Science Fiction That Isn't Science Fiction (3)
This apocalypse is the subject of Victorian painter John Martin’s ‘The Great Day of His Wrath’ (above); this, and other huge, sensationalist canvases, were allegedly inspired by commercial dioramas animated by use of artificial lighting - precursors of present-day blockbuster movies. While Martin’s themes were biblical, most of the apocalypses in Hollywood movies are secular,with nuclear war, asteroids, or Arnold Swarzenegger as substitutes for God’s wrath. But an outfit outside the Hollywood machine, Cloud Ten Pictures, has been making movies for a Christian audience that deploy the tropes of premillennialism with deadly seriousness. They’ve produced a trilogy based on the bestselling Left Behind series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, a literal portrayal of the End Times of the premillennialists, as well as several thrillers that share the same post-Rapture setting, as well as the same villain, UN President Nicolae Carpathia, aka the AntiChrist (played by Gordon Currie - what must his fan mail be like?): Revelation, Apocalypse, and Tribulation (starring Gary Busey and featuring Margot Kidder and Mr T as, er, Mr T).
They look like science fiction, or science thrillers, but they aren't. As far as the people who made them and their intended audience are concerned, they embody a literal truth.