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Car-maggeddon Tournament Round 1, Battle 9: Bill the Mule from The Postman (1997) vs. the Mariner’s boat from Waterworld (1995)!

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Welcome to Post-Apocalyptic Media’s Car-maggeddon Tournament, where we’ve pitted popular vehicles from various wastelands against one another in a battle to the death! 

There are 20 vehicles of different shapes and sizes. Who will win and be crowned the Wasteland Winner?  

Note: These vehicles are from movies only and one vehicle per movie. (And no space ships or aircraft)


How will Car-maggeddon work? Each Saturday, we will pitch two vehicles against one another based on six criteria (listed below)! 


Does the car have a tendency to break down? To lose parts? Can you sleep in it? 


Does the vehicle have any weapons or other ways to take out the competition? 


What armor (if any) does it have? How hard would it be for a zombie to get inside it or for someone to take out the driver from outside?  


Can it outrun any threats, or does it just trundle along? 


Can it ram its way out of anything holding it back? 


This is basically a tie-breaker. In the battle, which vehicle has a higher “coolness factor” or matches best the wasteland look?


Check out the roaster below to see upcoming battles! Once every battle is complete in Round 1, the winners will move on to round 2.

Round 1, Battle 9:

Bill the Mule from The Postman (1997) vs. the Mariner’s boat from Waterworld (1995)!

It’s the Clash of the Costners! 

This is definitely the most absurd of the “vehicle” battles in the Car-Maggeddon tournament, but wacky humour is common in apocalypse movies, so sit back and enjoy the ride!

I salute Costner’s dedication to making post-apocalyptic movies twice in a row.

The Postman is set in 2013 after unspecified events have rendered the USA into a post-apocalyptic setting. All technology has somehow been lost, and the population has been reduced. The film follows a man wearing an old postal service uniform who unwittingly becomes the impetus towards creating a “Restored United States of America.” Despite how it flopped at the box office, I’ve always wondered whether the courier in Fallout: New Vegas was a nod to this movie. Bill the Mule is the Postman’s trusty steed. 

Waterworld is another 1990s Costner flop but has gained a cult following. Costner plays yet another nameless drifter, who, in this case, floats along on a boat in a world where the polar ice caps have melted and covered the world in an endless ocean. At the time of filming, it was the most expensive movie ever made. The plot is pretty much Mad Max on water. The boat is a sixty-foot trimaran sailboat equipped with storage compartments and various other survival gear. 

While neither of these two has a chance against a car, let’s see how they fare as wasteland vehicles! 

The Vehicles:

In terms of practical use, both boat and mule are very useful. Bill can carry items, carry you, and in a worst-case scenario, you won’t go hungry (sorry!). The boat can also carry items, carry you, and is equipped with a device that lets you filter and drink your own urine! Yay! 

You can check out a clip from the movie of the device here!

It always reminds me of this old meme:

Despite (or because of) the pee machine, the boat wins the practical category. It can carry more stuff than the mule, and you don’t have to feed it or let it sleep. True, you need to know how to sail, and you have to mend the sails occasionally, but the boat has a longer natural life than the mule (sorry again!). 

In terms of offensive and defensive capabilities, neither does a very good job. I guess the Mule could provide cover, but that’s not a great way to treat your trusty companion; it would be better to ride him away from enemies. The boat has no weapons or armor, and given the way the boat is designed, it provides no cover. The mule does have one offensive/defensive capability, and that’s the donkey kick. It’s a very short-range form of protection, but it would stop a raider and possibly a zombie.


Both “vehicles” don’t have much power in terms of ramming or plowing through enemies. A singular, unarmed person wouldn’t be able to stop either a cantering mule or a speeding boat, but neither Bill nor the boat has a hope of ramming through an obstacle. And as cute as Bill is, he’s not a horse that can jump barricades while carrying a rider. 

Let’s say there was a bunker on the other side of a bay. Which would get you there first? Although one is on water and one is on land, the boat is far faster. A trimaran can go forty knots (“nautical miles per hour,” which is 60 miles per hour), and a mule can only run 15 miles per hour. Then again, if it were a very still day on the lake, your trimaran is going nowhere unless you pull it. And if you go too fast … 

In terms of looks … well … I guess it depends on your preference. Bill, as cute as he is, is not really a badass warhorse. As such, I personally think the boat is a cooler vehicle, but I’m also biased as a lover of the water. This one I’ll leave to you.

Based on practical methods and speed, the boat is a far better vehicle than a mule in an apocalyptic setting. While Bill can provide companionship and warmth, having a place to retreat offshore that can store all your gear, move swiftly, and provide you with glasses of purified piss is a much more practical choice.  

As such, poor Bill has been left on the shore. 

WINNER, Round 1, Battle 9: the Boat from Waterworld!


Next Saturday, we’ll see who can survive longest: The War Rig from Mad Max: Fury Road or the Green Goblin from Maximum Overdrive! Let us know in the comments, on our Facebook group, or on Twitter who you think will win! Throw in the hashtag #car-maggeddon !

Check out the other battles here:

Battle 1: Mad Max’s Pursuit Special vs. the Mustang from Cherry 2000

Battle 2: The Bus from Dawn of the Dead vs. the Tank from Tank Girl

Battle 3: Snowpeircer vs. Judge Dredd’s Law Master

Battle 4: The Mercury Marquis from Stake Land vs. Tallahassee’s Escalade from Zombieland

Battle 5: The Landmaster from Damnation Alley vs. the Panel Wagon from Hell Comes to Frogtown 

Battle 6: The Cannibals’ Truck from The Road vs. the “Scoop” from Soylent Green

Battle 7: The Duke’s Cadillac from Escape from New York vs. the Bentley from Doomsday

Battle 8: The Medusa from Bellflower vs. Frankenstein’s Monster from Death Race


    T. S. Beier is obsessed with science fiction, the ruins of industry, and Fallout. She is the author of What Branches Grow, a post-apocalyptic novel (which was a Top 5 Finalist in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards and a semi-finalist in the 2021 Self-Published Science Fiction Competition) and the Burnt Ship Trilogy (space opera). She is a book reviewer, editor, and freelance writer. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two feral children, and a Shepherd-Mastiff.

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