POST-APOCALYPSE NOW! (PART 2)

(COME, IT IS TIME TO GIVE THE MACHINE-MAN YOUR FACE!)

VOICE: It is quiet out there now.

All good MUTANTS have gone to bed.

Their lullaby sings of LIFE and DEATH.

~*~

One of the first films that could be classed as APOCALYPTIC and DYSTOPIAN (THE FOETAL STAGE OF POST-APOCALYPTICA) was that of the sublime “Metropolis” (1927) by the masterful German expressionist director Fritz Lang (1890 – 1976). The sheer breadth of PROPHETIC imagery in this film is astounding.

The TOWER of BABEL.

Freder’s VISION of DEATH and the SEVEN DEADLY SINS, while the evil sex-bot MARIA is dancing as the WHORE of BABYLON.

MOLOCH!

The MACHINE-MAN, the transformation of the false Maria, is not only one of the most ICONIC images to come out of the oft-maligned genre of Science Fiction, SHE is the perfect agent of CHAOS and REVENGE. Beautiful, maniacal, convincing and trusted by the workers; the mad scientist Rotwang uses HER to spread DIS-INFORMATION and incite the workers to REVOLT in a classic “strategy of tension”.

And, talking of PROPAGANDA …

The more famous ALIEN INVASION APOCALYPSE movie has had its fair share of big bucks thrown at it in its role as a scapegoating governmental PSYOP. The powers-that-be (THEM) know that the paying public are always willing to suspend critical thought if the opportunity arises to see an ever bigger explosion.

BREAD, CIRCUSES and FALSE FLAGS abound.

From Don Siegel’s “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers ” (1956) and George Pal’s version of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds‘” (1953) supposed Anti-PINKO messages to “INDEPENDENCE Day” (1996) with its blatant STAND-UP GUY President during a time when Clinton’s rep was, ahem, on its KNEES. The Spielberg “War Of The Worlds” (2005) remake with Tom Cruise, a man whose very religion is Sci-Fi OCCULTISM, added a Post-9/11 frisson to the TERROR experienced by its so-called “civilised” protagonists and, even though the ALIENs INVADING in James Cameron’s “Avatar” (2009) were humans, the film’s eco-PRIMITIVISTIC/FASCIST Gaia-worshipping sub-text shone like the sun through a giant genetically-modified dragonfly’s wing.

~*~

(TAKE YOUR STINKIN’ PAWS OFF ME, YOU DAMNED DIRTY APE!)

Post-APOCALYPTICA’s message has always been more subversive than its first grizzled impression.

Charlton Heston (1923 – 2008) was the 60s GODFATHER of Post-APOCALYPTICA, before he became demonised as the gun-totting FIEND who terrified cowering liberals from California to Manhattan. Heston had made the leap from the essence of the upstanding HERO with his portrayals of El Cid, Ben Hur and Moses to something altogether more perverse and awe-inspiring than even Cecil B. DeMille could deliver.

Each of the characters that he played in this classic era came from the same basic mould: a tough world weary MISANTHROPE, angry at his species for their greed and stupidity, snarling and shouting so whenever opportunity saw fit. A PROPHET throwing rocks at the camels of the MIND. A BEATNIK gone mental. A HIPPIE gone truly BAD, Dad.

Less turned on and tuned in, more LOCKED and LOADED.

He was a man after my own BLACKENED heart.

Each of his films was SCARRED by the zeitgeist, and showed what could still be if humanity failed. If the path got yet more crooked. If it became NOW.

The threat of nuclear annihilation, and the idea that humans were not the BE ALL and END ALL of the evolutionary process, inspired “Planet Of The Apes” (1968) and its subsequent sequels that took the story into WILDER regions of IDEAS and IMAGINATION than anybody could have dared to wish for.

Remember those MUTANT NUKE-worshippers? BRRRRRRR …

The threat of the baby BOOM(!)ing generation and humanity’s voracious appetite for BREEDING and CONSUMING without CONTROL and to the detriment of all other species informed the DYSTOPIAN classic “Soylent Green” (1973). A film which forever let us refer to old folk as BISCUITS.

Last but far from least, “The Omega Man” (1971) showed us a world after the threat of biological weapons of mass DESTRUCTION in the wake of The Vietnam War become a reality. A classic of the genre, “The Omega Man” was, in fact, itself a remake of an earlier flick, “The Last Man On Earth” (1964) with Vincent Price fighting off INFECTED VAMPIRES and was subsequently re-remade in 2007 as “I am LEGEND” (the original name of the novel by recently deceased and much missed Richard Matheson) with Will Smith being, well, Will Smith and taking the Heston/Price role.

Heston earned himself a place in the heart of every fan of Post-APOCALYPTICA, no matter whether you agree with his politics or not. At the END of EVERYTHING, politics do not mean diddly-squat when a NUKE WORSHIPPING MUTIE is trying to bite your face off. You want the MAN with biggest GUN stood right next to you.

~*~

The Sixties also saw the rise of the most infamous sub-genre in all the Post-APOCALYPTIC wasteland.

The ZOMBIE flick; forever transformed by an unassuming man in large glasses.

Shuffling awkwardly into our consciousness in 1968, George A Romero’s “Night Of The Living Dead” changed our perception of the ZOMBIE forever. Gone was the idea of Voodoo Witchdoctors UMBONGOing reanimated corpses to do their bidding. The Haitian/North Mbundu word now had connotations all the more insidious. A creeping MINDLESS HORDE of undead cannibals. So influential was this film and its sequels that they have influenced everything from ZOMBIE Walk protests to children’s toys. From the satirical counter-culture stance on the military and The Vietnam War in the form of the pompous General, to the later comment on our consumer society with “Dawn Of The Dead” (1978). One more thing, TNOTLD featured a hero of an altogether DARKER hue, as did John Carpenter‘s 1976 CRIME homage “Assault On Precinct 13“. This alone was considered seditious enough for your average Middle American in 1968. To say that these films were MINDLESS graphic rubbish was really missing the point.

