Like the BBC’s earlier The War Game, Threads is scary in a way that commercial channels can only dream of. It has a bureaucratic public information feel that other broadcasters would have replaced with emotional spectacle.
Of course, Threads still has it’s big moments, with a mushroom cloud over Sheffield and soldiers shooting looters in the streets, but it’s the local-ness of it all that kills you; the emergency committee trying to manage the civic fallout and the iconic image of the armed Traffic Warden working alongside soldiers. The core of Threads is the very British terror that we already know how shit the local council is at getting the bins collected so lord knows what’ll happen if the bomb drops.
I love the fact that books, albums and films are ‘released’. It always seemed fitting as anyone can make a piece of art with any intention but once it gets away from the author it is anything the consumer wants it to be. Red Dawn is a great example of this, it was always a great movie, as a cold war thriller it stands with the likes of Threads, By Dawns Early Light and WarGames, but over the years it’s moved from Milius’ red scare to a ‘shoe on the other foot’ tale of occupation.
Whatever you read into it, it’s a film that still packs a punch. The (then) young cast are fantastic, it’s got a grimness that the remake could not hope to attempt let alone repeat and reel after reel of iconic images.