We have been rapidly approaching what various loonies and zealots are calling ‘the end times’ for some time now and the evidence of this anxiety is obvious in our cultural obsessions.
During the fifties, the Cold War made the idea of alien invasion so much more appealing than it might have been otherwise. People became paranoid about little green men and their threat to our North American way of life because it was simply easier than having long talks about the cultural implications of communism.
The same can be said for the sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies. People chose to be entertained by slasher films and images of pre-pubescent girls vomiting pea soup and levitating off their beds, arguably as a direct response to the changing roles and shifting power structures of that time.
So what about today? How is our semi-belief in the end of the world this December reflecting in our entertainment choices?
Zombie Apocalypse anyone?
It’s the perfect expression of our anxiety, if you really take the time to examine it. Generally thought of as a ‘virus’ of some sort, it feeds into our fear of anti-biotic resistant bacteria and the seemingly endless reminders that we are over due for a pandemic. Zombies are hollow shells, inhuman, animalistic and with an overwhelming desire to kill and feed. For a culture so obsessed with image, it only makes sense that the most terrifying thing we could imagine is being terrifically ugly and gasp, unable to use our cell phones or Ipads.
I have to admit I got caught up in the obsession recently when I played a new platform game called ‘Deadlight’ on our Xbox. In it, you are a hapless survivor of the zombie apocalypse, who must make his way through various complex and puzzling levels while avoiding the stumble-bum zombies that seem to spawn from nowhere. It’s an absolutely beautiful game. The environments are masterfully crafted and colored with all the moodiness one would expect from a zombie survival game. It requires the players to do a bit of physics based problem solving as well in that you can ‘herd’ the undead by whistling and taunting and then use their bodies and the environment to help maneuver yourself to safety.
I suppose what I love the most about ‘Deadlight’ is how they’ve taken the side-scrolling platform that many people who were raised on games are familiar with and somehow ramped it up to make it modern and immersive. Even though you can’t navigate through every nook and cranny like you can in most games, it’s almost comforting to know that all you have to do is keep going left and you’ll find yourself safe sooner or later. Imagine Donkey Kong with incredible visuals and zombies rather than barrels and you’ll have a fairly accurate idea of what the game entails.
If December starts to approach and you find yourself with an overwhelming desire to stockpile water and various magical items to protect you and yours from the slobbering hoard, you may be the ideal candidate for a little gaming stress release. It may be just the practice you need to prepare yourself for that glorious rapture when you get to peg off the zombie version of your disruptive neighbors from the roof of your apartment…
Fresh off our invasion of Earth Station One – we’re back on the underwater continent with prisoners! Mike Faber, creator of Earth Station One, joins us for an interview during our Transmissions Received segment. We also review Disney/Pixar’s new hit animated movie, Brave.
Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan has reached 30 years. We talk about our favorite moments in Khan and discuss the original crew movie franchise in general.
We do an autopsy on Sanctuary, we put Eureka in hospice and we lament the decline of Sci-Fi Channel since it became SYFY.
We asked the questions – Why did John Carter fail and Why do you hate Walking Dead’s little Huck Finn, Carl?
News of the weird gives us another example of the oncoming Zombie Apocalypse while letting you know that we may also have an Alien and Vampire Apocalypses as well!
More after the jump!
Before we get to far into, though – we ask for your help in support of our artist Ray Dillon and his lovely wife Renae. Renae is very ill, has been in the hospital for a while and as starving artists – they do not have any health insurance.
If you’re willing to donate financially or send a card in for Renae – here’s where it needs to go: http://raydillon.blogspot.com/2012/06/my-wife-renae-de-liz-is-going-to-be.html
Okay, now that the sad news is out of the way – let’s talk the fun stuff!
In our new segment – News of the Weird – we’re going to tackle about the Baltic Sea UFO (USO?) and the oncoming zombie apocalypse.
In Rita’s Reading Review, the lovely Rita will be giving you the low down on Rick Riordan’s latest stuff as well as some interesting news on Game Thrones/Song of Fire and Ice creator George R.R. Martin.
In our third new segment – Transmissions Received – we interview South African film maker and actor Curtis Ryan Woodside.
Since we mentioned Game of Thrones, we’ll talk about the Bush head controversy, Rita will tell you why she hates Dark Knight and isn’t looking forward to Dark Knight Rises. In our Doctor Who segment, we’ll give you the 411 on which Sherlock star wants to succeed Matt Smith as the 12th Doctor, we’ll give you some juicy morsels of information on the new companion, Clara, we’ll let you know which Classic Who baddie will be making a return to the small screen in the series and Rita will tell you about our TARDIS horror story.
If all that isn’t enough - we have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sanctuary, Eureka, Warehouse 13 and our review of True Blood Season 5, Episode 2!
Whoo! Get in here and listen – you know you want to!