Wednesday, August 10, 2016

THREADS (1984)

Well, if you're looking to get completely bummed out then look no further than THREADS. Originally aired on Sept. 23rd, 1984 on BBC Two, the first 40 minutes or so lulls the viewer in with the everyday life stories of a few people in Sheffield, England. Behind their stories, you see news reports and people talking about the growing hostilities between the US and Russia. Before long it's all people can talk about and there's a rush on stores.  Tensions flare. Known dissidents are rounded up by the police and jets fly constantly overhead. Then the bombs start falling and all Hell breaks loose.  Even though I knew it was coming I still found the nuclear destruction scenes to be very emotional.

Some of the main characters die or disappear during the chaos and the ones that are left are completely fucked. Radiation poison, nuclear winter, no food, sickness, lawlessness.  It's Hell on Earth. I'm not going to give it all away, but the story carries on into the nuclear winter that follows the war and it's just shit on top of shit the entire way. No happy ending for these poor bastards.

Told in a very dry documentary-style THREADS is a total bummer, but you can't pulls your eyes away from the screen.  The entire thing was masterfully done.  It's an unforgettable experience.  In fact, I wish somebody would make a THREADS television series! If done properly, it would be awesome!  (Or how about a show...hour long episodes.  Each episode about a different person.  Each episode tells the last hour or two of that persons life leading up to worldwide nuclear war.  Pretty much everybody dies at the end of each episode.  No connecting stories.  No cliffhanger endings.  Just story, then death and destruction.  The End.  Countless stories.  Most of the episodes would just end with a white light.  They never even knew what happened.  Or they would be at work.  Or at home.  Fucking.  Playing Scrabble.  Playing Scrabble while fucking.)

Highly recommended.  Double-feature it with WORLD WAR III or THE DAY AFTER.  If you need me, I'll be in my fallout shelter reading Robert McCammon's "Swan Song".