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Nordling On RED DAWN! Fantastic Fest 2012!

Published at: Sept. 30, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST by Nordling

Nordling here.

See that poster above? See how generic and unremarkable it is?  That really about sums it up.

No one was ever going to claim that John Milius's original RED DAWN was ever some kind of classic.  It was very much a product of its time, a time when people were legitimately a little scared about the United States and the U.S.S.R.  This was before Gorbachev and the sweeping changes that affected Russia, and it wasn't on the level of hysteria that it was in the 1950s, when "Duck and Cover" was all the rage, but I remember when the original came out that we would imagine scenarios if the impossible ever became possible.  It was just a fantasy, to be sure, but it was on people's minds.  I remember after the nuclear war movie THE DAY AFTER came on television and how it was certainly something to consider.

The original movie is also not without its charms, from its earnest patriotism to C. Thomas Howell's rage-filled performance.  There was something scrappy and rough about RED DAWN, and it also didn't hurt that it was a veritable who's who of teen stars of the time.  John Milius intended RED DAWN to be an R-rated action movie, so when it became the first movie to be released under the PG-13 banner, I remember every kid on the block flocking to see it to see just how "dangerous" it was.  That nostalgia for RED DAWN goes a long way towards its success.

The remake, of course, is banking on that nostalgia to get the audiences to come.  Notoriously left on the shelf for three years after the MGM bankruptcy, the longer it stayed there, the less relevant the movie became.  The Chinese enemy became the North Koreans because that was an easier enemy to portray since we're very much in bed with China these days.  And some of the actors have gone on to better things, like Chris Hemsworth.  But I doubt sticking RED DAWN on a shelf for only a month would have helped it.  It's a bland, dull action movie in a world full of bland, dull action movies, and the unique charm of the original has been completely stripped from it.

Jed Eckert (Hemsworth) is back in his hometown with his father Tom (Brett Cullen) and brother Matt (Josh Peck).  When the North Koreans invade - with the help of a new EMP weapon that completely shuts down the US defenses, Jed, Matt, Robert (Josh Hutcherson), Daryl (Connor Cruise), Erica (Isabel Lucas) and others take to the hills.  Matt is obsessed with getting his girlfriend Toni (Adrienne Palicki) back, and constantly butts heads with Jed in his efforts to do that.  Jed's a Marine, and so with his skills and the power of the montage, manages to train these kids into a crack insurgent cell, aimed at striking at the heart of the North Korean invasion and the evil plans of Captain Lo (Will Yun Lee).  Even with the help of Colonel Andy Tanner (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), these "Wolverines" must figure out a way to shut down the North Koreans' new weapon if the United States has a chance to defeat the invading force.

That plot plays as generic as it reads.  Again, the original film is no classic, but it does have a sense of itself and a certain "special" personality that goes a long way towards giving it charm.  The Wolverines in the original were never all that skilled to begin with, winning many of its engagements on pure luck and the element of surprise.  Not so in the CALL OF DUTY era (which one of the characters stupidly comments on; the movie tries to be as self-aware as the original but just comes off as dumb), where kids that have never fired a weapon before become amazingly accurate and badass.  It also doesn't help that director Dan Bradley, who was the stunt coordinator on the BOURNE films, subscribes to that shaky-cam aesthetic that plagues so many action movies these days.

If there's anything good to be taken out of RED DAWN, it's Chris Hemsworth's performance.  I don't think anyone told him that he's in another routine actioner, because he really does play from the heart.  Unlike all the other actors, with the exception of Jeffrey Dean Morgan who seems aware of how silly all of this is, Hemsworth takes the part seriously and gives RED DAWN much of what little spirit the movie has.  With the roles he's taken since RED DAWN, it's become pretty obvious that Hemsworth has that special something about him that's apparent in his work, even in movies like SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN.  If he's to become Hollywood's Next Big Thing, it certainly helps that he's quite a good actor.  Hemsworth almost brings RED DAWN around singlehandedly, but you can't fight the tides, and the blandness of RED DAWN comes in like a tsunami.

Seeing RED DAWN at an event like Fantastic Fest does stack the odds against it.  This Fest is full of amazing genre films, from across the planet, full of unique viewpoints and new talent.  With the exception of RED DAWN, even the movies I didn't particularly care for had a unique spin on things.  RED DAWN fell like a thud for me by comparison, but I think it's a pretty terrible movie regardless of the other movies I've seen here.  After a movie like I DECLARE WAR, which at least takes its action thematically seriously, seeing kids run around with automatic weapons on Hollywood's dime loses much of its charm.  RED DAWN is film as vaporware - there's mostly nothing significant or remarkable about it.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST

    FIRST!!!

    by Brandon

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST

    And I'm not surprised looked like shit

    by Brandon

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:53 a.m. CST

    If you reply with FIRST!!!...

    by Michael Thompson

    And have no comment it doesn't count. Sorry.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Speaking without nostalgia here

    by stillsberry

    I watched the original a month ago. It's absolute garbage.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST

    red Yawn

    by Kid Dynamite

    Yeah I'm having trouble sleeping, so this movie will do the trick...

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:02 a.m. CST

    I never even made it through the first one..

    by Baron Von Penguin

    I'd say I was about twenty minutes into it when it was ejected and fucked in the bin. I'm all for bad films that make you laugh but this was just a pile of steaming cack. Maybe you have to be American to "get it". Having said that I can see how a film like Red dawn got made in the early 80s but just what the point of a remake in 2009/2012 is I can't see. Its not as if its been set up as a parody or comedy as I've seen the trailer and its just another ridiculous action flick that'll come and go and be forgotten in quick succession. A total waste of time and money.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Holy shit they have the kids WIN THE WAR PERSONALLY?

    by FluffyUnbound

    This is even worse than I assumed it was. One of the things the original got right is that the kids weren't really all that important to the war. The real war is elsewhere. They're an irritant to the enemy, but that's the best they can do, so they do it. And they die, but they did their best. Turning that into a bunch of WB Network kids winning the war because they take out the enemy superweapon...dude.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    So, this is the SECOND Remake of Red Dawn?

    by Vladimir I. Lenin

    Because the other remake is called "Tomorrow, when the war began". Made in Australia! Yeah, it's not officially a remake, but watch it: IT IS.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, noon CST

    As I said in the other thread...

    by DVaderRIP

    The idea North Korea could even get to Hawaii with an invading force is ludicrous, and this 'EMP' plot device is a complete joke. It really annoys me that people plough 100m into this sort of totally unplausible garbage.

  • ...turns out I simply can't read :(

  • Nope. Not at all.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    North Korea is a country...

    by Vladimir I. Lenin

    ...where the population is STARVING, and color tv is high tech. The US and other countries provide North Korea with food, guys. So, THIS country invents an EMP device and has suddenly enough money to build a grand high tech army sneaking into the US? Yeah, sure.

  • You know, you're allowed to tweeze those things, baby.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 12:27 p.m. CST

    NK dont get food from the west

    by w4tkn

    They believe we are jealous of their prosperity and are trying to poisons them. Any aid we send them its likely destroyed. Its the most religious country on the planet, 95% church attendance. And those tears you saw for KJI were real - they worship their leaders, as system that is envied because of the public obedience to the state.

  • Sometimes, very occasionally, there are indeed "see it before you judge it" moments. But Hollywood has become so formulaic that most of the time these days, we really do know pretty much exactly what to expect just based on what little we see and hear ahead of time. I don't think the issue is whether the original Red Dawn was a "classic". Depending on your definition of the term, classics are either extremely rare or too common to be meaningful. What the original had was character, personality, realism within itself (see: kids not being super-cool video-game characters who can suddenly defeat the enemy's master plan), and that resulted in a pretty strong sense of tragedy as the struggle wore on and things didn't really go as the typical feel-good formula would dictate. The rah-rah spirit felt awkwardly real, and it felt bad when things started falling apart. This remake is like seemingly every other remake we get these days - take the original, iron out the "difficult" aspects (aka "character"), and then wonder why you're left with some stiff DOA market-tested dreck that no one ends up caring about.

  • Red Dawn (who the fuck wanted to see this remade?) and a PG-13 Robocop (don't even get me started). Good luck with that financial recovery MGM.

  • Milius wrote the very average Xbox/PS3 shooter Homefront a couple years ago about a North Korean invasion of the US. So the Red Dawn remake strips away everything GOOD about Milius' Red Dawn but steals the plotline from the video game he worked on 25 years later? Talk about desperate and lame. It's more believable to have Russia invade us again. North Korea would be defeated within a few hours if they ever started shit with us. Are they going to attack us with cold war era outdated Soviet tanks and planes?

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST

    John Milius's original RED DAWN WAS a Classic

    by Papa CaveDweller

    ...there, said it!

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Montage.

    by Richard Graham

    Scraps can become warriors in the runtime of any shitty Five Finger Death Punch tune. I like how Hucherson is always the same height as all the other dudes, even though he's a 5' 4" hobbit.

  • Not that she looked much better in THAT movie than on THIS poster, but hey.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Montage!

    by DougMcKenzie

    Great now I got that song stuck in my head. Does this have the downer ending where everybody but the two youngest die?

  • 1. Chris Hemsworth's big MODOK head. 2. Trying to pick out any leftover references to China being the original intended invading country. 3. The explanation of how and why the hell North bleeping Korea decided to stage a invasion of a city on the West Coast, including the use of an EMP device. 4. 'Wolverines!', the training montage. 5. Jeffrey Dean Morgan. 6. Josh from 'Drake and Josh' with a gun, let alone Adrianne Palicki as a girlfriend. Strange as it is, this almost seems more like a soulless DTV action movie or a second-string Cannon film (in both the good AND bad ways entailed) than anything else...

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Are you kidding? RED DAWN IS A CLASSIC and also.. 'Teen Stars'.

    by tailhook

    And i have serious doubts you were even old enough at the time to even remember it coming out. Comments like a 'who's who of teen stars' betray you. Charlie Sheen - unknown. Jennifer Grey - unknown. The only two that had any type of name recognition at the time were Patrick Swayze(who was 32 at the time) and C. Thomas Howell. For my generation(not yours).. Red Dawn was an absolute classic, pretty fondly remembered, and still holds up.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Oh.. and I forgot Lea Thompson

    by tailhook

    who would go nuclear with the release of Back To the Future. My point is that this movie did a lot of launching of careers, it didn't round up The Usual Suspects of teen heartthrobs. They weren't at the time with the exception of Swayze.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 4:54 p.m. CST

    I am glad you referenced THE DAY AFTER...

    by Ironhelix

    ...That and the original Red Dawn were very much movies that made me wonder how close we all were to oblivion when I was a kid. The nuclear attack in THE DAY AFTER terrified me in a way that I never even let on to anyone. I used to lie in bed at night and imagine everyone I loved being incinerated in a nuclear holocaust. THAT was my boogeyman.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Yeah....

    by 3774

    Nuclear holocaust nightmares plagued most of my childhood. Movies like The Day After fanned that neurosis well, with Red Dawn only giving a 'best case scenario' for me to wonder about. It's good to know this remake goes for a harder accuracy, though. Like a fully funded North Korean conventional global threat. Or immaculate hair and make-up after months spent in a survival scenario. Can't paint China in a negative light, now can we? They might get testy and cash in a billion oweskies.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Hell, 'The Day After' still freaks me out now.

    by Bill C.

    Yes, I know WWIII isn't nearly as likely as it was even twenty years ago. (Theater-level exchanges, perhaps, but full-on MAD? Shit would have to go downhill very, very, very quickly for that). That doesn't mean the idea of getting vaporized or, even worse, surviving to see the aftermath can't still terrify the hell out of me. Fuck you, ABC, for screwing with my impressionable thirteen-year-old mind and embedding this in there!

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Such a bullshit premise

    by D.Vader

    In the original the kids didn't have fighting skills- that was the WHOLE fucking point. But in this movie, they need a marine to train them. Talk about watered down crap...

  • It sounds like you really want to call it an 80s classic but you're afraid you'll be ridiculed for it. It's okay, embrace it. That opening IS classic.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Someone mentioned The Day After.

    by DocPazuzu

    You think that's horrifying? Try watching the British nuclear war drama Threads from 1984. Almost 30 years on that movie will still SERIOUSLY fuck you up. It's the bleakest, most terrifying depiction of a "limited" nuclear war ever put on film. It makes The Day After look like a melodramatic after school special. I shit you not. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090163/

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 6:08 p.m. CST

    I know they CGI'ed out the China flags but

    by Mace Tofu

    how did the dubbing look when they tried to fit the line "North Korea" into "China" whenever someone talked about who was attacking.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Isabel Lucas = HYPOCRITE

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    She was always marching at the front of anti-war protests in Australia and looking cool to hate America, and now this. Money talks, I guess.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Seriously, no one in the US is insulted by Red Dawn?

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    It's like a serious remake of Team America: World Police.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST

    @mace tofu, they dubbed Hemsworth's aussie accent too

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    He sounds like Arnie. Get to da choppah, kids!

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Hardboiled wonderland, I guess you missed the irony

    by D.Vader

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Irony in what, Team America or Red Dawn 2.0? Good grief, d.vader, I missed nothing.

