>Great movies of the 80’s: Threads

>Originally posted June 10, 2007.

You’re in for something really dark and depressing here. Mick Jackson’s Threads (1984) really got to me the first time I saw it, and by reading the reviews it seems I wasn’t the only one having a hard time sleeping for a couple of nights. Some say they still have nightmares twenty years after watching this movie.

So what makes this film so horrifying? Obviously because it’s so very real.
It’s set in Sheffield, England, in the mid 80’s during the Cold War, and in short shows what might happen if the world would face a nuclear war. It brings society to its knees, forcing us to go back to our very basic principles and needs. There’s no comfort to be found anywhere. Everything is bleak and hopeless, still the people are fighting for survival. Survival for what? one might ask. Survival to face even more death and destruction? There’s no electricity, no clean water, hardly any food and all hope is gone. Outside the world is dying as rulers of the earth wage their pretty little video game war.
What would you do?


The documentary style along with the grim scenes makes for some truly memorable moments. The fact that it could happen any day, without warning, adds to the realism. You won’t find any over the top Hollywood special effects in this movie, just the disturbing truth of what would really happen living in a radioactive environment while there’s a war going on outside no one is safe from (hi Mobb Deep!). There’s no second chances here.

When will we push the button?
When will the warheads hit?
When will the madness end?


Keep in mind that there are many thousand nuclear weapons ready to be fired at any time aimed at any place in the world within minutes. Look at the US and the Soviet Union at this very moment, june 2007:
USA is planning to place missile defence systems in eastern Europe (according to the US: “to counter the threat from Iran”), and Putin (who fears USA is planning to aim their missiles towards Russia, since he argues that the threat from Iran is non-existent) will respond by aiming his nuclear arms towards Europe!
Holy fuck, this surely is a video game to those asshole leaders!
Seems like there’s a new arms race around the corner… Read about it in Swedish here, and in English here.

You really should watch this film on a proper system, but for those of you who can’t get a hold of the DVD it’s available online here. Please, do NOT fast forward – you’ll miss out on the whole thing, you dumb fuck.

But then again, mushroom clouds and fireballs can look pretty beautiful…



Afterword: Square Leg was a British government project made in 1980 that estimated what would happen in Britain in the event of an actual nuclear attack. It projected the mortality rate at 29 million, serious injuries at 7 million and short term survivors at 19 million.

One thought on “>Great movies of the 80’s: Threads”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *