Outright Classic Geek Picks: Apocalypse Edition!
The world has gone crazy thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been reading that there’s been a spike in people reading books and watching TV shows that focus on the end of the world. It’s apparently therapeutic to read about an apocalypse while facing a crisis on your own. So, for this week’s Outright Classic Geek Picks, I asked the OG staff to name what end times franchises keep them grounded when times are toughest!
Let’s get started with our buddy, Hooser.
Hooser: The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead
Rewatching the Walking Dead and Fear the Walk Dead is totally different right now. The first couple of episodes of FEAR are hitting home with the world we see today. These are so very interesting and binge watching shows, even if you have already seen them once or twice before.
Eli- YES! Fear starts out with basically what were dealing with right now.
Veigh: Logan’s Run
This photo says it all.
Tony: The Newsflesh Trilogy
This series of books, while it deals with zombies has been a darn near accurate of how things have played out in the past couple of months. The spread of a terrible virus. The rise of remote and online reporting and work. The steps going to keep people from getting sick. It’s been 2 or 3 years since I read these books by Mira Grant, but they’ve stuck with me. And now, it’s seems like I am living in it!
Jan: Rifftrax’s Night of the Living Dead
Why not enjoy a zombie apocalypse with a laugh? Mystery Science Theater’s Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett provide their signature snarky humor during a showing of the grandfather of all zombie movies, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Yeah- it’s better watched in a crowded theatre. But that’s not possible right. But at least you can watch it from the confines of your home filmed in front of the studio audience as part of the Rifftrax Live series!
Joe: An Unkindness of Ghosts
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon.
In this dystopian Sci-Fi novel, the world has already ended. Before the apocalypse wiped out Earth, the last survivors of humanity boarded a starship and set off in search of a new home world. Generations later, the ship is all the next generation of people know. A class system, set up like the Antebellum South, has developed. The upper classes live on the furnished upper decks while the poor live in squalor in the bowls of the ship. The story follows Aster as she seeks to escape the ship and find a better life.
Sean: The Stand
Stephen King’s The Stand (book). The chapters where he is explaining the spread of the disease and how quickly contact with each individual escalates is on point. The King twist of course is some supernatural elements guiding the good and bad people who divide into where they head (during the apocalypse).
Eli- That’s the best part of the book.
Sean- My other favorite part is the politics (when they reestabilish society after its collapse and elect new leaders etc).
Eli: Escape from New York
Manhattan Island is a quarantined prison. Sound familiar? In the future, convicted ex-soldier Snake Plissken has to rescue the president after Air Force One is hijacked by terrorists and crash lands in NYC. John Carpenter’s classic dystopian action flick still holds up as it deals with political and socio-economic themes that are still relevant today. Plus the soundtrack is awesome!
Thomas: this is one of my favorite movies I can watch it anytime.
John: The Road
This post apocalyptic novel written by Cormac McCarthy is harrowing, character-driven and experimental in all the right ways. The plot revolves around a nameless father and son trying to reach the east coast of the United States to possibly meet other survivors after an unexplained event has reduced everything resembling civilized society to ashes. During their journey to the coast they must deal with the effects that such an event can have on everyday people including raiders willing to kill people over food, cannibals kidnapping others and others out to take whatever they can. With a heavy emphasis on character development, it is also a heartfelt tale whose sole focus on the father and son’s relationship shows readers that there can be hope even in the darkest of days. This is one of the most intense and intimate novels I have ever read and comes highly recommended. A film version was also produced starring Viggo Mortensen and directed by John Hillcoat.
Thomas: Mad Max
Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Beyond! You want the apocalypse, you got it! Set in the not to distant future after the fall of the Big One, rival biker gangs roam the Outback in search of fuel, food and fun. Featuring the not ready for prime time phenom Mel Gibson as Max, directed by the Academy Award winning director of ” Happy Feet” George Miller. Mad Max and it’s sequels are masterpieces of classic Real cinema. That’s right folks digital effects were non existence in the original Mad Max and George kept it that way. Mad Max is filled with high octane car chases shot inches off the ground. The actions is so real you can fell the heat and smell the gas! Now, everything’s not doom and gloom Mad Max is not that far removed from us, think of it as next Tuesday. While The Road Warrior will probably be May if everything keeps going the way it is. As for Fury Road, who the heck knows but take heart it’s at lest a couple years off.
Eli: Road Warrior is one of my all time favorites. GI Joe was brilliant in making the dreddnoks and their vehicles. They looked like something right out of mad max.
Thomas: that’s because Zartan and the Dreddnoks f#$%ing Rule!
