2004-09-14: Threads – just as relevent today as it was 20 years ago.


From one of the reviews at Amazon:

This film is not scary; scary is things that go bump in the night, and chainsaw wielding maniacs. This film is terrifying.

Ask me to name my Top Ten films and I suspect that the list – after much umming and ahing – won’t really be all that much different from the choices made by pretty much anyone. Seven Samurai would be there, certainly, as would Bladerunner and possibly Star Wars: A New Hope. Casablanca would appear, along with Schindler’s List and Brief Encounter. All fairly neat, organized and predictable.

One movie that wouldn’t have appeared until I was reminded of it by CroXie is Threads. Set in Sheffield, it tells the story of two families just prior and in the days, months and years following a nuclear strike. Make no assumptions; this isn’t an easy movie to watch. It’s probably one of the most heard-hitting, realistic, horrific pieces of drama ever made. It’s hard hitting and pulls absolutely no punches. This shows (with, I suspect, 100% accuracy) what will happen after a nuclear war. We see the breakdown of civilisation itself; starvation, gangs, killing, disease, death in all it’s forms. We see people struggling to hold on to their humanity. We see survival, but also despair and hopelessness. This is no US-made goodie-goodie schmaltzy story of love found among the ruins of the Whitehouse or mutants fighting against beautiful Mel Gibson lookalikes. This showed a bleak, horrific, terrible future we all could live in with less than four minutes’ warning – any minute of any day.

Ask any person in the UK who was in when it aired around 1985, and you’ll hear stories of people who’s outlooks and even ways of thinking changed as a result of seeing this movie. It’s a film that contains a message and a reality that is every bit as chillingly possible now as it was twenty years ago; Russia has come out from the cold, but the US has embraced it. No more do we fear a communist takeover and Red flags flying over the Town Halls. No more does the sight of a Russian tank on TV make us offer a silent prayer that we’ll never see one churning down our streets.

Yet now, I see an American flag and I see a symbol of evil. I see a once-proud country brought to it’s corrupt knees by one power-mad, wealth driven President who appears to be able to fool an entire country into once again voting for him. Remembe: Hitler did that too.

Threads should be shown again. Every person in the UK should be made to watch it. That movie should be rammed down the throats of every gun-loving, weapon-hugging US citizen until they get the point.

The sad thing is; I suspect that precious few of them ever will.

Read about the movie here.

Dirty Clippy


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