In response to “Capes, Cops and Cowboys”: With all due respect to Colin Geddes, I believe he missed the point. It’s true that these particular genres of movies always have followings, the real area of interest are their sudden, and often unexpected resurgences.
Despite what he said, horror movies are not always popular. What’s the last ‘big’ horror movie you can remember that wasn’t a sequel? Saw? The Hills Have Eyes? How many years ago was that?
The true reason we always have horror movies is because they’re relatively cheap to make. All you need is a little fake blood, two attractive actors and a lot of guns filled with blanks, and you’ve got a movie. The same goes for comedies, chick flicks, and family films. For those, all you really need are actors and locations. Even if it bombs, who cares? With DVD sales, you’ll almost certainly make back your investment. On the other hand, high budget action movies, filled with special effects, CGI and massive explosions have all but disappeared from the market.
‘Fad’ movies come and go because of a simple pattern: success, over-investment, and failure. When Hollywood hits it big with a particular genre of movie, investors race in to follow in the heels of the original movie’s success, and then they either invest heavily in an inferior movie, or audiences simply burn out from exposure to the genre.
Iron Man hit it big because it was genuinely entertaining, well written, included talented actors, and appealed to nearly everyone. The fact it was a super-hero movie is more or less irrelevant.
– Robert Freeman
In response to “One Must Live Through It” from The Escapist Forum: Enjoyable read Russ, I enjoy my post apocalyptic fiction too.
And I have printed out plans of how to construct a variety of nuclear fallout shelters, and working in the nuclear industry I’m well versed in the effect’s and methods of dealing with radiation and contamination . If I have enough time, if the escalation to war isn’t too fast, I’ll be stomping about the wastelands handing out my own ideas of justice at the end of my 12 bore. I blame watching Mad Max, reading the Omega man and too much Fallout, damn media warping my mind when i was younger.
Interesting piece…thank God for that opium in the vaults.
I wonder how Christians who believe in ‘The Rapture’ fit in with all this? That always seemed like an escapist philosophy to me. It’s easier to believe all my problems will go away, bad people will be punished, and I’ll get beamed up to heaven. It’s funner to think that in just a few months, all this will be over and I’m going to make it.
People who worship the end, rather than the beginning, disturb the hell out of me.
– L.B. Jeffries
In response to “Identity of a Decade” from The Escapist Forum: I’m sorry, but I’m forced to disagree with this. Obviously we aren’t really looking at the 00’s retrospectively, because we’re living in them. But there will be plenty of opportunities for the children of people who are teenagers now to look back and facepalm at us. You could point to the Travolta collars, afros and tight pants of the 70s and 80s, but you could just as well point to the upturned polo shirt collars, emo fringes and… erm, tight pants of today as objects of deserving ridicule. Our 40-year old selves will look back and shake their heads at the age of Big Brother and American Idol, at the everyone-has-one-then-it’s-dead-in-two-years fads of MySpace and Facebook, and at the way we thought a War on Terrorism could possibly be a winnable thing without changing the definition of ‘terrorism’.
Trust me. We will have plenty of things from this decade to wonder why anyone thought it was a good idea in 2030.
I think a major defining characteristic of the decade, ignored by the article, is the emergence of the niche. Information is so readily available and in such abundance that people can be highly specialized in their leisure interests and find communities to support their interests. The emergence of all these niche interests has increased the breadth of pop culture exponentially. In doing so it has also served to create a culture where it’s possible to relate to one another through the referencing of pop culture artifacts alone.
In response to “You Are What Eats You” from The Escapist Forum: No no no no no!
Zombies are *not* “just sick people after all”. Falling into this way of thinking ruins most zombie films for you (although Dawn of the Dead could be used as a counterargument).
The point of zombies is that they are irredeemably no longer human. Their humanity and consciousness has gone, and it can’t be cured. “Shoot it! That’s not your husband any more”. That makes zombies the ultimate excuse for morally acceptable indiscriminate slaughter of humanoids.
In the cheap Irish Samantha Mumba vehicle ‘Boy Eats Girl’ (spoilers ahoy!), they discover a cure towards the end of the film. Oh. That means the zombie hordes you tore to pieces with a hedge trimmer were your friends after all. Why are you smiling like it’s a happy ending.
For zombies to work as entertainment, they have to be considered incurable.
It’s interesting to try and understand the set of circumstances that have brought zombie lore to the peak of social consciousness. I think it’s some combination of factors: the continued fascination with the supernatural, but simultaneously the idea that scienfitic hubris may have contributed to an epidemic that strips us of our very humanity. Survival of the zombie apocalypse is both a physical and mental exercise, and the fight against them is really a fight against an enemy that is relentless, untiring, and devoid of personality. In some ways, it’s the individual struggle against the masses.
Plus, when it comes to using zombies as enemies in games, the AI is pretty simple, and the undead don’t sue for defamation.
– Alan Au