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quietearth [Celluloid 05.05.07] post apocalyptic movie review

Year: 1986
Director: Jimmy T. Murakami
Writers: Raymond Briggs
Cataclysm type: Nuclear
IMDB entry: IMDB
Amazon link: link
Post apocalyptic concentration: 6 out of 10
"Mad Max" level: 0 out of 10
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 7 out of 10
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Key Characters:
Jim (John Mills)
Hilda (Peggy Ashcroft)

This is an animated movie about an eldery british couple, who armed with some Government pamphlets, prepares for nuclear war which they are being warned about by radio 4. The mentions of WWII implies the time period is set sometime in the 50's or 60's, when they still thought that if you were anywhere remotely close to a large nuclear blast, you could live. Our main character Jim builds the suggested fallout shelter and then the bombs come. This movie has some great music, including songs from the likes of Genesis, David Bowie, and Roger Waters.

The Story:
There are a few dreamlike sequences one of which you can see above, these make for great side fare, but the real story is the couple's inability to grasp the coming nuclear war. After the bombs fall, they don't seem to understand anything about radiation poisoning. Their shelter is nothing more then a bunch of doors nailed at an angle against a wall in the center of the house. They have survived, and they think the government will come in a couple of days and straighten everything out.

The Rating:
While the animation may not be the best, the storyline and music make up for this lack. The movie is dialogue heavy, so if you're looking for a great animation, you'll be disappointed. This is also not a cartoon you would watch with your kids. I give this a solid 7 out of 10, being one of the few movies with an accurate portrayal of a nuclear war.

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James Gardner (14 years ago) Reply

We watched this in school. It gave me the chills back then and it gives me the chills today. Its done in the style of the childrens classic animated story 'The Snowman' But with A more sinister theme. Definatly worth a watch.


Brett (14 years ago) Reply

It's a long time since I've seen it (in fact, I may only have read the comic ... er, "graphic novel" as they say now) but I thought the WWII references were because the couple had lived through the Blitz and so they imagined a nuclear war would be much the same?

About the doors nailed to a wall -- a family in the movie Threads (which of course is also British) use such a shelter too. I wonder if this was just a UK thing or what? Was it government advice? I could imagine that again it's a Blitz thing but I'm not sure.


podders112 (13 years ago) Reply

This movie is incredibly sad. It's depiction of how naieve the characters are is the most disturbing aspect. I saw this years ago and it's genuinely haunted me ever since. Definately worth a watch, powerful stuff.


Tom (13 years ago) Reply

The door shelter thing was indeed government advice - it was suggested in the laughable "Protect and Survive" leaflets produced in the early 1980s. These leaflets were full of impractical advice, and ultimately were regarded as a bit of a joke.

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