Kevin: The Last of Us
The definitive post apocalypse game of the past generation is easily The Last of Us. A dark, grim, morbid take on the end of the world with some of the best writing, acting, and directing in the medium that puts most films to shame. Easily in the running for one of the best games ever, and it even has a fantastic multiplayer mode to boot!
With the sequel on its way (hopefully the real apocalypse doesn’t stop the made up one) this is the best time to check out one of gaming’s best if you haven’t already, or revisit it if it has been a while.
John: Definitely looking forward to Part 2!
Zack: There Will Come Soft Rains
There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury: A fully automated, robotized house keeps going through it’s daily motions even though humanity either left for Mars or were destroyed in a nuclear holocaust (It’s part of the Martian Chronicles collections) including reading off the titular poem to children who aren’t there.
Angel: Tank Girl (1995)
If you want a post-apocalyptic, cheesey, good time, this is the movie for you. Big bad played by Malcom McDowell, kangaroo super soldiers, and a girl and her tank. I’ve loved this movie for as long as I can remember. Lori Petty plays Tank Girl, alongside Naomi Watts as Jet Girl, battling against the people at the evil Water and Power Corporation to save a friend and stop the corrupted system. It’s bizarre, fun, and corny in the best ways.
Tom: The Fireman
Book by Joe Hill – This is my go-to book for the apocalypse. The book tells the tale of a deadly spore that has infected most of the world’s population. This is a story filled with twists and turns, and a beautiful message of hope during the end of the world.
Tony: Great Book. I love Joe Hill!
David: The Postman (1997)
Set in post-apocalyptic year of 2013, Kevin Costner is the unnamed drifter who travels from settlement to settlement trading performances for food. He is conscripted into service by a warlord. Only to escape, and sequentially find a mail truck and a deceased mailman. Donning the mailman’s uniform, he cons a settlement into believing that the US government has been restored. Thus, begins the legend of the Postman. The warlord learns that legend has grown beyond his control and forces a confrontation with the Postman and the army he has rallied. The two fight for leadership, the Postman triumphs and civilization begins to take hold again.
I appreciate the message of hope that the Postman brings to the table.
John: Bloodshot Reborn Issues 10-13: The Analog Man
certainly could not make a Geek Pick without heaping some praise on my favorite comic book publisher, Valiant Entertainment. The Analog Man is one of the most action packed and creatively original story arcs in Bloodshot history. The plot revolves around Bloodshot defending a small village in the apocalyptic wastelands of a world he once knew. All the Valiant staples are on display in this alternate reality story including Old Man Ninjak, raiders who terrorize the wastelands known as the Shadowmen and a futuristic Los Angeles where all the well-to-do’s live protected by high walls and thousands of autonomous XO Armors produced by nanite technology. If all that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, this story arc is written by none other than Jeff Lemire featuring amazingly kinetic artwork by Lewis Larosa. The Analog Man is one of the definitive Bloodshot stories, and you should most certainly spend some time in the wastes.
Don: I AM Legend 1991 Eclipse Comics
My Apocalyptic Pick:
“I AM LEGEND” (1991 Eclipse Comics).
Before there was the movie starring Will Smith, there was the 1954 novel written by Richard Matheson that is considered to be one of the best vampire novels ever written. In 1991, it was turned into a 4-issue mini-series by horror writer Steve Niles. It was penciled by Elman Brown with cover art by Mark Cox. The story revolves around Robert Neville who appears to be the only survivor immune to a virus that has turned mankind into vampires. Not only is he trying to stay one step ahead of the vampires, but he’s also trying to keep his sanity while trying to find a cure for the virus. If you enjoy vampire novels or movies, this series is a must have for your collection. It’s bloody good!
Thomas: I was actually thinking about this earlier today when they aired a commercial for the Will Smith movie. Have you ever seen the Vincent Price version or the Chuck’s (Charleston Heston)?
Don: No I haven’t, which is surprising. I love Vincent Price stuff. I’ll have to find that.
Tony: The Vincent Price version is called The Last Man on Earth. Heston’s is The Omega Man
Once you’ve run the gambit of what the apocalypse has to offer in terms of entertainment, you might need a little insanity to make you sane again. We’ve got a pick just for that!
I’m watching Happy Season 2 I showed up late to this show, but holy crap! This show is funny, sick, twisted and will make you think your the one tripping ballz! This show was so popular but they cancelled it anyhow. But since I never watched it before last year when it hit Netflix, so now onto Season 2 this show has it all and will help you and your imaginary friend get through this lockdown. Head up Buttercup!