I’ve always considered myself fairly well-versed in the post-apocalyptic fiction arena. After all, I’ve been a huge fan of it for three decades or so. Tell you what, I know nothing about end of the world movies compared to David J. Moore.
In World Gone Wild, Moore has reviewed over 800 post-apocalyptic movies, from the well known (THE ROAD WARRIOR) to the most obscure (SURVIVAL 1990). Each and every title is discussed in detail, from a plot synopsis to information about the people involved in making the film. Each title is also rated on a scale of 1-5, as shown in this table:
I found most of Moore’s rating consistent with my own opinions on the movies I’ve seen. While your mileage may vary on that front, you may have loved a movie he didn’t enjoy, that’s to be expected. For example, we differ on LEGION, which is a personal favorite of mine. While the ratings are a nice feature, they really aren’t the point of the book. Instead, collected for what might be the very first time is a complete list of every single post-apoc movie ever released.
The reviews are all very well written and in a decidedly informal tone. This isn’t some stuffy drama professor lecturing on and on about gravitas and symbolism. Rather, this is just a buddy who sits down to tell you about this or that movie he saw recently. If he thinks it stinks on ice, he’ll tell you that.
In addition to the reviews, there are dozens of lengthy interviews with the folks who made these movies. Actors and directors talk about their experiences during filming, their inspirations, their thoughts on the genre itself. I found several of these interviews particularly enlightening and interesting in that the actor or director seemed almost embarrassed by the work they’d done on a film. Others talked about their love for the film they’d done and were proud of their work.
One of the coolest features of the book is found at the end, where several pages are devoted to lists of subgenres. If your thing is monster movies that take place at the end of the world, Moore has given you a list of about 170 or so titles from which to choose. Looking for post-apoc comedies? He’s got you covered there as well. All told, he lists 60+ different categories or subgenres. Did you know there have been about 30 different post-apoc musicals? I sure as hell didn’t.
This is a big, heavy book. Hardcover, with 425 or so pages, profusely illustrated. Many of the photos of box covers and such are taken from Moore’s own collection.
If you are even a casual fan of end of the world movies, whether they are focused on nuclear war, zombies, or a cyber apocalypse, you’ll have great fun with World Gone Wild. I would suggest you keep a pen and notebook handy, though, as you’ll want to jot down several movies to track down later. I thoroughly enjoyed World Gone Wild and recommend it highly. You can find it here on Amazon.