A holiday guide to movie dystopias
‘Going anywhere nice this summer, sir?’ To celebrate the release of Pixar’s sublime post-apocalyptic robo-romance ‘Wall-E’, Time Out offers a tour guide of the best future worlds in film
The Canyon from 'Slipstream' (1989)
Places of interest: Why not just hop in your glider and let the wind – the excoriating, planet ravaging wind – carry you where it will? To the rocky slopes and bustling Bartertowns of a future Yorkshire? To a hippie community in the Turkish desert? To the painted walls of The Canyon itself, in all its murky matte-backdrop glory? Just raise your flaps and let the current take you…
Preparing for your trip: Flying goggles a must.
Food and shopping: Tricky. A nice line in retrofitted pre-apocalyptic junk, but not a lot else in the shops this time of year. If cash-strapped, a sideline in bounty hunting provides both fun and profit.
Local colour: Overwhelmingly brown.
Houston from 'Rollerball' (1975)
The Zone from 'Hardware' (1990)
Food and shopping: Enjoy a wide variety of dwarf-owned junkshops selling everything from car parts to indestructible hallucinogenic killer battledroids.
Local colour: Share popcorn and surf hardcore with local sex fiend and budding songwriter William Hootkins, or drop a tab of acid and go alligator with John Lynch. But whatever you do, be sure to take your portable Geiger counter along…
Topeka from 'A Boy and His Dog' (1975)
Preparing for your trip: Travelling light is a must, so ditch that moral compass. There’ll be very little along the way that doesn’t involve death, rape, humiliation or the degraded state of humankind. Some barbecue sauce might come in handy.
Food and shopping: Expect to spend all your time scavenging for generic meat products and trying to avoid the unwelcome affections of burly face-aches intent on making sweet love the way only a survivalist can.
Local colour: Telepathic dogs. But go with it, it works.
The studio backlot from 'Demolition Man' (1993)
Preparing for your trip: Blowing up an orphanage and being sentenced to a term frozen in stasis is the usual preparation. But don’t forget to wrap up warm!
Food and shopping: Diet largely consists of knuckle sandwiches. In a world devoid of conventional weaponry, visitors tend to end up whaling on each other with all manner of ingenious clobbering devices including parking meters, deck chairs and spatulas.
Local colour: The aforementioned Leary can always be relied on to turn the air blue with one of his indignant rants on such finger-on-the-pulse issues as Teddy Kennedy being a bit chunky or how hard it is to get an honest cup of coffee these days.
Downtown LA from 'Runaway' (1984)
Preparing for your trip: Pack light. Staggering advancements in robotics have resulted in no appreciable improvement in the quality of life and this blow-dried futurama is indistinguishable from Rodeo Drive, circa 1984.
Food and shopping: Taco Bells, Wendy’s and Bob’s Big Boys are invariably staffed by unconvincing, and for some reason highly camp, android waiters*.
Local colour: At last we come to the reason why so many retro scenesters flock to this destination every year. Gene ‘KISS’ Simmons is terrorizing the city with a phalanx of motorized staplers that can only be eluded by standing on a chair. Well Mexico!*See 'Tipping' in our 'Dos and Don'ts' glossary.
Author: Adam Lee Davies, Paul E. Fairclough, Tom Huddleston
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