eat baked beans every day? There's half a million scarecrows in Denver who'd give anything for one mouthful of what you got. Down in Denver, they're living on rats, sawdust bread… sometimes on each other.” (Still better than the huevos rancheros from Backpacker's Pantry.) The movie is being remade with North Korea as the villain and Chris Hemsworth of “Thor” as the hero. Really.