I never much cared how or why a post-apocalyptic nightmare began. Plague, nuclear war, meteor strike, seismic event, alien invasion, zombie outbreak, all worthy precursors. The common thread, the crux of a great storyline, is how our protagonists overcome adversity. In other words, how the battle of good versus evil, amidst the backdrop of a changed world, rages on.
I’ve been a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre long before the first VCR ever hit the market. My DVR back then, was the weekly TV Guide. And if we didn’t get the channel, well, maybe Gilligan’s Island was on.
In the early days, The Omega Man (Charleton Heston), was a favourite. The subject matter thrilled me, I never tired of it. I often imagined myself, lone survivor, rifle slung over my shoulder, exploring abandoned buildings, looting department stores, drag racing down desolate streets, and kicking back in my penthouse suite. The end of the world as we know it – an awesome concept.
The post-apocalyptic genre really took off during the Cold War era of the 70’s, a time when the threat of nuclear holocaust was a cryptic reality. I recall our sixth grade teacher remarking that our City, an industrial hub, would be the first to be bombed. Some things you never forget.
But we survived.
And my passion never waned.
At nineteen I read Stephen King’s novel, The Stand. There is so much I could say about this book, the impact, the influence, but I won’t, sufficed to say, it remains my best read – ever.
Flash ahead. I’ve read plenty, watched plenty more. Novels, screenplays, television and films. VHS to Laserdisc to DVD to Blu-ray to the future in 4k.
In recent years the genre has gained popularity. The Walking Dead series, ratings juggernaut, became my first Netflix marathon addiction. Feature films I’ve yet to see, like Mad Max Fury Road, keep the game fresh and exciting.
So, I thought I’d share. The novels/shows listed below are a few of my favourites. I intentionally kept the list small. No doubt some of you will be shaking your heads. But that’s the point. I welcome your comments. I’m all ears.
Until next time.