Book Review: World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies

Published: 2014

Author: David J. Moore

Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for nearly 8 years now.  I first started out on BlogSpot.com, but then a couple of years ago I got this new website to launch my new blog.  I have to say:  It’s been pretty gratifying that I get to talk about movies quite a bit.  Obviously, I’m not the only one out there that does this, and I’m not even the biggest name.  In fact, I’m small potatoes compared to some of the bigger bloggers out there.  Even so, I consider it a privilege to be able to do this.  Over the past couple of months, I’ve gotten some pretty big opportunities to expand on what I’ve been doing here.  I’ve gotten interviews and screened independent films that haven’t been released to the public yet.  It’s been humbling and a very eye-opening experience.  While I don’t see a whole lot of replies to my posts, I know they are being read, so to everyone that’s been reading my stuff, I am truly grateful to you.  I’m also grateful to folks like David J. Moore for giving me opportunities to expand beyond just doing reviews.  Thank you, everyone.  With that said, I’ve never really reviewed books before.  This site is about movies, so reviewing books seemed a little strange.  Then again, I’ve done reviews for some video games, so….I don’t really have an excuse.  It’s a new and exciting challenge that I look forward to doing in the future at some point.  It gives me great pleasure to present to you my review for David J. Moore’s World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies.

The first thing you will notice when you pick this thing up is its size.  It’s a hardcover and it weighs a good 2-3 pounds.  It’s also 432 pages which includes the forward as well as the acknowledgements and interviews index.  So….what’s this book about?  It’s a guide to movies set in a post-apocalyptic world.  The post-apocalyptic film is one of the most popular genres of film and novels and generally involves people trying to survive in a world that’s gone to hell.  One of the things that Mr. Moore has mentioned in the book is the various types of apocalypses that would render the planet nearly uninhabitable.  Everybody knows about the zombie apocalypse, which has been done to death.  As has the nuclear apocalypse.  There are obvious exceptions with movies set during or after those particular incidents.  However, there are a great many more kinds of end-of-the world scenarios that you may not have heard of.  I certainly didn’t until I read this book.  For example, there’s the whole Rapture apocalypse in which Jesus is supposed to return and lift his followers to Heaven.  Movies like Left Behind and This Is The End are just two examples.  You’ve also got your Alien Invasion sub-genre with movies like Independence Day and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  David has actually compiled a list of each sub-genre within the post-apocalyptic arena and the movies for each sub-genre.  You will periodically see the same movie in a different sub-genre.  Why?  Because a lot of these movies don’t necessarily fit into just one particular category.  The list that Mr. Moore has compiled is extraordinarily impressive.  I was fairly familiar with the post-apocalyptic film, but not to this degree.  I really had no idea how extensive the genre was.  It’s incredibly massive.

Mr. Moore spent 8 years and thousands of dollars tracking down and reviewing over 800 movies for this guide.  Based on that alone, I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of post-apocalyptic movies.  There’s a lot of information in here.  His reviews are listed in alphabetical order and he has a unique score that he gives each movie.  Instead of your typical 1-10, or 1-5, he has symbols.  The first is the nuclear sign which indicates that you should avoid the movie like the plague.  There’s a gas mask which indicates a movie of questionable quality, but has some redeeming value.  A gas can says that the movie isn’t for everyone, but some people will like it.  The Safe Zone is a good bet that most people will enjoy the movie.  The nuclear explosion is a film that comes highly recommended.  As you would imagine, when dealing with the post-apocalyptic genre, you’re going to have a lot of movies that just flat out suck.  There are going to be reviews in this guide that not everybody is going to agree with.  There’s quite a few that I don’t.  For example, there’s a movie called Kampfensage or The Challenge, which is a post-apocalyptic martial arts film.  He give it the nuclear symbol.  Personally, I would have given it a gas can.  It’s not going to be for everyone, but I enjoyed the hell out of it.  On the flip-side, there are a number of reviews that I do agree with, like Cyborg with Jean-Claude Van Damme.  Excellent film.  It’s a perfect example of the genre and is one of my favorite movies.  So, yeah, not everybody’s going to see eye-to-eye on things, but I think this world would be quite boring if we all agreed with each other on everything.

But wait, there’s more!  In addition to all the reviews that Mr. Moore has done, he’s also managed to get interviews with a large number of directors, actors and other filmmakers.  For example, he’s gotten multiple interviews with Albert Pyun, which really gives you an insight into how his experience with the Hollywood machine has been.  You get a lot of nifty little details and anecdotes.  He’s also interviewed actors like Richard Norton, Michael Pare, and Fred Williamson.  Some of these interviews last two pages or more.  The level of detail in this book is extraordinary.  Believe it or not, there’s still more.  In addition to the interviews and the reviews, there’s a lot of photographs and artwork for certain movies that a scattered throughout the book.  Some of them are in foreign languages and some in English.  It’s really interesting to see some of the marketing campaigns that foreign markets employ.

In addition to being very informative, World Gone Wild is also entertaining at the same time.  For example, Mr. Moore has also taken looks at some of the more……adult-oriented films.  These are not the films you want your kids to watch until you’ve had The Talk.  I just think it’s really hilarious that the post-apocalyptic genre would also include movies from the adult film industry.  I may have to search these out….for research purposes only, of course.  Unfortunately, the ugly reality of the post-apocalyptic film genre is that a lot of these movies that are mentioned in the book, are either out-of-print or very hard to find.  Companies like Shout! Factory have been doing a pretty decent job of finding some of these movies and giving them a proper DVD/Blu-Ray release.  Now, Mr. Moore has probably missed a few movies here and there, but in a project of this scale, it was going to happen.  Regardless, World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide To Post-Apocalyptic Movies is the most extensive look at the genre that I have ever seen.

The amount of detail that Mr. Moore goes into describing each kind of apocalypse as well as the extensive interviews that he’s conducted are nothing short of amazing.  If you are a big fan of post-apocalyptic movies, I urge you to seek this out.  It is currently available for 34.99 or your regional equivalent.  If you live in the states and are an Amazon Prime member, you can get the book for 26.63USD.  Regardless, this book comes highly recommended.  Check it out.

 

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