SPOILER ALERT: “2012″
Since I love apocalypse topics,and the end is nearly upon us according to the Mayans, I have two questions. First question: What is your favorite post-apocalyptic movie?
One of my favorite short stories is “A Boy and His Dog” by Harlon Ellison. When I heard there was a movie based on it with a young Don Johnson, I thought it would have to be crap. It turned out to be a bizarre movie, but good in a cult classic kind of way. And I don’t know why, but every time I go to Japan and I hear a disembodied voice or music over the speaker system in a dark place, I think of this movie.
Second question: Would you rather be like John Cusack in the movie 2012 fighting tooth and nail to get on the last Chinese-cruise-ship-Noah’s-Ark, or would you rather have a front row seat like Woody Harrelson and go when everyone else does? On the one hand, chances are the post-apocalyptic world would be pretty bleak and chaotic, with every man/woman fighting for him/herself, but on the other hand, there’s your natural gut instinct to want to survive.
Despite my total inadequacy and overall lack of useful skills in the post world, I would want to survive. Possibly because of the writer side of me wanting to see how it all turns out.
JEROME: Uh, firstly, Iris – spoiler alert on 2012. I didn’t know Woody was dying this year.
Let me get back to you on the favorite post-apoc film because I, for the life of me, can’t pull a name out of my brain.
However – and I never thought I’d find myself saying this – I’d be John Cusack for the exact same reason as you, although with more certainty. Every bit of physical condition I’m putting myself through is for the sole purpose of surviving the end times, particularly that of the zombified variety.
Everyone I tell thinks I’m joking but man – FUCK YOU, GUYS. You best not expect me to pull you over that fence when a pack of undead’s on your tail.
QUENTIN: I have a love-hate relationship with post-apocalyptic movie. I rather disliked the Mad Max franchise other than Thunderdome because Tina Turner was so fabulous. I don’t have a comment on 2012 but I want to share with you a little known post-apocalyptic movie called Night of the Comet which I loved as a teenager. It’s sort a Thelma and Louise version of an apocalyptic movie with zombies and Cyndi Lauper!
ALFREDO: On style points alone, you’ve got to go with Woody, arms outstretched,waiting to be vaporized. For good guy points, you’ve got to with Cusack, because he has kids to think about.
But that’s all too easy.
I think the much more interesting and difficult choice would’ve been to have Woody go out with his nihilistic euphoria AND be a father. How about that?! I know a first draft of that version wouldn’t make it past the most junior studio reader out there, but damn, it would be ballsy.
Here’s what I would’ve liked: Woody puts his kids in some kind of apocalypse proof bunker, and just before closing the doors, smiles and says, “See you on the other side. And don’t forget to brush your teeth!”
One of my favorite apocalypse movies when I was kid was a cult thing from the 80’s in line with Quentin’s Night of the Comet called Miracle Mile. At a little 24-hour diner in LA, Anthony Edwards,who overslept for a first date with Mare Winnigham, tries to call her from a pay phone to apologize (yes, friends,a pre cell phone movie). When he hangs up, the phone rings, and he picks it up. He overhears a frantic young man telling his father the nukes are heading for the US. The movie takes place over one night – an apocalyptic love story – and the best part? The ending, while a little corny, isn’t hokey. There’s no floppy disc to save the day.
The whole thing is also a love letter to the quirky side of 80’s LA – part Repo Man, part After Hours, part Into The Night.
DHH: I have to say, I’m not really a fan of the apocalypse genre. Maybe that’s because I grew up in a born-again Christian family, whose faith was quite strict when I was a child, where people often talked about the end of the world, the Second Coming, the Rapture, etc. So I feel like I escaped having to discuss that subject, and don’t find it too entertaining. Therefore, I’m going to name this as my favorite apocalypse movie:
PHILIP: It’s not a movie but I’ve always loved the episode of The Twilight Zone where Burgess Meredith plays the bookworm and ends up being the only survivor of an apocalypse. He’s happy because now he can do what he loves the most–read books–without anyone bothering him, but his glasses break and of course he can’t see anything without them. When I first saw that as a kid, I thought it was the coolest twist.
I also love the old Vincent Price movie The Last Man on Earth. It’s based on the same Richard Matheson story that the Will Smith film I Am Legend is also based on. But what’s cool is that the Price version kept the story’s original ending where you find out that the zombies aren’t the monsters–they’re the next evolution of humanity and it turns out that Price was the monster all along–killing and experimenting on the zombies. Of course, the Smith version copped-out because they’re not going to make Will Smith the murdering bad guy but that’s what was cool about the original–the person you think is the hero all along, turns out to be the villain at the end.
And I pick John Cusack. I’ve always wanted to take a ride on a Chinese ark.
Hm, I don’t think I’ve even seen any post-apocalyptic films, but I remember loving Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the original) when I was 11, and it strikes me as being in a slightly similar vein.
I’d try to save myself and people I care about, but presuming the whole situation would be way too crazay, I’d probably just try to be zen and go along with the flow.
I don’t know much about apocalypse films, I think we’re actually living a very slow apocalypse as we speak… but I must say, I was watching a National Geographic Guns, Germs, and Steel documentary and was crying watching the re-enactment of how Pizarro killed the Inca Empire. And then watching how small pox killed about 95% of the unslaughtered. I don’t think I ‘enjoyed’ it per se, but I was moved and probably would watch it again to remind myself of my privileged place (bought by blood and death of millions) in the world.
As for the end, I think I would die when I have to die, but I definitely would get a euphoric rush trying to outlive death. So if given the choice, I’d stand and die, but instinct would say, “Hell no!!! Keep running til you can’t run no more!”
ANSON: Best movie I’d say is 28 DAYS LATER. If you want brown stains on your difu like how the end of the world should make you feel, then this movie should do that to you and make you feel like you got your $10 worth. If you want less scary, CHILDREN OF MEN is pretty sweet too. A little bit of strawberry cough is a good way to enjoy your last days on earth.
If I was stoned on strawberry cough, then I would probably be like Woody and enjoy the view. But yes, I would be like John Cusack and run for my life in a suit. I’d probably be in some comfortable hiking boots though.