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    If you're seriously suggesting Red Dawn 2.0 is meant to be an ironic commentary on American youth and the military industry...

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:40 p.m. CST

    What I want to see is... Indiana Jones, the ANIMATED ADVENTURES!

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    http://io9.com/5947699/what-if-indiana-jones-continued-his-adventures-in-an-animated-series Hell yeah!

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:58 p.m. CST

    A better idea...

    by WeylandYutani

    Paramount, who i think holds the rights to most of Tom Clancy's work, should make Red Storm Rising in an alternate 1980s where Gorbachev and his reforms never took place. I think that would be an interesting work of speculative fiction. A new Red Dawn seems out of place and out of time. Even though the original was ridiculous, at least it was able to touch on western fears of the USSRs perceived strengths even if occuping the heart of North America for long periods would be incredibly difficult, costly and nearly impossible for the Soviets.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 9:03 p.m. CST

    docpazuzu

    by WeylandYutani

    I remember seeing Threads far too young and telling kids at school that I had seen the most terrifying film ever! I think my babysitter was watching it for a school project, but it totally screwed me up at the time. I watched it again on YouTube about a year ago and you are right, it still holds up. A powerful film.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    The Day After

    by oisin5199

    Did you know that it was the Day After that led Reagan to push towards nuclear disarmament, that made him obsess over stopping nuclear warfare at all costs? Not a scientific study or the advice of experts. A made for tv movie. It's true. Good thing we had an actor as a president.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Wolverines save the day?

    by Wyldstaar

    At least the original had the good sense to end in a realistic manner. The group didn't even try to single-handedly win the war. Most of them died fighting, while the survivors went into hiding until the war ended. In the final scene, we learn that groups like the Wolverines had popped up all over occupied territory, and it was their combined efforts that allowed the US to repel the invasion. Real wars don't have one hero who wins.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Hemsworth almost brings RED DAWN around singlehandedly, WHODA THUNK?

    by Balkin Flabgurter

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:27 p.m. CST

    CALLING IT RIGHT NOW, MONKEY TROUBLE REMAKE STARRING JOSH HUTCHERSON-2014

    by Balkin Flabgurter

    the kid from drake in josh was in this as well. the one positive of the film is the set and cast all got to meet Chris Hemsworth.

  • Whenever you hear a fucking critic talk about how the original Red Dawn was just mindless, Jingoistic, pro-American propaganda, label that man a fucking communist rat fuck. Hollywood holds a grudge against anything anti-communist or anti-socialist, along with the intelligentsia. People got upset when the Soviets in Indy 4 were portrayed as the bad guys. You know when someone is defending a regime responsible for the deaths of 20+ Million of their own people you're dealing with a fucking enemy of liberty.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:28 p.m. CST

    redshirt_24

    by Sir Loin

    Agreed, THE DAY AFTER messed me up for weeks as well. After it aired, my entire high school class was fried the next day and the teachers had to talk us through it. Few if any of today's films have impact like that.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 12:58 a.m. CST

    spire_walk

    by WeylandYutani

    Um no... Your sentiment is incorrect. My father was in the navy for 25 years and was an extremely patriotic person. He disliked Red Dawn because the idea of the USSR invading North America and occupying the centre of the continent was always ridiculous and beyond any degree of plausibility. The idea the USSR would even attempt to annex territory so far from their ability to maintain reliable supply lines is not plausible because the effectiveness of any military is entirely dependent on their ability resupply and maintain combat readiness. The US military never seriosly feared invasion, it feared the Soviets would move into Western Europe or strike the US mainland in a limited or unlimited nuclear strike. Let me add that I am the last person that would willingly support my father as we had a falling out and we never reconciled. However, I have no reason to doubt the expertise he had nor those of this staff on this subject.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 1:06 a.m. CST

    This staff = his staff

    by WeylandYutani

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 1:58 a.m. CST

    The budget on this pile of steaming shit was 75 MILLION!

    by btc909

  • @ iamlopanureggshen69 hahah best post ever. So true.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Certainly not, hardboiled wonderland

    by D.Vader

    I'm guessing you missed the irony in that Isabel Lucas was in an anti-war protest and that she took a role in a film where Americans don't GO to war but are forced to defend their land against foreign invaders. You know, the way people from other countries felt they were forced to do when America invaded them (for entirely different reasons, of course).

