Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Movie Reviews - Defcon-4

Time for another installment of apocalypse cinema, and it's a good one too.

Ahh, Defcon-4 (1985) the apocalypse of my youth. This is doomsday 1980s style. No deadly asteroid strike, melting polar caps or rage virus to wipe out mankind. Not even wandering legions of the undead bothered us much at that point. What we worried about most was the mutually assured destruction of nuclear confrontation with the USSR (remember them?). That lunatic cowboy Ronald Reagan was going to get us all killed, Dan Rather was hysterically screaming it from our TVs practically every night on the evening news. And this is where Defcon-4 comes in, it's the perfect over the top illustration of that entire overindulgent, paranoid era, it's also a couple of hours of good, mindless entertainment.

In the film a group of three astronauts stationed on an orbital nuclear "Star Wars" missile platform watch the whole world get blown to smithereens (did you catch the 1980s reference I made there?) safe in the comfort of their space station high above. Then after many months going stir crazy in orbit the station unexpectedly goes kablooey and our heroes fall back to earth. They have to crash land their capsule in a now highly irradiated Canada and are suddenly confronted with the new facts of life (another '80s reference). They have to contend with cannibals, a crazy survivalist Maury Chaykin and his teen slave girl and ultimately end up captured and taken to a military encampment. It is ran by a ruthless and narcissistic teenage boy who rules over the enslaved peasants with an iron fist and wants to use our intrepid astronauts to create his own perverted dynasty (another '80s reference). It's a small wonder (yep, one more '80s reference) that any of them survive! Did I forget to mention that the now captured capsule has a live nuclear warhead on it counting down to go off! That's probably important to know...

I won't go into any more details about the "story." If you enjoy watching the apocalypse, if you're into cannibalism, if you're desperate to see filthy ragtag nuclear war survivors fighting each other to the death for the last remaining scraps of food, or if you love corny movie productions in general then Defcon-4 is the movie for you.


John D said...

I remember seeing the VHS for Defcon-4 at the video store when I was stationed in Germany. I was tempted to rent it, but never did. Maybe I'll run across it on cable some night and check it out.

Wilson said...

It’s definitely an acquired taste.