BOOK REVIEW: World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies

In Movies, Random Rants by Bub Smith2 Comments

When I was a kid I was scared to death of two things: running the mile on Fridays during gym class (I was chubby and had asthma!) and nuclear warfare that would result in me living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The idea having all the modern comforts my pampered ass had grown accustomed to being ripped away from my non-callused hands and being forced  to scavenge for food, while battling mutant cannibals who want to violate me before eating me alive scared the living hell out of me! Years of therapy have since help me realize that my fear of a bleak and depressing future is wildly unwarranted and silly. We are still working on running that mile… From this fear grew a love for post apocalyptic movies. I always fancied myself a bit of an expert in the field of “world turned to shit” movies and felt I had seen pretty much all of them. Then David J. Moore’s World Gone Wild landed at my front door and I learned that the years spent not running and trying to extinguish my burning fear of a Mad Max world by watching endless amounts of these films had barely cracked the surface. Moore has compiled just about every post-apocalyptic film made (up to 2013-14) and has left no stone unturned in his search for them.

I generally write these types of movie reference books off. If you are like me (a movie fanatic) you have received your fair share of them as gifts from relatives because you’re the weird one in the family and God bless ’em their just trying to connect with you. Books with titles like “Horror Encyclopedia” or “150 Greatest Horror Films”  or something along those lines. These books are generally cheap paper backs and are little more than a list of films with nothing but a quick synopsis to follow (often littered with misinformation). With World Gone Wild we get exactly the opposite of these bargain bin books ( you know the bin that the store keeps outside of the store. It’s filled with merchandise the store is begging to be stolen, but never is. Says a lot about that “merchandise”…). WGW comes in a beautiful hardcover with eye-catching cover featuring a chrome font title in front an orange mushroom cloud (speaking as a collector this book looks perfect on my shelf next to my movies). I can’t stand cheap binding (especially when dropping $$$), but WGW is all top-notch. Even if the content of the WGW was crap just the cover alone is worth the cover price. As we all know you should never judge a book by its cover and with WGW the content blows the cover out of the water. It’s that feakin’ good!

I am the first to admit that I can be, from time to time, a bit of a fanboy and act like I know more than most about movies, comic books and such. It’s not a quality I am proud of, but the first step on the road to recovery is self-awareness and after diving into World Gone Wild I am now humbled. Word has that David J. Moore spent eight years prepping this book. That’s 2920 days of watching, researching, reading and talking about post apocalyptic movies! With 800+ reviews, and interviews with directors, writers and actors  (John Hillcoat, Stuart Gordon, Paul W.S. Anderson, Fred Williams and ton others) featured in the films is damn impressive just the sheer volume of it. What really impresses is the depth and detail Moore takes with each review. It’s not just a quick rehash of the film, but his personal take on each flick here. You can tell time was spent with each movie and Moore is offering up his true and honest opinion of the movie. The man loves and respects this sub-genre and it’s never as clear than with his interview. Insightful and intriguing questions that are much more than the standard fare and offer a whole new level to these movies. Moore treats this genre with the love and respect wine enthusiast treat fermented grapes. Some are better than others, but all have his respect and devotion.

World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies is a must own for fans of the sub-genre. Collecting (what I imagine is) every post-apocalyptic movie into one beautiful edition. Not only has Moore schooled me on total movie knowledge he has also opened my eyes to the awesome world that is the reference book. Who knows what else I have misjudged so blindly!?! Maybe I should give anchovies on pizza a second chance? Or broaden my horizons and actually try running that mile I was so scared of in elementary school? Wow, not only did I learn something from WGW, but I feel I am better person now! Thanks David J. Moore!

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