A recent internet discussion of which I was part brought up the subject of the end of the world, and wondered why so many movies were using it as a storytelling piece.  “We never had the end of the world in our movies before!” scoffed my friend, to which I began listing movies over the past 40 years that did include (obviously or implicitly) literal Armageddon, from ‘Doctor Strangelove’ through ‘The Kentucky Fried Movie’ all the way to that early 80s pop culture touchstone, ‘Ghostbusters.’  Not only does that movie deal with the potential end of the world, but unusually delves into Biblical quotations, as well as some of the most entertaining deadpan snarking of all time from the legendary Doctor Peter Venkman.  If you pretend for a moment that I don’t know anything about metallurgy, engineering or physics and just tell me what the hell is going on, with today’s query as inspiration…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) reminds you that, if we say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area; based on this morning’s reading, it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds, asking: What’s *YOUR* favorite fictional apocalypse?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

12 Comments

  1. Considering “Ghostbusters” is one of my favorite movies and favorite settings of all-time, I think that it ranks high on my list. Not sure if it is my top favorite, but it is up there to a point where anytime my goddaughter goes away on a trip, one of my rules aside from “Call your mom when you get there” and “Be careful” is “If someone asks if you are a god, you say YES”. Hey, it is good advice!

    Does “Shaun of the Dead” count for a zombie apocalypse?

  2. Don’t forget “When Worlds Collide” from back in 1951, a brilliant classic scifi film that tried hard to get the science right and didn’t do too bad (if we assume that a free floating planet can be habitable). Giant twinkies are pretty cool but they have trouble comparing to a collision between planets.

  3. The end of the world has been Critical Hit’s driving plot for three seasons now and I’ve been a fan for quite a while. (Enough of one to hand out thumb drives with the first couple of episodes on them to other people to get them hooked.)

    There are a lot of other great settings that I like as well, like the aforementioned Ghostbusters, but I still give my nod to Critical Hit as my favorite for the sheer quantity of the story. It’s quality entertainment I get to listen to every week and has as such become part of my routine.

  4. Oldcomicfan (or should I change it to Comicfan1956?) on

    That would be Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Songs of Distant Earth”. In this story, the sun has expanded and engulfed the earth, and the residents on a utopian lost earth colony are surprised one day when a sub-light sleeper ship carrying the last survivors of earth parks in orbit above their planet for the purpose of restoring their ship’s ice shield. The resulting class of two cultures is an excellent read! Not only that, but the colonists have a unique political system that I wish we could implement here. The president is chosen by lottery – the loser has to serve – with the proviso that anybody who actually wants the job is automatically disqualified on grounds of mental defect.

  5. I’m going with the modern imagining of Battlestar Galactica. I’m also going to put my neck out and say that I enjoyed the re-birth/origins of Man-kind ending.

  6. Titan A.E. while in many ways a pretty poor movie does start with a pretty spectacular scene of total global anilahtion.

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