You know what they say – eventually the doomsday preppers will be right. Of course, the people most often saying that are the doomsday preppers themselves (not to mention the vendors of tinned food, underground bunkers and long-lifespanned resources). Apparently there are more than three million of these folk in America, all waiting for things to go south – whether that’s via the collapse of the economy, a global pandemic of some kind or trouble with Syria, Israel and Iran.
“Some will die badly and slowly,” is how Pastor Joe Fox, Shaun’s guide to this subculture, puts it. It’s a world where bug-out bags should contain multi-use knives but no booze. Where Old Testament laws are in and kevlar vests are fashionable. “Living by the sword is not the same as having a sword,” says Pastor Joe, in another one of his bits of wisdom.
Deep in the Bible Belt of the US, Shaun teams up with a band of end-timers, led by the aforementioned Pastor Joe, who are more than ready for Armageddon to kick off. Dressed in camo gear, armed with semi-automatic weaponry and trained in combat, these soldiers for the Lord are itching to kick Satanic arse. Training includes camping out in some mystery Ozarks location and running through military tactics allegedly invented by Australians in the Vietnam War. For his part, Shaun’s BB gun and epic camouflage aren’t that impressive, and he opts for more of a “running away/cowardice” tactic in the face of battle.
Look, there’s no easy way to say this. The Book of Revelation is and always has been terrifying, and it’s really hard to recap a vital section of an episode of television with your fingers in your ears and your full focus on not picturing a seven-headed dragon with 10 horns. Let’s just say Shaun meets up with Texan televangelist Pastor Irvin Baxter and agrees to go to Jerusalem with him after a nice chat about something other than you-know-what.
Arriving in a Tel Aviv in lockdown, he checks out the scenery and meets up with Pastor Irvin to talk about how the world is going to end, and how the preacher imagines his Rapture will be. After a holy tour that would put the most devout pilgrims to shame – the Temple Mount, Sea of Galilee, River Jordan and Plain of Megiddo – Shaun decides to follow in the footsteps of John the Divine. He sees lots of Syrian refugees heading into Greece before visiting the isle of Patmos for more terrifying Revelation stuff.
In the Cave of the Apocalypse, he... [REDACTED]. You’ll have to watch it for yourself.
Join Shaun as he boards the doomsday mothership on Shaun Micallef’s Stairway to Heaven this Sunday at 6:35pm on SBS VICELAND. Catch previous episodes on SBS On Demand: