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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

THREADS: A British movie that will scare the hell out of you

Working on a few things behind the scenes, but felt like posting something tonight. And that's when I discovered that YouTube is hosting Threads.

Sure, why not.

I first saw this movie in July of 1986 but it wasn't until I was in college a long time later that I found out the title. We were visiting family in Florida and playing a game of Monopoly in our motel room with my cousins and we thought we'd put some TV on. It was a PBS station showing... some very dark and gritty film about nuclear war in England.

I was 12 years old. I soon lost all interest in Monopoly and became transfixed to this film. The image of the young woman chewing through her newborn baby's umbilical cord is something that has haunted me to this day.

Threads originally aired on BBC Two in Great Britain in September of 1984. That wasn't very long after the network ABC aired The Day After here in America. If you've seen The Day After, well that's mild compared to Threads. And that's sayin' something. I was 9 when The Day After broadcast and it made darn near everybody watching (which was, well... darn near everybody) turn white with fright.

Threads, however, is a far more gruesome beast.

I'm posting this because Threads is a fascinating example of Cold War cinema. That was a very different time for those of us who grew up during it. We were the last of the children who came up scared about nuclear holocaust breaking out at any moment. And it could have happened...

Why didn't it? I've no doubt that history will remember that communism in Russia, could not sustain itself. Its people wanted to be free. An unsustainable economy failing to provide for a citizenry wanting better is a perfect combination for a government's collapse. We can see that in hindsight perfectly. But at that time...

Well anyway, here it is: from British television in 1984, a horrific yet intriguing relic of a world that nearly was: Threads.


Anonymous said...

I watched it. It was neither interesting nor scary.

karen said...

Threads, saw this in a class about cold war in cinema. Along with The Day After. I saw it in 2000. One of my classmates vomited during the birth scene. My parents told me about The Day After and there's no comparison. Threads is the more sickening of the two. Thank God that a nuclear war didn't happen. It would have been worse.