The Day After (1983)

“Hey, I can see my house from—oh, crap”

From We Belong Dead, Issue 31, published 2022

If you live in a place like New York or Tokyo, you’re used to seeing your hometown destroyed on screen. It’s a slow year if the Statue of Liberty isn’t decapitated in at least one movie.

I’ve spent most of my life in Kansas City, a mellow Midwestern town that’s often overlooked in popular culture. Except that one time in 1983, when we got obliterated in a nuclear war.

Continue reading “The Day After (1983)”

Panic in Year Zero! (1962)

From Spotlight on Science Fiction, published 2022

Without the title card, the beginning of Panic in Year Zero! could be mistaken for a family road trip comedy. It has a hip jazz score by Les Baxter and features a long-married couple who tease and flirt with each other while their teenage kids complain about being stuck in the car all day.

But as they leave Los Angeles and head to their mountain camping spot, they see a blinding flash of light. Then another. Then a mushroom cloud over the city.

The groovy music sticks around. The happy family doesn’t.

Continue reading “Panic in Year Zero! (1962)”

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