Panic in the Year Zero: Movie Review by Mom with a Prep
Made in 1962 during the height of the Cold War/Bomb scare, this movie is about a family having gone on vacation and missed the attack on LA – and learning to survive in a civilization gone mad (as mad as a 1962 semi-mainstream movie for white middle-class folks is allowed to be).
The Baldwins leave their “Leave it to Beaver” life to head on a camping vacation. Sometimes after hitting the mountains, they see that Los Angeles has been attacked by a nuclear bomb, and just refuse to believe it and head back to LA (really.) After seeing how civilization is already unraveling within the first 2 hrs of the attack, Harry Baldwin decides to continue to his destination with his family to the camping grounds where they could hide out until it was safe to return.
The irony, of course, is that Harry Baldwin also becomes less civilized in the process.
So we watch while Mr. Cleaver becomes the alpha male for his family and the women are weak, simpering fools, which you have to take with a grain of salt because of the way films were made at the time (not that you have to like it, just have to recognize it). We run into several scenarios of post-society breakdown, including Frankie Avalon using a shotgun to shoot a thug (that’s got to be post-apocalyptic enough for ya, right?), and an insanely choreographed modern dance scene meant to imply rape to a roaming band of thugs (3) traumatizing the countryside.
And in the end, thank goodness that the military saved us. (folks, you’re going to be put in an internment camp for the foreseeable future, and the military is who started it all in the first place! )
I don’t know why I’m being so hard on the film because I actually was impressed by aspects of it – good forethought of stuff to grab at the last minute, getting family to safety, choice of where to hide out, etc.) For being a sci-fi b-movie from the early 60s that didn’t involve men in big monkey suits, it wasn’t bad!
Katy Willis is a writer, lifelong homesteader, and master herbalist, master gardener, and canine nutritionist. Katy is a preparedness expert and modern homesteader practicing everyday preparedness, sustainability, and a holistic lifestyle.
She knows how important it is to be prepared for whatever life throws at you, because you just never know what's coming. And preparedness helps you give your family the best chance to thrive in any situation.
Katy is passionate about living naturally, growing food, keeping livestock, foraging, and making and using herbal remedies. Katy is an experienced herbalist and a member of the CMA (Complementary Medical Association).
Her preparedness skills go beyond just being "ready", she's ready to survive the initial disaster, and thrive afterward, too. She grows 100% organic food on roughly 15 acres and raises goats, chickens, and ducks. She also lovingly tends her orchard, where she grows many different fruit trees. And, because she likes to know exactly what she's feeding her family, she's a seasoned from-scratch cook and gluten-free baker.
Katy teaches foraging and environmental education classes, too, including self-sufficient living, modern homesteading, seed saving, and organic vegetable gardening.
Katy helps others learn forgotten skills, including basic survival skills and self-reliance.
She's been published on sites such as MSN, Angi, Home Advisor, Family Handyman, Wealth of Geeks, Readers Digest, and more.