Warrior Week: Steph’s Top 5 Tips to Ensure That You Survive the Apocalypse and its Aftermath
by Stephanie Scaife
Okay, so let’s not get too pernickety about naming sub-genres here. There are always a lot of grumblings over what’s apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic and dystopian, however one thing is clear regardless – the world has gone to shit and you’re going to have to fight for survival and adapt to your new (and often hazardous) surroundings one way or another. If there is anything I’ve learned from the movies it’s that honing your skills and either becoming a warrior or learning adept skills of warrior evasion are what’s key, regardless of whether you’re living in the aftermath of world war three or in an alternate history dystopian New York City. So as part of Brutal As Hell’s Warrior Week I’m going to explore some of your potential choices for when that time finally comes, so pay close attention and make sure to carefully adhere to my essential survival tips.
5 – Learn to Drive and Start Stockpiling Fuel
If you want to survive in the post-apocalyptic wasteland then you’ll need to a) be able to cover as much ground as possible and b) be able to out run any pursuers. The key to this, clearly, is to be able to drive and drive well. Picking up a few tips from a mechanic could also be useful, especially when modifying your vehicle of choice. You could go for motorbikes adorned with glowing skulls, as favoured by the Bronx Warriors in the far off future of 1990 where the Bronx in NYC has been officially declared no man’s land and is ruled by The Riders, a tough motorcycle gang.
What I wouldn’t recommend however is rollerblades as a mode of transportation, as seen in Prayer of the Rollerboys, where a gang of white supremacists terrorise Corey Haim in a futuristic LA and market an addictive drug that renders non-Caucasian users infertile (and yes, this is a real film).
Now, you could also do a lot worse than the supercharged V-8 Pursuit Special that Max drives in The Road Warrior. A modified version of the car he drives in the first Mad Max with a large gas tank (useful when you never know where you next supply of gas is coming from). But as you can see in the clip below what you really want and what will give you the greatest chance of survival is a giant armoured tanker truck!
4 – Pick a Theme and a Catchy Nickname
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the potential dystopian futures it’s that creativity is never dampened by difficult living situations, it fact in many instances it seems to take precedence. Not only do we develop a greater sense of style (see number 2) but we also get pretty inventive when it comes to names and themes for our warriors. Take The Warriors for example, set in a dystopian vision of New York City where the numerous gangs rule the streets. To succeed at this you need your gang to be distinguishable, this means laying claim to a particular stake of land, a particular style must be uniformly adopted, signature weapons must be wielded and nicknames must be assigned.
Of course we have our titular anti-heroes The Warriors, who wear leather vests with The Warriors logo emblazoned on the back (a winged skull), a knife, Molotov cocktail or just plain good old fashioned fists are their weapons of choice. Their leader Swan may not have a particularly manly name if ever there was one, but I still wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him.
Then we have (my personal favourite) The Baseball Furies. The Furies never speak and clearly they’re a few bases short of a homerun, making them one of the most feared gangs in New York City. They dress in baseball uniforms, leather baseball caps and brandish uniquely painted faces and are more than a little treacherous when it comes to wielding a bat. If you’ve played the videogame then you’ll know that they are lead by a man named Cobb who wields an even deadlier dual-baseball bat that he uses to fire balls at his enemies with deadly accuracy.
The Lizzies are a kick ass all-female gang that inhabit Union Square, they like to keep their look fairly subtle so as not to draw too much attention and to enable them to lure their(predominantly) male victims to the confines of their hangout before pulling guns and knives on their unsuspecting victims. They are led by a tough broad by the name of Starr and these are some ladies that you do not want to go messing with as they are clearly able to hold their own in male dominated gang warfare.
Far less cool are the somewhat inappropriately named The Punks, dressed in dungarees and roller skates these guys really should have reconsidered when coming up with a theme. The whole inbred farmer look isn’t exactly helped by the fact that the members have names like Hog and Lumpy who like to hang around in subway bathrooms late at night.
So get your thinking cap on, round up your toughest friends and get familiar with some easily accessible weaponry, because it’s going to be a tough world out there and if you want to be a warrior you’re going to have to learn how to come out and play.
