Nuclear annihilation, worldwide plague, leather-clad gladiators, flesh eating zombies, anarchist gangs, rat-eating underground dwellers, natural disasters…what do all of these things have in common? They all feature prominently in a subgenre of film we all know and love (and one we covered in issue 18): Post-Apocalyptic cinema. Over the course of film history there have been countless films that don the generic header; so much so, that it becomes overwhelming even thinking about trying to scratch the surface of the subgenre’s offerings. Even after the advent of the internet, and useful resources such as IMDb, tracking down and locating the subgenre’s hidden gems can be, at best, time consuming—falling down the proverbial rabbit hole of suggestions, synopses, and reviews.
Well, if Post-Apocalyptic cinema is your thing—and why shouldn’t it be—your problems are solved with David J. Moore’s latest book, World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies. With this book, Moore has performed most of the legwork for you; tracking down, seeing, and reviewing over 800 titles that spawn from blockbuster hits to little known—and even less seen—films. Interspersing the reviews (listed in alphabetical order), are a series of interviews with cast members, filmmakers, etc., that help place the film’s in a historical context. Moore does a great job at balancing the interviews somewhere between fandom and critical perspective, each reading in own unique way fit for the interviewee. World Gone Wild is the result of 8 years of hard work and dedication, and it shows.
One of the highlights of the book is the rating scale Moore developed for each film. While, granted—with the absence of an additional numbered order—at first it hard to distinguish the difference of the scores between the highest rating (The Bomb) and the lowest (Toxic), but this is only a minor setback that fades almost as soon as it arrives. Once acquainted with his ratings, the scale becomes essential asset to experience. His ratings are fair, and, while there may be a few surprises in store, overall Moore’s tastes will be sure to align with the lot of you. Another treat of book, is flipping through the pages and getting a chance to see all of the glorious poster artwork and behind the scenes photos.
Moore’s book is a testament to a very specific form of obsessive cinephilia. He is extensive in his research and writing; his tone of voice is easy to read without failing to be analytical. World Gone Wild fits perfectly with its related brethren in books like Destroy All Movies!!!, Nightmare USA, Heavy Metal Movies, and more. It is entertaining but in the same breath informative. It’ll enlighten even the most seasoned veteran of the genre, without alienating the novice. Packaged in a sturdy over-sized hardback package, with 427 high quality color photos, and 432 pages long, World Gone Wild more than justifies its meager 30 dollar price tag. World Gone Wild is a genre film lover’s dream come true, and we can only hope that it part of a long, continual effort of publications to compile and highlight some of most beloved subgenres the way they deserve. With World Gone Wild you can sense the love put into each passage, each page, each review—Moore wears his love of genre cinema on his sleeve for all of us to share.