Since everyone figured the world would end in 2012, what did writers and directors care if their 2019 predictions were incorrect? Clearly, the logic was this: if everyone’s dead in the Mayan apocalypse, no one can tell us that vampires DON’T farm humans for blood in the year 2019.
However, now that we’re in 2019, we can definitively say there’s been a delightful lack of blood farming, but that doesn’t actually mean this year won’t be apocalyptic. (After all, there was also no blood farming in 2018, which is about the only good thing we can say for it.) These four futuristic worlds got a lot wrong about 2019—that is, unless some serious shit goes down:
Katsuhiro Otomo‘s 1982 manga Akira, as well as its groundbreaking 1988 adaptation, depicts a colorful yet violent futuristic Tokyo in the distant aftermath of nuclear conflict. Set in 2019, the city has recovered mostly in the sense that everyone isn’t dead of radiation poisoning. The government is deeply corrupt, and gang violence prevails. While of course the world is substantially more violent, this isn’t true of Japan-Japan actually has fewer violent crimes in modern times than it did in the 80s. Given that the nation typically has fewer than ten gun deaths per year and one of the lowest murder rates in the entire world, this vision of the future has not yet come to pass. While the lack of aggressive Japanese biker gangs is probably a good thing… we’re a little disappointed there’s no telekinesis.
2. The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys & Danger Days
Image Via Darkhorsecomics.com
Killjoys, make some noise—even if the noise is distressed yelling. My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way‘s comic series, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, tells the story of the concept album Danger Days. Set in the California desert, a ragtag group of rebels tries to stop a totalitarian corporation… and fails? As Better Life Industries exerts increasing control over peoples’ lives, the rebellion simmers into nothing in the desert heat, and only the most mysterious surviving Killjoy can do something about it. The album takes place in 2019, while the comics take place a short while later. This is the most realistic of the dystopian futures—evil corporations aren’t exactly a stretch. But even the more futuristic elements—think laser guns and robot prostitutes—are less wild than you think. In 2018, China declared that it had invented an actual laser gun, though it’s uncertain whether or not this is true. And a sex robot brothel has actually already opened, though it was closed down two weeks afterwards.
3. The Island & Spares
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Michael Bay‘s 2005 movie The Island, believed to be loosely based on the M. M. Smith novel Spares, features a world that seems too contaminated to inhabit. Survivors of an unnamed disaster live in a grim compound, knowing they may never see the outside world. They have only one chance at freedom—a lottery which sends the winners to survive on the island. Does this premise sound flimsy? That’s because it is. An evil corporation has lied about the contamination in order to farm the survivors’ organs. And they’re not survivors either-instead, they’re generations of clones born to be harvested. While evil corporations really are behind pretty much everything, they haven’t grown thousands of clones to force into pregnancy for them… yet.
4. Blade Runner & Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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Ridley Scott‘s 1982 film Blade Runner, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick‘s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is famously set in 2019—so famously, in fact, that My Chemical Romance set Danger Days in the same year as a reference. In futuristic Los Angeles, mercenaries hunt and kill bioengineered beings called ‘replicants,’ some of whom believe themselves to be human. The city is devoid of nature, with artificial animals standing in for their extinct predecessors. While there’s no direct discussion of environmental destruction, the complete absence of nature is more subtly chilling. The world is subject to heavy corporate influence and an invasive, omnipresent police force—details which seem more relevant to 2019 than robot murder and animatronic squirrels. (Just kidding; robots will probably become human soon.)
And though it isn’t based on a book, the movie Daybreakers is also set in the year 2019. After vampires take over the government, a blood scientist discovers that… surprise! Blood comes from harvested humans who live in a horrible factory compound and have their organs stolen. Let’s not make 2019 the year of organ harvesting if we can help it.
Featured Image Via Akira