When I was a kid in eighties, nuclear war was an imminent threat. The cold war was still raging; President Reagan proposed Strategic Defense Initiative, and movies about possible war were realistic. Some more than the others. The Day After was one of them. I still remember how scared I was after we saw it. Even Reagan felt the same. He said: movie was very effective and left me greatly depressed. And it doesn’t matter if he felt this way because I sure did. As a kid, I was scared of deadly virus ( because movies like Variola Vera and Cassandra crossing) and nuclear war. Mostly because of this movies:
The Day After
More than 100 million people watched this TV movie on ABC when aired on 20 November 1983. It’s a story about the war between NATO and Warsaw Pact and nuclear attack on the United States. We follow several characters from and around Kansas City and college town Lawrence, before and after the attack. I loved this disaster movie structure – first, we met several people, later their paths cross. This movie scared me the most. It vividly shows what would happens after nuclear attack. Somehow you can watch a full movie on YouTube.
War games is a less scary movie than all the others. It’s a story about talented computer kid (young Mathew Broderick) who accidentally hack into a military supercomputer. And he almost starts a World war three thinking he’s communicating with a gaming company. Of course, everything happens when he tries to impress a girl. Director was John Badham, the same guy who is directing new TV show Siren.
When Russians invade the United States, several teenagers from small-town Camulet, Colorado led by Jed (Patrick Swayze) hide in a wilderness. And start to plan a counteroffensive. It’s not exactly nuclear war, but it is about the end of the world that we know. If you loved Red Dawn, don’t miss Tomorrow, When the War Began. It’s a similar story but in Australia.
In one of the movie clips from the movie on YouTube, the first comment is: Saddest movie I ever watched in my life. And it’s sure close to the truth. It seems that people respond well to movies about after the attack. In Testament, we follow The Wetherly family and suburb of Hamelin, California after the nuclear attack on the major US cities. The people of Hamelin decide to go on with their lives but one by one they start to die from radiation sickness.
There were many others, which I did not watch – they are now on my watchlist. I survived the 80s and fell in love with disaster movies. And books, so I wrote one. In my first book, Snow Outbreak, during the flu outbreak on Earth, a group of guests is stranded in the first space hotel.