I often think the quality of genre specific books can be judged by the universality of their appeal. If a person who isn’t especially well versed or even that interested in the subject matter can pick it up and enjoy a something that’s essentially written for diehard fans, then I kind of feel like you’ve got a winner on your hands. World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies is a perfect example of this sort of success.
Clearly this book is most suited to serious fans of end-of-the-world movies, but if you like movies at all, you will most likely be sucked in by the reviews, interviews, and recommendations within these pages. Appropriately, the author rates the films against others in the genre, so we’re not in the awkward position of pitting, say, Night of the Living Dead against Citizen Kane. In fact, it employs its own rating system and covers a broad range of movies (mainstream, low budget, foreign, underground, anime), including a number of titles you may not have immediately identified as post-apocalyptic (the film version of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, for instance). In addition to indices covering the reviews and interviews, the book also includes a section listing films by sub-genre (movies about plagues, zombies, natural phenomena, comedies, spin-offs, etc.).
All in all World Gone Wild serves as a thorough guide to end-of-the-world movies, revealing a breadth to the genre that many of us may not have realized existed. Though there are some odd moments where the author interjects personal opinions about the imminence of the rapture, they don’t detract from a very entertaining and well researched tome that will liven up any movie lover’s coffee table.