Today I'm sharing my thoughts on a great sci-fi anthology film from Korea that you should really see if you're tired of cliches and regurgitated ideas in American science fiction movies.
(I am. Sometimes.)
*(They don't actually say that in Korea yet, but we're working on it.)
I just watched this the other day because it kept popping up in the scifi/fantasy category of Netflix, and the poster (above) looked pretty interesting to me. The Doomsday Book (or, A Record of the Destruction of Mankind) is a Korean film directed by Kim Jee-woon and Yim Pil-sung. It's an anthology film, so it is made up of three short films strung together. I wanted to recommend the movie because I really enjoyed its fresh takes on some established speculative ideas.
The first film is a zombie apocalypse that revolves around an unpopular lab tech who gets left home by his family when they go on a vacation trip. The zombie virus gets spread via the garbage system after he takes the trash out (we never get a clue as to how the virus came about in the first place), where the infected trash is transformed into cattle feed. There's a great montage of people eating beef (and getting infected) that really struck me.
The third film is a meteor collision story with a twist: the meteor in question is actually a cosmic eight-ball that the protagonist, a little girl, ordered online via some sort of interstellar delivery service...
To me, the joy of The Doomsday Book was not its total uniqueness; besides, there have been a bazillion stories about zombie apocalypses, awakening robots, and deadly meteors. But it's when the tropes with which we're familiar are shifted and changed to highlight entirely different possibilities or issues that we can achieve some really unique stuff.
Keyword here is issues. Genre fiction is not only about entertainment; as I've said before, whatever we write is essentially an argument that relates to the world we live in--may as well make the most of it!
Consider it a challenge to you who write. Take a trope you love and turn it in a different direction. What happens?
Then go deeper.
Jedd Cole is a professional writer and author of short speculative fiction. He resides in Ohio where he is completing a degree in Rhetoric & Professional Writing, crafting short stories in every time-nook he can find, all while frequenting the pages of imaginary worlds with his wonderful wife, Heather, and no pets. None.