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Don Rosco
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Hands up who got nightmares from this as a kid? Chilling docu-drama about a nuclear attack on Britain, Sheffield to be specific.

Threads

It's a google video link, looks pretty good in fullscreen mode.

Seriously the scariest thing i've ever seen. Absolutely horrific, without being really graphic. I could only last 55 minutes before turning it off. I actually still remember the details of some of the nightmares I had from it. :)

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55 minutes? So you missed the umbilical biting?

Seriously though, yeh, I was pretty disturbed by it, our cunt of an RE teacher made us watch it at school. We would of been about 12/13 years I reckon, just at the age when you worry about shit like this.

It's the 'matter-of-factness' that makes it scary, it doesnt glorify or censor, just attempts to show what would likely happen. Brrrrrr....seen it once, that's enough for anyone.

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I hadn't seen that since the 80s, and it's no less frightening and sobering. I like the way it doesn't moralise, it just tries to present the effects on ordinary people, especially the way some turn to scavenging and murder to survive, yet they're never shown to be TV-drama evil, if that makes any sense.

One thing that lessened the impact slightly was the appearance of the domineering mother from Early Doors, as well as several people who would eventually turn up on Emmerdale - "oo look, it's Len's mate, what's his name".

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Threads is fantastic and I was a bit too young to be shown it at school so have only seen it in the last 5 or so years. A great companion piece is When the Wind Blows which everybody should watch.

Agreed.

When The Wind Blows is incredible

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I'm glad the first time I saw it was a year or two ago, if I'd seen it at the time Childrens Ward would've been ruined. Every time that nurse helped a kid out of a tricky spot I'd be picturing her with half her face hanging off.

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absolutely stunning program that has lost none of its power.

That's the thing. Having seen the original broadcast I watched it when BBC4 first showed it after all those years, holly was in Dublin and phoned an hour in and I was so happy to turn it off. I was over 30 for fuck's sake. It's weird but watching the way it reported the news, I thought if I'd turned on the radio I'd have heard the same thing. Just don't know how it can still have that effect. I guess because it manages to show simple people's lives (and the fab way it follows the council chief exec, heartreaking) without looking all contrived, like in Mothman Prophecies before the end sequence and you see the woman being fitted for her wedding dress :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jesus - practically identical topic and first post too!!

I'll shut up and read that one now. Too scared to go to bed anyway (in fact I might just sleep in the cellar tonight).

EDIT: oooooh I'm going to really punish myself now by picking up When the Wind Blows from amazon.

There was a similarly themed American made for TV thing at about the same time whose name I can't remember but which was nowhere near as terrifying. Threads was, and still is, utterly devasating, and scares the beejesus out of me...

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There are many of us forced to watch this film for RE. This film screwed me up for life.

We should set up a support network.

Why RE?

Seriously, what does Threads have to do with RE?

Apart from the Apocalypse theme. That's not the reason is it?

I wish this hadn't been hyped to death as the scariest thing ever because I thought it was really quite disappointing. At no point did I get that queasy, pit of the stomach feeling I got when I watched everyone dying in the firestorm in The War Game.

How old are you?

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It was oh-so-much more scarier when:

1) You were young (I was 15) and watching it at a time when Reagan and Andropov both had their fingers poised over the 'button'.

2) You lived in Sheffield (the actual strike depicted is on RAF Finningley near Doncaster - now Robin Hood Airport).

Most of the time when I think back to my youth in the 80s, it's all silly hair, stretch jeans, Sinclair Spectrums & techno-pop. It's slightly less nostalgic to remember Thatcher's Britain, Dole Queue's & potential nuclear armageddon.

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The American "version" was a sanitised though still disturbing program called The day after . I recall it centred around a mid-western town or something like that.

I also had to endure watching threads at school and had nightmares for YEARS after. Can You imagine the outcry if they showed anything even remotely as disturbing at school these days? Someone would be strung up.

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  • 2 months later...

I watched this for the first time today, on a train journey from London back to Bradford. Truly the most horrific film I've ever seen (previously The Exorcist, but any 'horror' film doesn't seem to count, to be honest).

Even though I'd read a lot about it in threads like this, with scarred people exposed to it at school, I don't think anything prepared me for it. All the characters are so normal! There's no heroism, no good/bad or anything.

The moments immediately after the bomb hits were amazing, when you see Reece Dinsdale's parents and their injuries, etc. Everyone's reactions are so believable.

I'm quite a hard-hearted fellow (I haven't cried since 1996), but this nearly brought me to tears on several occasions - a bit tricky on a train!

The way both drama and documentary are combined is uttely inspired - never once does one overlap into the other - each compounds the impact of the other; the documentary facts tell you exactly what is happening to the characters, and they in turn show you the harsh reality of the statistics the documentary lists.

I don't really want to start listing moments, as it was one long brilliant piece of work, however, towards the end, I was wondering how they were going to end it. How it actually ends

with Ruth's daughter being handed her stillborn baby, and inhales to scream, at which point the film STOPS

is an amazing an end to a film as I've seen.

I was numb after, and just sat looking out of the train window, imagining what it'd be like now if I were in that situation. I was thinking how meaningless everything would be. I looked at a speed sign on the train route, and how after an attack, that'd just be an object; not a sign with information. Really weird, I was almost in a trance, staring at things.

Anyway, it's a brilliant film. Has probably been said before, but things like this (and, say, Grave of the Fireflies) should be given to people in power, to perhaps make them think about the human side of conflict a bit more than they probably do.

I got it for about 7 quid on amazon recently. It's not that I'd never watch the film again, I just feel I won't need to, as the imagery was all so striking. I just felt so sorry for almost every character in the film. Don't think that's ever happened before.

Brilliant.

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I'm another one old enough to have been terrified by this...for about three weeks after watching it, whenever one of my parents was out of the house I couldn't stop thinking that that was when the attack would come.

 

Oddly, it was one of the first dvds I bought though. I remember being in London once, and a mate of a similar age was house sitting for me, so he could watch dvds. I got a call from him in the evening, because he'd just watched 'Threads' and needed to talk to someone because he was so miserable.

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  • 7 years later...

I've just watched this for the first time tonight. Glad I never saw it back in the eighties! Although I was probably a tad too young at the time. But christ, pretty horrific. It gets you in strange ways.

Like when the threat of nuclear war is really heating up, and Ruth and Jimmy are stripping the wallpaper in their new pad, and she breaks down crying. :(

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Seriously though, yeh, I was pretty disturbed by it, our cunt of an RE teacher made us watch it at school. We would of been about 12/13 years I reckon, just at the age when you worry about shit like this.

You think that's bad? Our English teacher made us watch this... on the afternoon of 11 September 2011.
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  • 7 years later...

Thanks to what I presume as being a bizarre/genius Youtube algorithm logic jump, I ended up getting recommended the old Protect and Survive PSA videos (not a prepper, was just searching out Radiophonic Workshop stuff lol). Sat and watched it to the end, nice ominous jingle by Roger Limb and all. 

 

Anyway, it pushed me to search for a way to watch Threads. Saw it years ago and it made an impression but one perhaps not as big as how it landed with others. Perhaps I was too carefree at the time. So have decided to see if I can remedy that, now that I'm a neurotic adult with kids (though adult and pretty estranged).

 

Found it on Archive.org last night and got it ready to play with my morning coffee and Weetabix. Let's get depressed*

 

 

*Pretty apt with the increased talk of Russia in the news.

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