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World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide To Post-Apocalyptic Films Book Review

World Gone Wild- A Survivor's Guide To Post-Apocalyptic Films Book

“World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide To Post-Apocalyptic Films” is a solid overview of post-apocalyptic films.

Over the past couple of decades, the post-apocalyptic sci-fi subgenre has become immensely popular. Film fans (like myself) can’t seem to get enough dark and bleak end of the world stories and imaginative apocalyptic cinematic visions. Realizing the genre has such a rabid fanbase, author David J. Moore (who is also enthusiastic about post-apoc films) has created a book devoted to the evergrowing genre titled “World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide To Post-Apocalyptic Films.”

At the start of this hardcover book, readers can expect to see a foreword by author and film writer Vern that leads into an introduction by author David J. Moore in which he chats about the genre and its history, sets up the book’s content, discusses classics like “A Boy and his Dog” and the “Mad Max” films, and goes into great detail about the subgenres within the genre like mutants, zombies, dystopian, and biblical.

After that, the book dives into reviews of hundreds of post-apoc films (which are ranked in a 5 rating system from The Bomb to Toxic) that are often accompanied by film images and posters. Naturally, the book cover the classics (original “Dawn of the Dead,” “Escape From New York,” the original “The Planet of the Apes” “The Road” “The Road Warrior” “Starship Troopers” ‘Wall-E”), the good (such as the underrated “Battle for Terra,” “Fido,” the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” and “Silent Running”), the truly wretched (“Double Dragon” the Asylum films, and “Barb Wire”), TV series (“Buck Rogers in the 25th Century,” “Cleopatra 2025,” “Defiance,” “Jericho,” “The Walking Dead” “The Outer Limits” and “The Twilight Zone”), and anime films and shows like “Akira,” “Evangelion,” “Fist of the North Star,” and “Nausicaa.”

Spliced into the book are interviews with directors, writers, and actors like Roger Christian (who helmed “Battlefield Earth”), the infamous Albert Pyun, Neil Marshall (of “Doomsday” fame), Roddy Piper, Fred Williamson, director Martin Campbell, and Paul W.S. Anderson.

Finally, in the back of the book, there are listings of films by sub-genre as well as an index of reviews and interviews.

While far from comprehensive, “World Gone Wild” is a nice overview of post-apocalyptic films. I admired the fact that Moore didn’t just cover the mainstream titles. He went out of his way to cover indie films, made for home video and TV films, and even obscure short films. Sure, there was a lot of unwatchable junk that probably didn’t even need to be mentioned here, but it was nice to see that Moore was thorough in his research. If he didn’t go through all this work, readers might not be intrigued to check out lesser known films such as “The Afterman,” “Battletruck” or “Circuitry Man.”

The only criticism I can make here is that I found some of Moore’s ratings questionable. As a fellow critic, I realize that film taste is subjective, but I was still a bit baffled by the positive ratings for films like “2012,” “After Earth,” the “Pulse” remake, and “Godzilla ’98,” a negative mark for “Carriers,” and way too low ratings for masterpieces like “Children of Men,” “The Matrix,” “The Mist,” “Night of the Living Dead,” and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.”

Overall Thoughts: Whether you’re a lifelong long fan of post-apocalyptic films or a noob whose is looking to broaden his or her horizons, “World Gone Wild” is worth checking out.

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October 14, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Hi Nick,

    I am “infamous”? News to me. But thanks for the attention…er…I think. My latest film is THE INTERROGATION OF CHERYL COOPER has been selected the Pollygrind Film Festival closing night film to screen on October 30 at 8 PM at the Galaxy Theaters – Green Valley in Henderson, Nevada. Come see me add to my infamy. Thank You.

    Albert “Infamous” Pyun

    Comment by Albert pyun | October 15, 2014 | Reply

  2. Thank you! It’s an honor to hear from the infamous Pyun. Congrats on the Film Festival selection.

    Comment by nicklyons1 | October 15, 2014 | Reply

    • Nick,

      Why am I infamous? Its an odd label. I don’t make porn or snuff films. I’ve made some main stream films which were hits, hence my longevity. I try to make unique and original films with ambition. I don’t make cookie cutter films or films easily classified like a slasher film or soft core porn film. I try to make distinctive films and, while not always good, all were successful business-wise. I made a lot of studios a lot of money. So I don’t quite understand the “infamous” label, Nick. It’s like a personal editorial of me with no explanation. You may not like my films but I don’t see why that would make “infamous”. It seems to be a veiled negative swipe at me personally. Maybe I am wrong and its doesn’t have any negative intent. Am I, Nick?

      Comment by Albert pyun | October 15, 2014 | Reply

  3. No disrespect is intended on my part. I believe you are viewed as an infamous B-Movie filmmaker which is nothing to be ashamed of. That’s a niche you have mastered. Your films have earned a cult reputation whether it be on MST3K or home video. I can only dream of such success.

    Comment by nicklyons1 | October 15, 2014 | Reply


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