We all know the world is going to end; an inevitability proven by any number of ancient scriptures or Roland Emmerich films. But if we are lucky enough to survive the bomb, or the meteor, or...Nicolas Cage performance that unmakes our entire existence, we will have a whole host of new problems to deal with. As an avid watcher of post-apocalyptic cinema, I decided it was high time to take these prescient forecasts of our inescapable fate and issue a somber warning to our readership. Every week I will breakdown a post-apocalyptic film (usually Italian, usually from the 1980's) so that we may ready ourselves for the bleak future ahead of us. I give you Aftermath Mondays!
This Week's Disaster: The Road Warrior
I'm certain the majority of you are familiar with this George Miller classic. As post-apocalyptic films go, it really set the standard and in fact a goodly number of my favorite Italian entries take pleasure in brazenly ripping off The Road Warrior. What I find so interesting about The Road Warrior, apart from the fact that Mel still has his Aussie accent, is that it is a sequel to Mad Max that, while only a few years removed from the events of the first film, seems to take place on a separate planet. It makes it more interesting to go back and watch Mad Max after having seen The Road Warrior because only then do you realize that the characters in Mad Max are unaware of the fact that they are living on the cusp of total annihilation.
What Went Wrong: Two global superpowers (unnamed) engaged in a massive conflict that somehow ended up consuming nearly all the oil on the planet. Former Vice President Dick Cheney called this film, "the scariest movie I've ever seen" in a recent interview for Stuff I Made Up magazine. As a result of the oil suddenly being exhausted, the world quickly tumbles into apocalypse. I love that the monotony of political rhetoric is listed as one of the pillars of doom for society.
Who Survived: Anyone who was strong enough to defend their meager supplies of "the black fuel" or savage enough to murder and pillage for it. Tribes of people sprang up and many reverted back to a more primitive lifestyle bred of the inherent lawlessness of a post-apocalyptic landscape. One such tribe, trying desperately to cling to some semblance of civilized existence, has managed to secure arguably the last oil pump on Earth and have barricaded themselves in around it. For they know that the evil miscreants of the wasteland are waiting just outside to obtain the precious fuel by any vile means necessary. There is also a feral child who kills trespassers with a boomerang and sports a White Snake hair cut...so there's that.
Who's In Charge: The wastelands outside the barricaded structure are ruled by the Humungus. This gravel-voiced madman wears a hockey mask and is touted as the Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla. He surrounds himself with a cadre of men who were apparently attending a rather kinky leather party when the cataclysm struck. His chief enforcer actually has his own boy-slave tethered to him at all times which is totally not unsettling at all. The Humungus kills anyone who attempts to leave the compound with supplies of oil and his daily attempts to storm the facility are only thwarted by the massive flame throwers the inhabitants have positioned atop the entrance.
Who Will Save Us: That would be The Road Warrior himself, "Mad" Max Rockatansky. Max was once a police officer who lost his family, and his sanity, in a vicious attack by a maniac. Max is possibly the coolest character to ever come out of Australian cinema and his adeptness behind the wheel is magic to watch. Max's first instinct is to provide for himself but he soon agrees to help the inhabitants of the oil structure convoy their precious cargo out of the evermore dangerous environment and into safer terrain. The result is one of the greatest, most brutal, most explosive chase sequences of all time.
When Will It All End: Though no specific date is given, the dystopian Road Warrior future does not seem terribly far away. In fact, our own Jacob Hall recently broke down all the advances in science that may be edging us in the director of total chaos. For my part, I am developing a car that runs entirely on reprocessed Kibbles and Bits and striving to improve my aim with a crossbow. I will be thusly prepared for the end times.