The UHF of the film world.
Latest news

Christopher Webster [Celluloid 02.11.10] Tuvalu post apocalyptic movie news



One of the most controversial American telefilms ever, The Day After is an unflinching look at the possible ramifications of a nuclear attack on American soil. To this day it is something of a shock to the system. I remember they made kids watch it as homework, much to the horror of parents who thought its subject matter was a little too explicit. Of course, I doubt teachers even realized what they were getting into and I think it scared the hell out of a lot of junior high schoolers.

Synopsis:
A graphic, disturbing film about the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

The Day After was directed by Nicholas Meyer who is most famous for directing the best of the old Star Trek movies, Wrath of Khan.

If you haven't seen The Day After you better track it down if you want to continue to call yourself a true PA aficionado. Other TV movies similar to it are Threads by the Brits and Testament.



You might also like

avatar

Anonymous (11 years ago) Reply

Note the flag at 1:33

avatar

Nick (11 years ago) Reply

God, what a flashback. Both The Day After and Testament traumatized me when I was a kid. Then in college, I showed Testament to like 20 of my friends and no one talked to me for a week. I couldn't even finish watching Threads because it went beyond the bleakness of the other two.

avatar

uncleB (11 years ago) Reply

Couldn't sleep for weeks after "the Day After"

avatar

RII (11 years ago) Reply

What was the name of the TV show that was done in the style that Orson Wells made famous and had many people thinking it was real, it only aired one time and was about a camera crew on location of an eminant nuclear attack, and every thing was airing live it was really cool...

avatar

Anonymous (11 years ago) Reply

Threads was the most depressing and the best.

avatar

Jubes (11 years ago) Reply

@ RII i think it was called Fail Safe. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0235376/maindetails

avatar

Ben Austwick (11 years ago) Reply

I haven't seen this but have had it on order for a while. It's one of those films I'm not sure I could cope with watching but am drawn to nonetheless.

I saw Threads in 1991 just after the end of the Cold War, thinking it's not going to scare me now. Was I wrong or what. It is without a doubt the most terrifying film I've ever seen and still stays with me to this day. It's interesting that it's being marketed as science fiction rather than drama now. That took quite a long time.

Another one worth seeing is the 1960s black and white BBC drama The War Game, which has aged very well. Not quite as nasty as Threads but artistically more ground breaking.

avatar

Matt (11 years ago) Reply

@RII Or maybe Special Bulletin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Bulletin

avatar

Matt (11 years ago) Reply

Seems that Special Bulletin is on Google video

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8786950669565492785&ei=5bJESYD8CafcqAO6i8ifDA&q=Countdown+to+Looking+Glass#docid=-5395928224148935228

avatar

agentorange (11 years ago) Reply

@ Matt & Jubes

Thanks for the info on these films. My reason for the Retro Slave posts is to hopefully learn about awesome old films that slipped under my radar. I'll def be checking these both out.

avatar

RIII (11 years ago) Reply

Special Bulletin that's the one
Thanks you guys are awesome!!!

avatar

witchman (11 years ago) Reply

oh yes, Threads is a chirpy slice of P.A goodness. Take a bleak storyline, drop it in the most industrial bleak city in the U.K, then broadcast it in the most bleak period of Britain's economic history.

avatar

Phoebe (11 years ago) Reply

Ah yes, between this, Mad Max, and other PA films, it's no wonder I turned out the way I did.

avatar

chuck (11 years ago) Reply

Yes a classic. I remember well when this aired. The next day in school (6th grade) the councilors came to each class to 'help us understand'. Part of that was breaking into groups and playing an updated game of lifeboat. 'You have a fallout shelter with supplies for yourself and six additional people. There are twelve people wanting in. Choose six people who's skills will help rebuild society.' We were given a list of people with various skills... and a homosexual. Even then I remember wondering what would happen if you said 'Give me the nurse, the engineer, the farmer, the school teacher, the chemist,... and the gay guy.' It was about this time that I realised how stupid the adults were (and still are). More than a movie- this film is a time capsule of the fear growing up at the end of the cold war. Testament was probably better, but it was shown on PBS. Threads is the most terrifying movie I've ever watched, but it was English and therefore removed from my reality. The Day After was scary and somehow showing it on major network prime-time TV made it all the more real.

avatar

MrSatyre (11 years ago) Reply

I actually laughed when I saw this film because I'd already seen the far more realistic and depressing "Threads" by the BBC. "The Day After" was a walk in the park compared to that. Everyone, definitely check it out if it's available in your country. It's brutal.

avatar

radio1 (11 years ago) Reply

Threads and Testament are fine films as well. The Day After was actually supposed to much more terrifying... There are deleted scenes that ABC did not air...

avatar

wolfeyes (11 years ago) Reply

I've always wanted to share my opinions of these three movies...

Threads is a brilliant depiction of the aftermath of nuclear war, beyond just the initial days. Though I wept openly for humanity, I felt inspired by this movie--not depressed like the other commenters. You must see it.

In stark contrast, Testament is gut-wrenching and upsetting without anything remotely redeeming about it. Don't watch it. Nothing can prepare you for seeing a child bleed from his butt and die. I wish an apocalypse on the director for her tactless, needless, explicit brandishing of sentamentality, cute kids, and a nuclear bomb.

Lastly, The Day After is just a joke. When the bomb drops, the movie's just too lame to make any kind of impact. It's probably the only time I've laughed at people losing their hair.

It's always interesting to see how the subject is interpreted next.

avatar

chuck (11 years ago) Reply

This is an interesting thread. These three movies represent the other side of PA fiction that is all too neglected on the screen- realism. Like No Blade of Grass, Glen and Randa, and The Road these films try to portray what would happen to average people in the face of world destruction. There are no mutants, car chases, or mohawks to pander to the ITGs and there are no contrived happy endings to appease the pollyannas out there. These stories seem to have staying power because we could see ourselves in those same situations. The scene from TDA with the preacher struggling with his faith while giving a sermon in the bombed out church is powerful. What makes Testament a good film is that it makes you feel the grief and loss of the mother without any hint that anyone will live happily ever after. While quite grim, The Road at least offers hope at the end that the boy has finally found the good guys. After reading it I wondered how it would have been received if the boy had been eaten by the stranger at the end.

avatar

MrSatyre (11 years ago) Reply

chuck, what ALL of those movies really needed were zombies. ;-)

avatar

Chronos (11 years ago) Reply

Holy crap, that's terrifying.

avatar

KristiTurtle (10 years ago) Reply

Of the nuclear film "Trinity" (TDA, Threads, and Testament), I always thought that TDA was the most approachable for "normal" people -- those who felt that nuclear war was distant, impossible, even the realm of the most paranoid of fearmongerers. It's good to watch, but clean. There's not much blood, no vomit, very little realism -- it's primarily emotional. Threads, on the other hand, shows you every single physical effect of radiation poisoning and then some -- and throws in radioactive sheep, radiation-induced birth defects, and radioactive farming. Yay! Testament, to me, was actually the most emotionally powerful of the three -- it was everyday people who were affected, and showed the creeping death of radiation -- not as dramatic as dying in a firestorm or being vaporized, but much, much moer frightening. Being the mother of two young children, I actually had to shut it off and put my computer away because I was crying so hard as the children died -- it hit too close to home. Nonetheless, an excellent film, IMHO.


Leave a comment