My wife’s a zombie but it’s ok I’m positive
It’s hard to make an apocalyptic film that is really all that positive. With a few exceptions of comedies that have been produced more recently, apocalyptic films remain pretty grim. No one has yet to pull off the romantic, happy, thoughtful apocalypse film, a film that would likely be hard to accomplish. For the most part apocalyptic films show us the very darkest of mankind. When, as preppers like to call it “shit hits the fan” society tends to lose all sense of sanity. When the fear of punishment is removed the worse of people is revealed. Immorality is abundant in every film with murder, looting, and alcohol use ever-present. Just as common throughout the films is the goodness of mankind present during so much evil and tragedy. A positive message that apocalyptic films try to portray is that even though the end-times bring out the worse in mankind there still remains some who remain caring and good.
Breaking the films down into the three categories of Rapture films, nuclear films, and zombie films I will highlight examples of individuals that remained as a beacon of good during very dark times. Starting with the rapture movies in Left Behind (2000) for me the reporter Buck is that hope. Failing to be raptured Buck is part of the remnant left on earth. Participating in a secret United Nations meeting with the Antichrist there himself, Buck resists the temptations of evil and does not submit to being controlled by the evil of the Antichrist. When everyone else present becomes blinded by the evils of the Antichrist the producers of the film make a point to show through Buck that good can overcome evil. In the film Final: The Rapture (2013) the person that fills the “good roll” is the football star Colin. Having lost his wife to the Rapture, and later losing his fortunes the thievish army bros Colin remains positive in a harsh world. In the final scene of the film Colin is standing in the middle of gridlocked traffic pleading for tickets out of the country so he won’t have to join the oppressive military. When given tickets and the opportunity to fulfill his wishes Colin declines the tickets and in good Christian movie form edits his tickets sign to read “Jesus loves you”. A touching conclusion to the “scariest Christian movie ever.” Being a Christian produced film it is very easy to draw elements to that focus. However, in an apocalyptic sense the scene is an excellent example of the remaining good in the world.
Out of the three different sects of apocalyptic films addressed above nuclear films are the hardest to derive any happiness out of. As a whole the three movies were very discouraging to viewers. The best example I could think of for kindness is in the film The Day After (1983) is the Dahlberg family. The Dahlberg’s are the family of farmers that willingly welcome in the hitchhiking student into their makeshift fallout shelter. The student, Stephen returns the kind favor by taking the Dahlberg’s newly blind son and ailing daughter to the closest hospital in Lawrence. Neither gets any better and Stephen himself becomes sick from radiation poisoning. In a world where there is little food and clean water and looters are executed by the National Guard a stranger going out of his way for people he doesn’t know is welcoming and encouraging. There aren’t many positives that can be drawn from Threads (1984). That movie freaked me out.
Zombie films provide the most hope and the greatest examples of good human nature outlasting the evils of the end-times. Zombie movies commonly end with a positive vibe and with the impending future appearing brighter. The most clear cut example of caring in any of the movies watch would have to be Jim in the film 28 Days Later (2002). Towards the end of the film it becomes clear that the intentions of the military group are harmful. The commander promises his men that the broadcast will bring them women so they can repopulate. Jim not being female is expendable and taken away to be executed. Jim of course heroically escapes and returns to rescue the two girls. During the rescue Jim does kill a lot of men, including a brutal eye gouging, however; he remains above the immoral soldiers. Jim is portrayed as the hero because of his good natured and caring sacrifice to save the women from what he knows is wrong. It doesn’t hurt that Jim wins the girl over in the end but in my opinion it is a worthy reward. In the less than fulfilling film World War Z (2013) compared to the excellent book, Gerry (a completely made up character) goes on a (completely non-present in the book) quest to find patient zero. In a movie where there’s no real villain, minus zombies of course, Gerry still stands out. A loving father and husband Gerry adopts a boy and continually risks his life for all of mankind. The film concludes on a very positive note with the remaining world’s populous now safe thanks to Gerry.
Apocalyptic films are produced entirely to entertain an audience about the horrors that would come from any end-time scenario. Still in many of the films positivity remains during the hardest of times. A positive message that apocalyptic films try to portray is that even though the end-times bring out the worse in mankind there still remains some who remain caring and good.