In 1984, the BBC drama Threads shocked viewers across the country with its depiction of a nuclear blast and the ‘life’ that followed for those lucky/unlucky enough to survive. Since then, it has always been mentioned in hushed tones in all the horror movie magazines I used to read, or for you younger folk, on the Internet websites dedicated to this special television event. I never saw it but knew a lot about it and was just hoping that the power had not been lost now that we are over 30 years later. Trust me, it has not. Threads is one of the most unrelenting horrific things that I have ever seen. The way it is presented, with actors/actresses not known at the time and with no salvation arc leaves you holding your breath at points, reaching for your water thankfully at others and at the end just staring into space trying to comprehend what you have just seen and hoping that it never becomes a reality in our lifetimes, or anyone’s lifetimes for that matter.
At the start, it is a usual British drama, a couple looks forward to a baby, gets their new house, meet each others parents, classic Soap Opera motifs, in fact, originally the drama was to be filmed with actors from Coronation Street until this idea was thankfully shelved. While all this is going on, there are information cards that flash up and radio/television constantly talking about the possibility of war. The feeling of dread is palpable and the film takes its time getting to the blast but when it comes, it will, no pun intended, blow you away.
Now we are in a wasteland. Yet, minutes before, we saw a thriving Sheffield where this hideous world now rots, aflame but chilling. Here the film continues the documentary style, not going for scares – THE WHOLE THING IS A SCARE, pets unable to move, bodies missing parts, burned faces, everyone stuck in their own world of pain, woe and misery. There are no light parts, it does not try and make for easy watching at any point. Even when you see the wounded finally making it to the hospital, what you are presented with is not the pained being given respite, no it is merely an over filled room full of bandages and screaming. Horrible.
Does the film sell out and give hope right at the end? Nope, not a chance, well it does give a tiny slither of the possibility of sunshine but then takes it away in a moment of absolute shut-your-eyes terror. Astounding.
This remastered version has cleaned the original 16mm BBC prints up very well, but instead of making the film warmer like many restorations do, here it gets bluer, greyer, colder, it is an ugly beautiful thing indeed.
Extras? A quartet of documentaries on the actors, directing, designing and history of the piece as well as the PDFs of articles in the Radio Times from 1984. Add to this a duo of Audio Commentaries, one a UK exclusive with main actress Karen Meagher and the other with director Mick Jackson and you have an excellent 2 disc version of a classic that is as relevant today in the Trump era as it was back in the Thatcher/Reagan days. Stunning. *TakesADrink*
1. Metal Mickey
2. The Drowners
3. So Young
4. We Are The Pigs
6. Animal Nitrate
7. Beautiful Ones
10. She’s In Fashion
“Don’t ever empty the bucket of mystery. Never let people define what you do. It’s not about zigging when you should zag. It’s not about doing something unprecedented and unpredictable. It’s just about never being a word, or something that is not in the process of transformation.”
“I think solitude is a really positive thing. I cherish solitude immensely. In today’s society, there’s so much pressure to communicate, eat out, be friends with people. Why can’t you read a book on your own? Why have you got to have a book club?”
Soooo, Danny Boyle is set to direct Bond 25. This does not sound like a great idea to me, although I am not shooting down the talent of the man, far from it, Shallow Grave and Trainspotting are two movies that I have watched a million times, to the point where I could quote the excellent dialogue along with the characters, fantastic. Yet, this was a long time ago. When Boyle returned to the world of Renton and company, it felt flat and boring, one of the most disappointing sequels of all time when it should have been a joy to visit those characters again. When he veered towards ‘action’ there was 127 Hours, now I have friends (hello Lucy) who consider this fantastic but I found it one of the dullest flattest and worst movies I have ever seen – Boyle + Franco should have been fantastic but it just left me cold.
Now, if Bond and Blofeld were to spend an hour and a half in a police station merely having a conversational confrontation then Boyle would be perfect, he certainly knows how to twist dialogue in exciting and electrifying ways, but you know the franchise would not allow that much intelligence, it is a bubblegum experience and Boyle is not a bubblegum director. Get the guys behind Fast And Furious, a ridiculous franchise that seems to ape Bond at every turn, giving audiences the thrills and excitement that JB used to be the master of. Or how about Sam Raimi? His Spider-Man films were great big comic book thrills and he could give us an untouchable Bond and hey, we would get a Bruce Campbell cameo too, what could be better?
My top choice for the job would be James Gunn, Guardians Of The Galaxy is a kind of space opera version of Bond and hell, he could bring Chris Pratt along to be the new James Bond which would be a match made in geek heaven. Although my sister and my friend Sue would both vote for Idris Elba, so let’s not get stuck in that other quagmire! 🙂
I just think it is time for a new Bond and a director who can bring something new and fresh to the game, hell you know that you have a guaranteed box office success, so why not risk it a little? Edgar Wright. There. Perfect. Baby Driver is already a perfect James Bond adventure so we know he can do it, so seeing him repeat his magic in the real Fleming universe would be a goddamn joy. Then again, I probably would have said that about Boyle twenty years ago, so perhaps Wright will get his chance in two decades with one of those kids from It as the super spy…
1. Tranquility Base Hotel And Casino – Arctic Monkeys
2. Four Out Of Five – Arctic Monkeys
3. She Looks Like Fun – Arctic Monkeys
4. Say Amen – Panic! At The Disco
5. Popular – The Anchoress
6. Jealousy Is A Powerful Emotion – Paul Draper
7. Fool – Mansun
8. Sleep – Marion
9. Disco 2000 – Pulp
10. Unsolved Child Murder – The Auteurs
Are you ready for the return of one of the greatest and most shocking film makers pf them all? Well, Tom Six hears your call and his Hollywood epic The Onania Club is set for release in the Autumn.
The Onania Club is of course Six’s follow up to the Human Centipede trilogy, which continues to cause controversy with whoever you speak to. It is either a fiercely original horror classic (I’m in this camp, obv) or it is the most disgusting thing ever. (The Mail/Express/Conservatives). It seems that Six will continue to poke the bear, calling this new film ‘One of the most vile, inhumane movie experiences of all time.’