Watching the World Die

Nuclear Threat Films of the 1980s


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About the Book

During the 1980s, popular fear of World War III spurred moviemakers to produce dozens of nuclear threat films. Categories ranged from monster movies to post-apocalyptic adventures to realistic depictions of nuclear war and its immediate aftermath.
Coverage of atomic angst films isn’t new, but this is the first book to solely analyze 1980s nuclear threat movies as a group. Entries range from classics such as The Day After and WarGames to obscurities such as Desert Warrior and Massive Retaliation. Chronological coverage of the 121 films released between 1980 and 1990 includes production details, chapter notes, and critical commentaries.

About the Author(s)

Mike Bogue, a retired educator living in Ozark, Arkansas, has written for Scary Monsters Magazine, G-FAN, Movie Milestones, The Lost Films Fanzine, Castle of Frankenstein, and Mad Scientist.

Bibliographic Details

Mike Bogue
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 269
Bibliographic Info: 53 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9101-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5070-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
Chapter One. Cold War Jitters: The ’50s vs. the ’80s 5
Chapter Two. 1980 9
Chapter Three. 1981 19
Chapter Four. 1982 29
Chapter Five. 1983 50
Chapter Six. 1984 95
Chapter Seven. 1985 136
Chapter Eight. 1986 146
Chapter Nine. 1987 166
Chapter Ten. 1988 189
Chapter Eleven. 1989 203
Chapter Twelve. 1990 213
Epilogue 228
Appendix 231
Chapter Notes 235
Bibliography 245
Index 251