Saturday, October 1, 2011

An Apocalyptic Appendix N

I mentioned yesterday that Starriors were one of the main reasons I've gotten into post apocalyptic fiction and gaming.  So I've decided to do a periodic retrospective on different post apocalyptic media that has influenced the creation of From the Ashes, and my fascination with the topic overall.  I'll start with a couple movies.

The Road Warrior -  Mad Max was good, but the Road Warrior blew the doors off the post apocalyptic movie genre.  It's a tossup who's the better villain, the Humungus or Wez, but the setting is perfect, the casting is brilliant, and Mel Gibson was firing on all cylinders.  I can't believe that anyone is reading this blog that hasn't seen this movie, but on the off chance you haven't, get thee to Netflix.

The World, the Flesh and the Devil - Harry Belafonte digs his way out of a collapsed mineshaft to find that the world has blown itself to smithereens.  He quickly finds out that although the world has moved on, old hatreds and stereotypes are alive and well as he finds a white woman, and then a white man.  Rivalry builds over the affections of the woman with an undercurrent of racial tension, leading to a climactic hunt through the abandoned city.  The ending is a bit hokey, but it ties in with some of the themes of From the Ashes.

A Boy and His Dog - I'm a huge fan of Harlan Ellison, and I'm glad this got made into a movie back in 1974, because it's not the sort of movie that can be made anymore.  As much as I love the twisted ending (with the exception of the last line tacked onto the movie) it would be box office poison these days.  The setting is pitch perfect, though, and Don Johnson shows why he got the role on Miami Vice.  A boy and his telepathic dog travel the wastelands looking for women in a twisted, post apocalyptic coming of age tale.  You owe it to yourself to watch it, if you haven't already.

Damnation Alley - Deeply flawed, but there's a nugget of awesome buried in there.  The giant cockroaches and scorpions, the radioactive skies, and the Landmaster.  Holy crap, the Landmaster.  Let me win the lottery, and that's the first thing I'll buy.  Based VERY loosely on a Roger Zelazney story, starring George Peppard (Hannibal from the A-Team), and a young Jackie Earle Haley, if you can stand some embarrasingly bad special effects in places, this is a gem.

The Omega Man - Besides Vincent Price's The Last Man on Earth, this is the best film version of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.  Charlton Heston stars in all his bare-chested glory, chewing through the scenery every chance he gets.  It's wonderfully 70s kitsch, but manages to fit some nuance in between the manly posturing and the overblown dialogue.  This one is more fun than anything, and definitley worth your time on a Saturday night.

 The Dark Hour (La Hora Fria) - A recently made Spanish film (2006), this rivals Alex Proyas' Dark City for great mind bending twists.  I won't say anything else about it.  If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and find it.

5 comments:

  1. There's a good -- not quite post-apocalyptic, but close enough -- film from New Zealand called The Quiet Earth. It has some similarities to The World, the Flesh and the Devil.

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  2. Wow, I haven't seen The World, the Flesh, and the Devil, or The Dark Hour. I know many people didn't like it, but Waterworld is a unique post-apoc movie. I also liked The Postman, yeah another Costner post-apoc movie, but fairly true to the book.

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  3. @kelvingreen - I LOVED The Quiet Earth. They had a copy of it on VHS at my library when I was a kid, and I rented it on the strength of the box cover alone - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3f/Thequietearth.jpg

    It blew my young mind!

    @Zanazaz - I enjoyed them both, but the Postman was by far the better of the two, even if it was a bit hamfisted.

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  4. This got me compiling a list of the various post-apocalyptic media I've seen or am aware of. There are quite a few, but it turns out a lot are either on the low budget side or not quite the same flavor I think you're going for. Still could post though if you're actually looking for further suggestions for the appendectomy.

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