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)

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