Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Books: WORLD GONE WILD ""

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Books: WORLD GONE WILD

I feel that the collective memory of movie-goers gets shorter and shorter with each passing year. If a certain type of genre film doesn't come out every couple years, those genres seem to disappear a bit. Certainly there is no shortage of love for zombie-related content at the moment, and as much as that stuff falls under the post-apocalyptic umbrella, the genre has so much more to offer. With the trailer for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD having just recently come out, I'm hoping that folks are not only excited about that film, but re-invigorated with love/interest in the post-apocalypse genre in general. A couple things that fascinate me in films are time travel and the idea of the end of the world. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but when a post-apocalyptic landscape is depicted on screen it's often (but definitely not always) set in the future. I think our cinematic ideas of such a world have been most informed (& oft imitated) by the MAD MAX films. THE ROAD WARRIOR is a truly fantastic movie and it holds up so well, even to this day, that it is easy to see why it was so influential. Heck, I even remember reading a quote from writer/director John Sayles (known mostly for his smaller, more art house-type movie output) about how much he loved the film. THE ROAD WARRIOR is just one of those movies that really tapped into something in the way it portrayed the rugged, dry, barren landscape of some future time. Like I said though, I think there is just something about a near-doom scenario that fascinates people. I mean, how can you not watch one of those movies and start to imagine what the "end of the world" or the end of the civilized world as we know it would look like. 
So if you're like me, you are constantly on the lookout for more post-apocalyptic movies to watch. Enter David J. Moore's excellent new book, WORLD GONE WILD - A SURVIVOR'S GUIDE TO THE APOCALYPSE. You might be thinking, "Do I need another genre movie book?" To which I would reply that you need this one. First off, it is just a gorgeous boho to hold and look at. It's a classy hardcover and has the weight and heft of a TASCHEN book. I mean, it's a really really nice book. Lovely hardcover, laid out in an extremely pleasing way. It even has little red boxes at the corner of each page that indicate alphabetically where you are in the book. These tags can be seen on the outside edge of the pages, even when the book is closed so you can easily flip to a different letter to check out more titles. Another thing I love that David J. Moore has done is come up with his own humorous rating system to give the casual flipper an idea of what kind of movie they are reading about:
Films that are tagged as "Toxic" should be avoided at all costs (which may only encourage some folks to see them), while films labeled with "The Bomb!" rating clearly get his highest recommendation. The book also features a plethora of interviews intermingled with the reviews. The interviews tie into the films on or around the page they appear on. Moore talks to the likes of Roddy Piper, Neil Marshall, Steve De Jarnatt, Thom Eberhardt, Staurt Gordon, Fred Williamson,  Albert Pyun, Sergio Martino, David A. Prior, Fred Olen Ray, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Vernon Wells, Michael Berryman, John Hillcoat, Michael Pare, Steve Barkett (THE AFTERMATH), Roger Christian (BATTLEFIELD EARTH), Harley Cokeliss, Steven and Robert Lovy (CIRCUITRY MAN), C. Courtney Joyner (CLASS OF 1999), Jeffrey Byron (METALSTORM), Gary Goddard and many more. Probably my favorite of these interviews is the De Jarnatt. I am a huge MIRACLE MILE fan and am always longing to hear as much about it and how it was made as I can so this was a welcome revelation. 

One other thing that Moore does that I dug is that he mentions the name of the company that released the film on DVD/Blu-ray just under each title in case you want to seek them out. Lastly, there's a nice index in the back that breaks down all the films by post-apocalyptic subgenre which is very handy. All in all this is not only an indispensable guide to this kind of movie (Moore pulls out not only the classics but also digs deep for obscurities as well), but it is also a gorgeous looking book that is perfect to have on your coffee table or on your bookshelf (next to the likes of Stephen Thrower's NIGHTMARE, USA and so forth). Great book, well worth picking up. Can be purchased at Amazon or via Schiffer Publishing's website:
http://www.schifferbooks.com/world-gone-wild-a-survivors-guide-to-post-apocalyptic-movies-5491.html



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