Abandon all hope

January 11, 2008


A slight diversion from books, but I really wanted to mention this.Picked it up on a whim and finally sat down to watch it yesterday. Always been a fan of post-apocalyptic stories, and though I knew this one basically centered on the apocalyptic, I’d always been curious. I had seen the American version, The Day After, years ago, which was well-meaning but a touch too Hollywood to have much impact, at least on me.And so I watched this.

Threads is a 1970s BBC drama that deals with a nuclear bomb targetting Sheffield, England. It traces the lives of two families before, during and after the fall of the bomb. It is shot in a pseudo-documentary style, intermingling stock and live footage with the ongoing storylines.

Threads is probably the most horrifying television I have ever seen.

If anything you ever do or see will make you take an anti-nuclear stance, this is it.

I can’t say I enjoyed it, but then enjoyment isn’t the right word for what I saw.

What I can say is this:

If you haven’t watched this, do so. As soon as you can.

And when you’ve finished, when the DVD has stopped and you’re shaking and wide-eyed in the aftermath, think a little about the state of the world today, and what you just watched.


And be afraid.


5 Responses to “Abandon all hope”

  1. Camilla Says:

    Giving a bash to this comment-leaving thing.

    I saw Threads years ago in high school – our chemistry teacher made us watch both it and The Day After (you’re right about that one, btw – far too Hollywood). It scared the crap out of me. I still remember it quite vividly, especially the bit with the sheep, and the bit right at the end with the birth *wibble*

    It was indeed very good. And terrifying.

  2. sarcade Says:

    It utterly freaked me out. The bit with the woman pissing herself, the burning child and the scattershot snapshot bodies, the way everyone kept saying it couldn’t happen and their expressions and useless actions when it did… Brr. And I like horror movies. Which this wasn’t, exactly.

    Interestingly enough, this version is unedited: many of the versions that were televised about when it came out had snippets removed as too disturbing. I wonder which one you saw back in the day?

  3. Camilla Says:

    I don’t know which version I would have seen – as I said, we saw it in high school so perhaps they had some edited-for-teaching version. Or maybe the teacher just got it at the video library. Is there anything on your version to say which bits have been cut in other versions?

    One of the things I remember is the futility of the people protecting themselves from the blast by making cubby-houses from mattresses…and how utterly useless that was in the face of the radiation.

    Oh…and the rat and Grandma’s body *grooo*

  4. sarcade Says:

    But you love rats…

    Have no idea which one you would have seen. According to some other peoples’ reviews the uncut footage mainly associated with death imagery during and after the attack: burning children and the like.

  5. Camilla Says:

    I do love rats, but there was something about the way that one ran up under her dressing gown that made me want to hurl.

    Pity this comments-leaving thingy doesn’t have email notifications – makes it a bit difficult to keep up with conversations!

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