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 7:27 a.m. CST

    In other words, that does not make Isabel Lucas a hypocrite

    by D.Vader

  • One in which the opening scrawl explained how geopolitics had changed so much to give rise to conditions that did allow the USSR to engage in such an invasion.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Hate wishing failure, but most remakes need to die

    by impossibledreamers

    Studios need incentives to NOT make them... like no money coming in.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    So Red Dawn is not a prequel to Red Sonja?

    by Himbo

    Cause I was kinda hoping that it would have a Skipper & Barbie vibe.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    The Original Red Dawn

    by photothatdodo

    You can't remake Red Dawn and have the enemy be a small impoverished famine stricken country that already has a huge contingent of the US army on its southern border. It just makes no sense. At all. Seriously. When we were afraid of the USSR, it was an existential and philosophical fear backed up by the fact that they had ability to destroy us or invade us. It was a real threat. And saying that the movie had all the teen stars of the time is a huge understatement. Almost every role was played by a teen actor who went on to have a bigger career and star in classic movies. They weren't just stars then, they are stars now. Whether it was Back to the Future or The Outsiders or Dirty Dancing or Platoon or Paris, Texas this movie's cast was part of a golden age of cinema. The even put the anonymous no names of this film up against them would be like...well, like the US fighting North Korea...

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Original Red Dawn scenerio

    by Anthony

    This was the scenario in the original's alternate universe: Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years... Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade... Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall... Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil... Mexico plunged into revolution... NATO dissolves. United States stands alone.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST

    d.vader

    by WeylandYutani

    See below for the opening prologue for the original film. While growing Soviet influence was a concern in Latin America, the idea that the USSR would attempt an invasion of America is silly for several reasons: 1. As I said, a military campaign is highly dependent on supply lines... Roads, rail, shipping ports etc. Since the red army came through Alaska, then BC and Alberta and into the US, that is their supply line, which is far too long and vulnerable. Even if Mexico was used as a secondary supply port, the US navy would surely use SOSUS to track and war ships to sink Atlantic soviet shipping and to choke and blockade Mexico. They would likely do the same on Mexico's Pacific coast making it useless. So you then have several Soviet armoured divisions stuck in the middle of the US bread basket... They might have captured their prize as to feed their population, but how are they going to get the grain out? The answer is that they can't because the Russians are virtually cut off. One supply line to and from Texas and Cuba would not be enough and the USN would still sink any eastern bloc merchant ships in the area or blockade Cuba too. 2. If NATO had folded, it would make a Russian invasion of Western Europe an even more attractive option. If there was no deterrence from a western military alliance, it would be far easier for the Warsaw Pact countries to take over European agriculture to replace their grain failure. Red Storm Rising, Threads or The Day After are far better fictionalized accounts of an east west conflict. Red Dawn was a 80s action film with popular teen stars of the day, no more. Prologue/Opening Narration: Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years... Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade... Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall... Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil... Mexico plunged into revolution... NATO dissolves. United States stands alone.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST

    I thought Temple of Doom was the first PG-13 movie...

    by Snake Foreskin

    What's the deal?

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Snake

    by WeylandYutani

    IJATTOD was PG. but it was the film that prompted the MPAA to adopt the PG13 rating for future films. RD was the first film to be released under the new PG13 ratings system.

  • If you didn't grow up in the eighties at the tail end of the Cold War it's just something you wouldn't understand. Red Dawn is a classic. It was the first movie to be rated PG-13. To be technical The Flamingo Kid got the rating first, but Red Dawn was the first to hit the screen. I'm actually intrigued to see the remake. I was first on the hater list, until I saw the trailer. No, I'm not in love with the remake yet, but I will say the trailer looks good. The line where the father tells his kids to "kill this piece of shit" is great. It is reminiscent of the "avenge me" line from the original.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    The original is availabe instantly on Netflix if anyone is interested.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 8:42 a.m. CST

    redshirt_24, yeah The Day After freaked us out, but Threads was

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    even worse for a scare factor. Damn, that movie scared the hell out of me as a kid because the fact is it could have all happened.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Another call for threads

    by ScaryJim

    I've watched horror films since I could see and nothing has left me with such an empty feeling of dread as 'Threads'. Such an amazing achievement, and I only watched it 10 years ago - the milk bottles melting always gets me, and the guy pissing himself .It's almost like watching an 80's episode of 'Coronation street' where there just happens to be a massive nuclear attack, the characters are so mundanely real and the setting is just so un-precocious. I was always paranoid about a nuclear attack happening to Britain, to the extent where having just emigrated to rural NZ where I live 98k from civilization I'm actually slightly relieved. The protect and survive thing was pretty big until Gorby changed things - I remember even at a young age everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief. I'd love to see a proper WW3 film which didn't come off as total propaganda, it's unlikely, but I think the UK and the US find themselves in a place now where there is no right way to act when dictators are killing their own people and some pretty hefty countries potentially on the sidelines waiting for stuff to kick off. I've always found zombie apocalypse stories compelling but really even more compelling would be to see the effects of populations having to sustain themselves without the luxury of most of the population being killed off- against the background of warring factions, it's a shame but it would never happen WWZ is only getting made because it's been changed into an easily digestable format.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 2:18 a.m. CST

