Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Forty years ago today, Apocalypse Now was released. As they say, it was kind of a big deal at the time, and actually it still is. Unlike some other movies about Vietnam released soon after the war, Apocalypse Now still largely stands up, unlike, say, The Deer Hunter, which is damn near unwatchable today. I know. I tried. Even Christopher Walken can't make two hours in rural Pennsylvania exciting.
Apocalypse Now might be the first example of people in the military turning a movie meant to highlight the horrors of war into a motivational video about killing the enemy.
Francis Ford Coppola has given game developers the greenlight to turn his acclaimed 1979 war film, “Apocalypse Now,” into a videogame. And not just any first-person shooter either — “a psychedelic survival horror” game, as executive producer Lawrence Liberty told Ars Technica.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw “Apocalypse Now.” Captivated, I stared at the screen for the 196-minute runtime as Willard journeyed upriver in the midst of the Vietnam War to assassinate the general-turned-rogue-demigod Colonel Kurtz. Afterward, I felt disgusted, exhausted, relieved, and forever altered in my way of thinking about war.
Your primary weapon is down, and you only have one magazine left for your pistol. You’re outnumbered, outgunned, and separated from your unit. The enemy is closing in, and you know you’re not going to make it out of this one.