--- Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
There are very few nightmare movies as visually, viscerally and psychologically affecting, as profoundly immediate, despite their historical settings, as Francis Ford Coppola’sApocalypse Now (1979). There has been so much said and done, so much dirty, bloodied water under the war-torn bridge of this extraordinary production, that any humble review in the wake of its questionable destruction, its primal majesty, its philosophical musings is purely grist to the mill. But a few more words scattered to the critical winds won’t hurt. This is a movie that has remained in my heart of dark delights ever since I first saw it cropped on a dodgy rented VHS with its original end credits rolling over a montage of the Kurtz compound being destroyed by what appeared to be an air-strike. It is one of my three favourite movies of all time; it is a war movie to be experienced like a bad acid trip infused with dangerous awe and nightmarish wonder.