Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.
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Threads was first seen on British television back in 1984, and it is fair to say it frightened the people of Britain to the point of hysteria. And now, providing you are willing to look past slightly shoddy special effects, and overall cheapness in the production, you can see why.
The film opens in Sheffield, and immediatly begins to follow the ins and outs of the lives of two familes, against the background of a developing conflict between the east and west. The political situation is related to only through newspaper reports, television news reports and radio, which are always carefully placed into the background of the scene. As the conflict escalates a public panic begins, and people rush about preparing for the worst.
About forty minutes into the film the worst does indeed come. Nuclear War breaks out, and soon the sirens are sounding over the UK. Mass panic breaks out, as the missiles begin to fall.
Following the attack, survivors pull their way out of the wreckage and find themselves in a devastated world. Everything that was formerly taken for granted is now gone, and people must survive by their own means. It's Every Man for Himself. The film continues until 13 years after the attack, when we see that the world is slowly managing to pick itself back up. It leaves us with the message that life will claw back...somehow.
There is no film in the land with a more bleak and disturbing theme, and there is no film in the land which presents this theme as well as Threads does.
The attack scenes deserve particular praise, for their clever use of very limited resources. The first bomb to fall in close vicinity to Sheffield, is seen through a brilliant pink-white flash, and strong winds (strong enough to blow fronts of building off!), the mushroom cloud is also seen on the horizon. As the people run, screaming and shouting the whole set is plunged into chaos.
The film, after the attack, suddenly drops right down, and becomes some of the most depressing material ever caught on film. There is an awful amount of blood and gore, and some scenes are so vile and gruesome, that they are difficult to watch.
But if you think about it, the only thing this film can be is graphic. You cannot have a film about nuclear destruction which is upbeat! It is for this reason that I think that this film should be shown again, to awaken the theme again.
The sad thing is, that when Nuclear Paranoia died, so did Threads, and today it seems to have been banished to attics, car-boot sales and charity shops, but still it should be sought out by all, as it is a mini-masterpeice in television.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older