Malthusian Horrors: The Dying Futures of ‘No Blade of Grass’ and ‘Z.P.G.’

By Michael Grasso

At the beginning of the 1970s, a sense that techno-industrial man’s ongoing destruction of the environment would ultimately lead to global doom was widespread in the West. Married to these concerns was a parallel worry about the exponential impact of a population explosion due to these same 20th-century agricultural, medical, and scientific advancements…

Home of the Grave: Rene Daalder’s ‘Population: 1’

By Eve Tushnet

“It is my dubious privilege to confirm the fact that man never invented anything that he didn’t eventually put to use.” That’s how Tomata du Plenty (played by the punk singer of the same name) describes the nuclear apocalypse that has left him the eponymous sole survivor in Dutch writer-director Rene Daalder’s 1986 film Population: 1, and in the scrawny, wiry actor’s voice there’s as much delectation as warning…

“A Matter of Good Breeding”: The Shape-Shifting Elite in Brian Yuzna’s ‘Society’

By Noah Berlatsky

The elite is an amorphous clotted blob of parasitic greed and hate. Its tendrils extend with slimy stealth into every orifice of society—which makes its precise outlines difficult to see. Are the elite contemptuous coastal liberals and academics? Are they hedge fund managers and tech billionaires? Are they infiltrating globalists or capitalist pigs? Are they your bosses? Or are they your neighbors sneering at your MCU films and your fast food diet?

Tubular Terrors: ‘The Night Stalker’

By Michael Grasso

Like many folks my age, I first encountered crusading news photographer Carl Kolchak (played by the imminently charismatic and recognizable Darren McGavin) thanks to The X-Files creator Chris Carter’s repeated praise of the character as one of the biggest influences on his creation of Mulder and Scully…