Thirty Years After the Apocalypse

What is the difference between sucking and ruling? Sometimes they can be the same thing. Imagine spending a winter monoskiing around France trying to catch some snowboarder who shreds way harder than you, with way more comfortable boots. That would suck. But imagine if someone made a movie about it. That would rule.

Somehow Gandhi beat out Apocalypse Snow in the Academy Awards in 1983. But I doubt anyone at the Academy knows what it feels like to jump a train with a monoski.

This fall marks the 30-year anniversary of the film which started the rivalry between snowboarders and skiers. Born in 1983 in Les Arcs, France came the start of European snowboard films, Apocalypse Snow. It documented how snowboarding started. The whole mountain was against it, even those on the lamest foot contraptions, like snowlerblades or monoskis. This is the entire plot of the film – an army of monoskiers hunting down the snowboarder to find out “His secret of the glisse.”

Is this movie one of a kind? No. Director Alain Gaimard and writer Didier Lafond had the vision to make a trilogy of them. The action progressed to skiers in football gear riding whitewater rafts down the mountain when not participating in dog-fights on hang-gliders. The action increases as the plot decreases.


Can this movie be topped? Yes. Because as if three movies about monoskiers dissing a snowboarder isn’t enough, in 2008, they made one about a guy wearing a dreadlock toque being chased by skiers who want to scrape the snow of their toes of their boots with his face. This movie is chalked full of freestyle action, mass posse rides, and wingsuiting.

Do these movies suck? I don’t know. If you’re idea of sucking is a three-pack of monoskiers blasting through paper gongs in Japanese Samurai apparel, they couldn’t suck any more. But, do these movies rule? No question – these are the most surreal, artistic, bizarre, and entertaining films ever. They remind us of when we weren’t so serious and whatever we were doing on snow ruled, no matter how asinine. Watch them often and uncover the secret to the glisse.


Just don’t try monoskiing – ever.


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