    0 for 2 for Nordling on massive racism in RED DAWN

    by Nintendarth

    www.racebending.com

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 7:26 a.m. CST

    scaryjim

    by DocPazuzu

    You're right about the effect of the mundane atmosphere in Threads. When I first saw it, back in 1985 I think, I had switched it on about ten minutes into the story and didn't know what what it was. I thought I was watching a typical British televised drama. When the nuclear attack took place I nearly shit myself, that's how shocked and horrified I was. The real power of Threads came after the actual attack, with the immediate and prolonged effects of the blasts. It really felt like you were watching civilization unravel before your eyes. I picked it up when it came out on DVD and found that the film's punch was intact. A singular film in every respect, and far superior to that bald-wigged Steve Guttenberg nonsense.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 7:40 a.m. CST

    With threads it showed days, months, and years after the fallout

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    It was pure horror and depression. When you see the daughter of the girl from the beginning grow up in that crap, and her baby drops dead it's just a fist in the gut moment.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 8:04 a.m. CST

    The only thing that comes close to Threads...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...is another British effort, Peter Watkins' The War Game from 1965. It's shot in B&W and as a fake documentary dealing with a nuclear attack and its aftermath. It's a harrowing, brutal film. The scene that stuck with me the most was the British police officers putting horribly injured civilians out of their misery with pistols because the hospitals couldn't cope with the countless casualties. I think a combined showing of The War Game and Threads would be the most depressing and terrifying double-bill of all time.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Damn Threads isn't available on Netflix. It's not even listed as

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    save or otherwise.

  • Been a fan of Palicki since Friday Night Lights, and it's cool to see the Asian guy (before he turned himself white) from Die Another Day in a Hollywood picture again. But they're not enough for a ticket, just a casual watch when it hits tv.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Threads? wish I could see it

    by Jesiah

    Looked at most of your comments regarding that title, definitely interesting....melting milk bottles sounds like the cup of water shaking in Jurassic Park times at least ten.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST

    The Dorky kid from Drake and Josh

    by supermans_red_underpants

    Hey that IS him! All action starry now!

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 10:43 a.m. CST

    jesiah, yeah it's one messed up movie. There is no happy ending about

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    persevering in a new world, and rebuilding. It's sad, and scary. It's practically a horror movie.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Hell yeah, I found it. Threads is on You Tube. The whole thing!!!!

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    You guys must see this. Oh lord, it's as bad as I remember.

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Not So Serious

    by TheRevenge

    Get it? They're eeeeeevil! They shoot innocent civilians! Call in the Wolverines!

  • Oct. 8, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Just watched Threads after reading some posts.

    by DoctorWho?

    Thank you for the nightmares.<p> .

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 1:01 a.m. CST

    The North Koreans would surrender for a sack of kimchi.

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 1:01 a.m. CST

    and 1980's me would surrender at the feet of Lea Thompson.

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    doctorwho?, hey, you were warned. I told you it was a horror movie.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 2:34 p.m. CST

    So I finally watched 'Threads'...

    by Bill C.

    ...and until today there were only four films in the world I can only watch once every few years or so, if that, and not without some sort of positive counterbalance afterwards. That list has now changed: 1. 'Threads' 2. 'Se7en' 3. 'Grave of the Fireflies' 4. 'The Day After' 5. '1984'

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 7:57 a.m. CST

    The Day After was good until Threads came along.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    It's night and day. Threads blows it out of the water.

  • TDA is in its way bigger and splashier, and it focuses on more of a rural area, but in the end it shares the same grim you-are-fucked tone that 'Threads' carries. Neither film has a really hopeful...anything...by the time you get to the end (the President's insane "victory" radio message in TDA just underlines it); 'Threads' just goes much further into the grimness and long-term issues of nuclear war affecting an urban area, which isn't a bad thing. Well, it is, but...you know what I mean.

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 11:58 a.m. CST

    The get out of my house line by Robards just brings it all home.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    There's nothing left, and there's nothing left to do but cry because there is no hope.