This week, Zach explores the Heart of Darkness in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 masterpiece, Apocalypse Now.

During the U.S.-Viet Nam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. April 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm — Reply

    Something to give perspective to the viewpoint of Apocalypse Now as a pro-war movie, check out the movie Jarhead. It depicts a scene in the lead-up to the first Iraq war where the marines are shown Apocalypse Now, specifically the helicopter scene where they are mowing down people… and cheering wildly.

    It’s a powerful scene.

    • April 11, 2014 at 8:33 pm — Reply

      That’s kind of the point I was trying to make with my theory at the beginning of the show. Jarhead is based on a true story.

      • gary
        April 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm — Reply

        Key word “based” ;-)

  2. gary
    April 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm — Reply

    Stephen, I grew up in a military town (actually tried to join, but couldn’t for health reasons), and I don’t think your theory carries much weight. The problem with it is that the vast vast vast majority of military people do not join because they want to see war. It’s extremely rare. Most of them want to join to have a semi-guaranteed job, have access to higher education that they might not have access to otherwise, or because of family tradition type reasons. They just don’t join because they want to hurt people. The horror of war isn’t psychopaths joining so they can kill people. The horror of war is normal people thrust into horrible situations and reacting by doing horrible things to other people. That said, it’s not an excuse for the atrocities. The atrocities are atrocious regardless of the reason for them. But, I think it’s a mistake to assume they are crazy for merely being there.

    I think Zach hit it on the head towards the end as it showing how people in wars are put in these terrible places and breaking down. You talked about how the people on the boat broke down over time. THat’s the key, they weren’t, for the most part, crazy psychopaths bent on doing craziness. It was the situation that drove them to that.

  3. April 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm — Reply

    I was extremely disappointed than no one brought up the Eek! The Cat episode where they redid Apocalypse Now. It was one of the greatest bits of Saturday morning cartoons I had ever seen in my entire life.

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