Today is a cold, damp grey day in Reykjavik there is a perceptible chill in the air. As we are all huddling to share scraps of body heat and keep the spectre of chills and bleakness from our cores. what we need is a good bit of family viewing. And this can mean only one thing. yes it’s THE SUNDAY MOVIE APOCALYPSE!!
and this week, the ultimate in doom mongering Mr Chumney-Warner public information films… THE WAR GAME!
Made in 1965 as part of the BBC’s Wednesday Plays, The War Game is a film told in the style of an old school BBC Documentary. It depicts the prelude and aftermath of what would happen to the UK if the Soviet Union conducted a nuclear attack on its shores. At the start there is a bit of old school Blitz spirit and British bureaucratic organisation. But of course all of this is merely pissing in the wind as a nuclear attack completely obliterates the entire command and social structure of the country. The moral of the story? The best laid plans of mice and men count for fuck all in a nuclear apocalypse …
This film caused a load of controversy upon its completion. It eventually was never shown by the BBC and was only available on DVD in the UK until 2003. Although it’s very lo-fi compared to todays productions, the film showed an extremity and reality of a nuclear attack that was too much for the audience of its day. The War Game was a precursor to the likes of “The Day After” and “Threads”. Peter Watkins went on to direct films such as “Gladiators” and “Punishment Park”.
so sit back, close your curtains and see some old-fashioned stiff upper lips get wiped off with an all-consuming firestorm….