’80s Apocalypse … What’s next?

Being a child of the ’80s, I only came to many of the doom-and-gloom kind of post-apocalyptic film visions of the future when I was older. More now than ever since my husband seems to have fond memories of them (yes, I think he watched lots of things he shouldn’t have as a kid).EBheader4

Anyway, as we watched “The Running Man” last night, it occurred to me how in many ways, this was a similar vision to the more current “Hunger Games” series (though that one had more emotional impact pitting innocent children against each other instead of criminals). Then I started thinking about movies like “Robocop” and a personal favorite, “Escape from New York” and “Escape from LA”. Even the “Police Academy” movies, while not apocalyptic, share the same rather grim vision. Most of them, even “Terminator,” used dates we either near or have surpassed.

All of these movies show a future rampant with crime, corruption on personal and political levels, and usually depict a society where everyday citizens are subject to the whims of a manipulative, all-powerful, all-controlling government. My husband suggests that crime really was on the rise in the ’80s, leading fiction writers to suppose things could only get worse. Perhaps combined with citizen apathy and perceived powerlessness, vapid entertainment is the only freedom available (as in “Running Man”).

Fast forward to current apocalyptic / dystopian visions, as with the “Hunger Games” trilogy and television shows like “Revolution.” Instead of crime being the major culprit and fear-monger, technology becomes the villain: a potential source of downfall and salvation. Interesting too how as we live through another economic turn-down, apocalyptic visions rear their heads.

So where does that lead us next? Will the next down-turn again show technology as humanities downfall, or will it be some new and drastic fear that will inspire movie makers and fiction writers? Environmental and prophecy fears as in “2012”?

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. Have a great week! 🙂

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