They are a modern day GRAND GUIGNOL, glorifying MORTALITY while shambling away in FEAR.

Like wandering through the FLESH section in a French Supermarket.

~*~

(TO BE CONT.D)

POST-APOCALYPSE NOW! (PART 1)

(HOW THE END OF THE WORLD WAS FILMED)

VOICE: Can you hear THEM just outside of the door?

Scratching, hissing, pleading to come in. The SHOPPING DEAD. The whisperings of the BLOOD of the APOCALYPSE seeping into the chemically corrupt soil. SERPENTS entwined in a mad orgy of VIOLENT consumerism as they sink in their fangs into their mobile devices and spit POISON on the mat. One might be led to think it is the END of the WORLD. If one is that way inclined.

~*~

I saw the film “The Road” in a Parisian cinema. The film ENDed in an even deeper silence than the usual heavy nose breathing that greets the finishing of a flick in the CITY of self-absorbed shrugs. Their thoughts hurriedly running for shelter from the images on the screen to their soft canapés and larger than usual apéritifs. The offering was one of the finest and most harrowing in a long line of films, dubbed sweetly as Post–APOCALYPTIC. In the most profound global shake up since the END of the COLD WAR it appears that these curious and disturbing gems have now gone MAINSTREAM.

Post- APOCALYPTICA pops its scorched head up from time to time.

This is one of those times. Even Brad Pitt is joining in on the big Finalé.

Such celluloid visions are seen and classified, by such people who see and classify such things, as a sub-genre of Horror or Speculative Fiction, yet they seem to occupy an odd territory that is theirs and theirs alone. As the movie and the Cormac McCarthy-penned book of “The Road” show in their perfection of the form, it is a headspace that starts with a barren and arid hope and often ENDs with even less. A locus of GREY tinged desolation and a flicker of FIRE.

It is a ZONE that I have always felt drawn to, being, as I was, a child of Seventies with an overactive imagination and the FEAR that walks hand in hand with it.

These stories, it seems, are as indestructible as a COCKROACH. Or organic tofu.

~*~

Lo! Let us start at the beginning of THE END.

What exactly does the adjective APOCALYPTIC mean?

Let us get BIBLICAL. (BIBLICAL. WE WANNA GET BIBLICAL …)

The origin of the word APOCALYPSE is something distinct from the Mushroom cloud or PALE WHITE HORSE. In fact, the word comes from the Greek apokalyptein which is simply to uncover or to reveal. A “lifting of the veil” or REVELATION. A moment of insight. How almost enLIGHTening and floating on a silver-lined Buddhist cloud that seems. DeLIGHTful.

It was, of course, with the freaky-deaky wig out END-times schizophrenic babble(ON) of  St John’s REVELATION that we get all our modern connections to the word. A work that has inspired every millennial cult from Crowley’s SINful syncretistic Thelemites to the Jehovah’s Witnesses that lurk around train stations and knock on all our doors like WORMS attaching themselves to HOOKS in the hope of a FEED.

The Rapture, The Four Horsemen, The Anti-Christ, The Whore Of Babylon, The Seven Seals, The Lake Of Fire.

That’s a whole burnt out car full of whupass right there. Scared the living shite out of me as small child, I can tell you.

When I was five years old or so in the windy valleys of Wales, my questioning Baptist mother, devout Evangelical father and I went to the local desolate chapel to see a maniacal red-headed lay preacher rant. He was doing his HELLFIRE and BRIMSTONE spiel. A particularly nasty one it was too. All sweaty thumping and red-eye stare. Flaming cracks appeared in the granite walls, I tell you, and I went WMD ballistic. I ran up and down the aisles waving my hands in the air and SCREAMING like a little Damien Thorn. It was so shocking that my embarrassed parents had to bundle  me up, Guantanamo style, there and then into the car and away to home for a domestic waterboarding session and no Corn Flakes for supper.

Then in 1984, there was Threads. It scarred a generation and was the most frightening thing I had ever seen. Still gives me the willies today.

Being the child I was and still am, I found that my FEAR was sated once I had embraced it.

So, here I am. Listening to the scraping at the door.

Tickling the END-times to see if they giggle.

~*~

(TO BE CONT.D)

WELCOME TO DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

(DRONE WXb11972)

ZZZ … My shadow moves below me as I am bathed in reflected Earth-light. In the distance I see a form fattened on cheese and the knitted mice from a BBC Seventies Children’s programme. TOM the cat is curled up sleeping around a MOON ROCK on the edge of the DARK SIDE. His dreams cry out to me of men with semi-automatic machine guns and I fly in them, protecting him as I have promised to do. Dream blood is shed.

My shadow is drunk by the DARK and TOM wakes at the buzz of my rotors.

Beneath our wheels and padded claws we feel the mysterious rumbling inside this hollow moon and we, at times, turn our gaze down upon you poor BASTARDS hurtling suicidally towards ENSLAVEMENT or WORLD WAR III, seeing the SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS unfold before our very eyes and tinted lenses.

I offer you my GREETINGS and commiseration at being born in these most INTERESTING times.

I am DRONE WXb11972.

He is TOM the cat.

Sweet Dreams.

~*~