Friday, March 4, 2011

RANT: Why I Love Post-Apocalyptic Horror

I'm desperate to crack open a post-apocaylptic novel or two as I've watched quite a few films lately. I think it's partly voyeurism. With all the rules gone, you can't help but traipse through other people's living rooms and see what's inside their fridge. True, you won't be thinking 'ohmigod, the Davidson's buy jam chutney' when you're busy hoarding food from the Legions of Hell, but it's still kind of cool getting to take a look. In a post-apocalyptic world, you're basically mandated to root around in other people's houses! (Am I a bad person?)

This is why I love video games. In video games, such as Fall Out but also including non-apocalyptic fantasy games like Zelda, you can wander around and sneak into people's homes and see what kind of furniture they have. I'm pretty weird because I really do love exploring the map and seeing what lays around the corner. What does a factory look like? I know! I'll go inside and take a look. Hmm, what about the back rooms of a museum? No security in this wasteland! Time to scope it out.

It's funny because I rarely get a chance to read, watch, or play post-apocalyptic games and yet they get me all the time. There's other reasons (easily comprehensible horror, having to get along in a group of disparate people, us vs. the world, an interest in natural disasters) but one of the big ones would have to be the fact that I'd just love to poke around in other people's things but would never do it in real life.

What about you? Also, does anyone here have a post-apocalyptic tale to suggest I read?


  1. I lived a post-apocalyptic adventure after Katrina and Rita. Looking at devastated streets all around you, looking like you had stumbled onto a Hollywood set was eerie.

    I think all of us watch such films, inserting ourselves into the mix, asking what would we do?

  2. Wow, I didn't realize you had lived it. I should've known, considering all your posts about New Orleans. I guess we all just assume that those kinds of disasters happen to 'someone else' who we'll never meet.

    As for inserting ourselves into disaster flicks, yep, that's what I do. One I day I'll get someone to run a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game so I can more easily insert myself!

  3. Seen this trailer before for the film Attack the Block, came to mind after reading the above.

  4. I'm a huge fan of that genre too. Even the bad movies I'll watch. I agree, it probably is a bit of the voyeur coming out.

    The Road is a Cormac McCarthy book that they made into a movie a couple of years ago. It's very dark, even for that genre, but I loved both.

  5. Apparently the book that "The Road" is based on is excellent, better again than the movie.

    I haven't read it, and it's not *strictly* post-apocalyptic, but you might be interested in "Roadside Picnic" by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. It's about a mysterious, alien-ravaged "zone" guarded by the government, and was a huge part of the inspiration for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl.

    I could lend you "A Canticle for Leibowitz" if you'd like. I never got around to reading it, but it's a classic post-apoc story about a group of monks who reinvent electricity.

    Have a look at the "After the End" page at, there's heaps there, too.


  6. I'm going to start trying to track down those novels.