Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"It's the end of the world as we know it, it's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine."  ~REM

So sings the Athen, GA band REM.  The lyrics drift through my mind as I think about post-apocalypse films. Not that I think about them often.  It's because I've been watching the BBC Sci-Fi 1975 series, Survivors, written by Terry Nation.  He is also the noted scribe that has written many  Doctor Who episodes. 


Survivors is about  a small group of people who have survived a global pandemic.  It starts out in the first episode laying in the background on several of the characters.  One of them, Abby, is a house wife preparing supper for her husband as he comes in from work that evening.  Mysterious things are in the air as people have strange events with the phone not working or people missing and large amounts of people getting sick and arriving at the hospital.  Abby's husband gets home, and they have a quiet meal, but afterwards, they get sick.  Abby survives her bout of illness, but discovers that her husband has not.  Now she is worrying about her son, Peter, who is away at school.  She packs up their car and goes to get him, only later to discover the school has had the same occurrence, and the boys have dispersed.  She sets out to find him.  This part of the tale is part of several other characters.  Another character, Jenny, was at a hospital, and dating or friends with one of the doctors, as the hospital fills up beyond its capacity, the doctor tells her to leave the city, the epidemic grows worse, and he thinks she'll have better survival outside the city.  Jenny eventually meets a man on the road and they eventually meet up with Abby.  Together they try to help Abby find her son, and other people that have survived.  They meet other people along their journey, some good, some bad.  It's done fairly realistically, and perhaps a bit dry at times, and low budget, however, if you are familiar with the older Doctor Who series, you might enjoy it. 


While on the topic of end of the world scenarios, I might add a few other movies or TV series I've enjoyed lately:

Children of Men--this SF movie had a lot of action, I enjoyed how you are just trust into the middle of this world and how you discover along the way the plot of the film, it's bleak and heartbreaking at time, but done really well.

The Road--another film that's bleak as they come, however, I enjoyed the relationship between the son and father and how the father's love and will to survive helps them both to cope with a world that's gone to hell.

The Book of Eli--the SF film is done pretty well, though not as good as the previously mentioned films.  Still it's a decent action film, with a bit of mystery surrounding the Denzel Washington character.  It has a bit of a leap of faith with the final reveal ending, but overall I enjoyed it.

The Road Warrior--with Mel Gibson who plays a cop and family man whose life is thrust into chaos while trying to keep his family and society alive from crazy road gangs.  The other two films in the series are worth a watch too, Mad Max 2, and Beyond Thunderdome.

Day of the Triffids--This BBC sci-fi thriller is a adaptation of the John Wynham classic novel where humanity has to deal with man-eating plants.  It is presented by David Maloney who also produced  Blake's 7 and Doctor Who. In it earth has a close encounter with a comet, and meteor storm, that blinds Britain's population.  Bill Masen, is in a London hospital recovering from a plant attack, and is able to survive with his eyesight in tact.  The government has collapsed, bands of renegades are thriving in the anarchy, and the Triffids are preying upon the weakened and vulnerable population. 

The Walking Dead--very much a zombie post-apocalypse, however, the writer of the series and comic book, tends to distant himself from the Romero-styled zombie films and mythos, by calling them walkers.  It's similar in tone to the above Day of the Triffids except you have man-eating walkers (zombies), along with tribes of  humans that are just as bad or worse in some aspects.  If you enjoy something with more of a horror edge, this one has been well made.

28 Days Later--Twenty-eight days after a killer virus was accidentally unleashed from a British research facility, a small group of London survivors (including Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson) are caught in a desperate struggle to protect themselves from the infected. Carried by animals and humans, the virus turns those it infects into homicidal maniacs -- and it's absolutely impossible to contain. Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) directs.

The Stand--an adaptation of the Stephen King novel.   When a lethal virus developed in a government lab accidentally filters into the general population, a devastating plague ravages the globe, leaving few survivors. Those who remain are compelled to follow one of two mysterious figures, leading to an immense winner-take-all battle between good and evil. Rob Lowe, Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald star.  Overall a good made for TV series, with good characters.


At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Mike Combs said...

I find global pandemic scenarios disturbing. I used to tell myself that never before has any disease arisen that killed everybody, or even nearly everybody. But then I realize one thing we didn't have in the era of the Black Death is jets whizzing millions back and forth to every corner of the Earth.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Mike--pandemic and post apocalypse scenarios are not something I like to dwell on either as the concept is a bit scary, however, they have been a concept of SF for a while now. I do find it interesting in a "what if" scenario. Having said that with the encroachment of 2012 there are a lot of fringe people that believe 2012 will be the end of our modern world. While I was in Dallas two weeks ago Glen Beck was holding a end of the world rally, with survivalist selling bomb shelter type homes, guns, ammo, food surplus items, books, etc. I have a friend that also believes in that as well. I don't think that way as I just can't help but think the human race will band together to avoid extinction as we've done in the past whether it be wars or whatever. All the bombs worry me more that plagues. Still I hope for the best.


Post a Comment

<< Home