3 – Kill Kevin Costner Before it’s Too Late…
It will mean pre-empting both The Postman and Waterworld and thus ensuring that neither were prophetic, because really the world of the future would most certainly be a better place without Kevin Costner delivering mail and/or evolving to have webbed feet. I don’t know about you, but that is definitely not the post-apocalypse of my dreams. If the icebergs melt then I’m more than happy to accept Dennis Hopper as my warrior overlord. So let’s just nip this one in the bud right now shall we?
2 – Change Your Style
Jeans and a t-shirt just ain’t gonna cut it after the apocalypse. Especially if you want to be a bad ass. The general rule also appears to be the fewer the clothes the better, so prepare to do a few push-ups along with the day-to-day chore of survival…
Option A (Female)
If there was anything to learn from Doomsday (besides how not to make a movie) then it was that cleavage and face paint is paramount. You’d also better start those leather work classes now and stockpiling nail polish and eye liner if you wish to complete this look – that is unless a few Avon ladies end up getting quarantined in Scotland with you…
Option B (Female)
The Tank Girl look is far more achievable I feel; it’s definitely a more of a scavenged lets-see-what-I-find-lying-around look which will accommodate the lack of free time you’ll have whilst fighting for survival against Malcolm McDowell and Ice-T dressed as a kangaroo…
Option C (Female)
I feel that ultimately the Aunty Entity look is the perhaps best choice for all concerned. I mean just check out those chainmail suspenders! Let’s not worry about how uncomfortable it may be to be dressed entirely in chainmail in the Australian outback and instead focus on how awesome you’d look whilst hosting those gladiatorial battles in the Thunderdome arena…
Option A (Male)
Snake Plissken. Need I say anymore? I don’t think so.
Option B (Male)
Mohawk – check, feathers – check, bondage gear – check… well then, I think you’re all set to lead your warrior motorcycle gang into battle. Just don’t forget Humungus.
Option C (Male)
If I was a dude and I lived in a dystopian future over run with Exterminator warriors then I’d totally dress like this, hell even if I were a dude right now I’d totally dress like this. Seriously guys, this is clearly the way forward.
1 – Consider Becoming a Cannibal
Let’s face it, if you’re going get through the hard times ahead your morals will to have to go on standby. Indefinite standby. Your first option is what I like to call The Opportunist, which is exemplified in the only redeeming scene from the otherwise abysmal Hughes Brothers movie The Book of Eli in which Michael Gambon and Frances de la Tour play an elderly couple having survived by effectively booby trapping their house, keeping a large stash of automatic weapons to hand and pretty much just killing and eating anybody who shows up on their doorstep. Admittedly The Opportunist is a rare breed as they generally fly solo or in small groups.
This is where getting yourself into a gang becomes an option, making you The Savvy Cannibal. In John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road we have a particular breed of Savvy Cannibal – roaming the streets in gangs on armoured trucks rounding up meat, because what the Savvy Cannibal knows is that the key to success is to keep a readily available supply of fresh meat available. There’s little point in killing someone outright when you’d have no way of storing all that precious food, so instead what you do is keep your food supply alive, taking a limb here and a limb there (of course it’s important to cauterise the to avoid that Sunday roast you got planned for the next weekend bleeding out). The Savvy Cannibal also has an appreciation for tender meats, meaning that fertile woman must be impregnated to provide a constant supply of newborn meat, human veal if you will, which if the book is to be believed is best served spit roasted immediately after birth.
My personal favourite cannibal is the The Animal Lover. Imagine you live in a world where you must constantly evade gangs of marauders, warrior mutants known as Screamers, and crazy androids with only your misanthropic, telepathic dog for company, as can be seen in L.Q. Jones’ A Boy and His Dog. You finally meet the girl of your dreams (something rare in a world where women are few and far between) and she wants to take you into a city fashioned underground where everyone wears mime make-up and men are farmed for their semen in a bid to up the population. Then after escaping from the crazy underground city with your girlfriend you find your beloved dog close to starvation – what do you do? The answer of course, is what any sane person would do; you kill your girlfriend so that your dog can eat and in doing so provide my favourite ending to any film ever.
Of course if all of civilization hasn’t completely crumpled and a dystopian utopia is possible, then you might want to consider becoming The Business Cannibal and investing strongly in Soylent Green…