“Nuclear Coleslaw” Episodes 1-4, by Last Escape Productions

I stumbled across this web series today that purports to be inspired by the Fallout franchise. There are obvious references, such as the slaves, the wasteland trader (and his dish of caps), and the reference to ghouls, but certain aspects seem completely genre-unrelated and out of place – namely, the succubus in episode 2.

The series is clearly amateur, but I admire the obvious effort and the contribution to the genre. In fact, this actually has higher production value than some of the post apoc films I’ve watched lately. My biggest complaint is the protagonist (totally unlike me, I know). The entire series seems to revolve around him getting laid (or in the case of ep 2, trying not to), and he comes off as an irrational jerk most of the time. Then again, that was Vic’s only concern, and both he and the mariner were assholes… but they somehow managed to have charisma. I guess there’s no rule that every protag has to be charismatic or competent.

Despite searching for ten minutes, I can’t seem to find any contact info for Last Escape Productions aside from messaging them via their youtube channel, and I’d rather not sign up with youtube (because I feel I shouldn’t have to in the first place) just to message them. If anyone has a web address or email for them, send it to me at thepostapoc at live.com .

Episode 1 is the best of the series, in my opinion, but gives us our first example of “the traveler” flying off the handle and killing Ma and Pa before he even fully understands the situation. A simple “So, ladies, I’d like to free you, but I need to know that you’re not worse than your captors…”, or something related, might not have been TOTALLY out of the question. I’m actually not sure if they were bad or not, but the ending certainly casts them in a sinister light. Like the traveler’s voice inflection, it is never fully explained.

Episode 2 is a waste of time, to be blunt. It has nothing to do with the overall story, and contributes nothing to the character other than contradicting his shoot-first nature that was established in episode 1. He grapples with the succubus and throws her off, then trains his revolver right on her for about TEN SECONDS and CHOOSES NOT TO SHOOT!!! FOR CHRIST’S SAKE MAN, SHE HAS FANGS AND BLEEDING EYES, what more do you want!!! The episode has nothing post apocalyptic about it, other than the traveler’s garb and the fact that he’s sitting at a campfire, but this could honestly be a scene from Burning Man (which would make the female antagonist more likely, actually).

I enjoyed episode 3. Bartering is something that fascinates me, and I love seeing it play out on screen (it was also my favorite scene in “The Book of Eli“). The trader reminds of a cross between Clint Eastwood and the father of the cannibal family in “Six String Samurai” (coincidentally, there is a damn good Clint Eastwood impersonator in that movie). Now, my problem with this episode is again the protagonist. He bought the magazine without even opening it, and once he did, he should have written it off and thought “Okay, I screwed up. Next time I’ll actually open the damn thing before I purchase it.” In fact, he should’ve learned that lesson in episode one when he paid for the prostitutes before even LOOKING at them. My mind recoils at how badly THAT one could’ve turned out… a ghoul’s gotta make a livin’ too.

Instead of realizing his mistake and learning a lesson, he decides to plug the trader and both of his guards… who had nothing to do with the trader’s slight, and were just trying to make a living.

Episode 4 is right ahead of episode 2 for me, but only slightly. Here, the traveler takes his douchitude to an all new level. He runs across a fairly clean and attractive girl eating what appears to be a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich, and attempts to strike up a conversation. We already know how devastatingly suave and tactful the traveler is, and he doesn’t disappoint here. Understandably, the lone female is suspicious and dismissive of our lip-smacking “hero”, and asks him repeatedly to leave her alone – he refuses, and she eventually resorts to threatening him.

To his credit, he actually ATTEMPTS to walk away, but can’t resist insulting her as he does so. She flips out and attacks him, and he… you guess it, kills her. I seriously hope this guy runs afoul of a super mutant when the series returns in the fall. Luckily, if you stay past the credits (which I always do) you’ll see that the trader and the lone female actually both survived, and supposedly join forces. I suspect, though, that the likelihood of Tim Pape allowing the duo to kill off the traveler is pretty low – I’ll still cross my fingers.

Tim, Matt, and the rest of Last Escape Productions – if you’re out there, contact me. I’d love to help promote the series in any way I can.

Tip of the Day: If it were pronounced “nukular“, then it wouldn’t be spelled “nuclear“.

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