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Movie Marathon Idea: It’s the End of the World (As We Know It)

October 21, 2010

Have you had a tough week at work? Need a chance to escape from the daily grind?  Perhaps you just need a welcome reminder that life could be SO MUCH WORSE.  Well, that’s the subject of this week’s Movie Marathon Idea.  Break out the Dystopian wine and the Revelation cheese and crackers.  The apocalypse is nigh and no farther away than your own living room.  That’s right – It’s Post-Apocalyptic film night.

1.) Night of the Comet (1984)

 
 

Shop and Chop 'Til You Drop, Kids

 

The morning after yuppies gather en masse in L.A. to witness the Earth’s passing through the tail of a comet, two teenage sisters, Reggie and Sam, discover that all those exposed to the comet have either disintegrated into piles of red dust or turned into deranged zombies.  As Reggie and Sam search the city for other survivors, they encounter survivalists from a think tank who may be more dangerous than the zombies themselves.  Plus, there is time to loot the local mall and try on nifty 8os fashions set to a Muzak version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, which shows how much the film highlights artistry over substance.  Night of the Comet is a wry, self-aware comedic movie that holds up over time thanks to its tongue-in-cheek references and hip script.  Plus, Catherine Mary Stewart would go on to star in Weekend At Bernie’s, which means her career definitely went places as a result of this cinematic cult favorite.

2.) V for Vendetta (2006) 

 

 
 
 
 
 

He's V...and he has...a Vendetta.

 

Based on the popular and innovative graphic novel by Alan Moore, the film version takes place in a dystopian London under the thumb of a totalitarian regime dominated by powerful politicians and corrupt police officials (Norsefire).  Through the underground actions of the mysterious “V”, who wears the disguise of notorious activist/terrorist Guy Fawkes, main character Evey and the rest of the London population learn to challenge the powers that be and fight for individuality, justice and expression.  The film’s success is mostly dependent on an incredible and elusive performance by Hugo Weaving as V, a man who is both ruthless and selfless at different points in his grand plan.  Overall, despite a dubious British accent, Natalie Portman makes a believable everywoman who manages to rise above survival instincts to help her fellow man.

3.) Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

 

 
 

All Hail Tina Turner, who can rock chain mail like nobody's business.

 

A combination of both cheesy sentiment and fantastic art direction and costuming,  MMBT is a unique 80s movie that sees the future as a wasteland of man’s own failed dreams and greed.  Mel Gibson plays the titular character (this is the third film in the series) as a world-weary survivalist who manages to escape the clutches of evil Aunty Entity (Tina Turner) , a classic capitalist trying to build an economy off of  a crude methane factory and a gladiator arena in her territory known as Bartertown.  Once our anti-hero encounters a group of orphaned children who search for “Tomorrow-Morrow Land”, a world where human emotions and everyday comforts are still possible, he begins to see there is more to life than just the next meal.

 

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