aka Def-Con 4
Article 4968 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Paul Donovan, Digby Cook and Tony Randel
Featuring Lenore Zann, Maury Chaykin, Kate Lynch
What it is: After-the-Apocalypse action
A trio of astronauts on a secret NORAD defense satellite witness nuclear holocaust, but are forced to land back on the earth. They become prisoners of a gang of punks who are after their food and trying to find a haven of safety.
Well, I will give the movie this much; at least it just doesn’t come off like an imitation of the Mad Max movies or other post-apocalyptic movies of the period. That’s not to say that there isn’t some influences to be found; for example, having the main villain wear an earring is at least a mild nod in that direction. The trouble is that the movie never really develops much of a real identity of its own; it’s not directed with much flair, and it’s only adequately acted. There’s some interesting ideas in the script; I liked the idea of one of the astronauts seeing a one-way transmission from his wife in which she confides with him that her way of coping with his absence is to believe that he’s already dead, and this could have been a powerful scene if the movie were better. As it is, it’s not much fun as either an action movie or in any real visual sense. At least part of the problem is that our “heroic” main character is actually a bit of a worm; it’s rather hard to root for him. Still, I think the movie is a little bit better than its reputation would have you believe.