Oh, man, this is awesome — they are remaking RED DAWN!
(For those of you born in the 80s, this is perhaps the best worst film ever. Cubans and the Soviets invade the US and high school kids form a resistance group. Seriously, go watch it and you will realize why people over 35 are so fucked up.)
(Wow, ‘Soviets’ — that seems like a weird word now. Especially when I work with a bunch of Russians.)
Anyway, they are filming in Detroit (appropriate!) but it looks like it is set in Spokane, and this time China is the bad guy. Ahh, the delicious twist, given the Chinese were our allies in the original movie:
Col. Andy Tanner: …The Russians need to take us in one piece, and that’s why they’re here. That’s why they won’t use nukes anymore; and we won’t either, not on our own soil. The whole damn thing’s pretty conventional now. Who knows? Maybe next week will be swords.
Darryl Bates: What started it?
Col. Tanner: I don’t know. Two toughest kids on the block, I guess. Sooner or later, they’re gonna fight.
Jed: That simple, is it?
Col. Tanner: Or maybe somebody just forget what it was like.
Jed: …Well, who *is* on our side?
Col. Tanner: Six hundred million screaming Chinamen.
Darryl: Last I heard, there were a billion screaming Chinamen.
Col. Tanner: There *were*. [he throws whiskey on the fire; it ignites violently, suggesting a nuclear explosion]
But on re-viewing, Red Dawn isn’t a stark reminder of Cold War fears. Rather, it’s a pretty good movie about Iraq, with the United States in the role of the Soviets and the insurgents in the role of the Wolverines. In Red Dawn, the Soviets have invaded a country whose customs they know not…
The insurgents are at first merely scared, angry kids, but they’re hardened by the viciousness of the Soviets. Seeing nothing to lose, they become suicidal terrorists who assassinate, bomb civilian targets, gleefully murder wounded and captive Russians, and eventually martyr themselves in theatrical, insane ways. Howell faces down a helicopter gunship with nothing but a rifle, screaming, “Wolverines,” as its machine gun cuts him to confetti; Swayze and Sheen make their inexplicable suicide assault on a base with hundreds of soldiers and heavy weapons; Jennifer Grey, mortally wounded and afraid of being tortured by the occupiers, booby-traps her own body so when a Soviet soldier touches her, it sets off a grenade that kills both of them.
(So which Vietnam movie will be the replay for Afghanistan?)
Anyway, I love these propagana posters from the film set. Clever the economic zeitgeist they are leveraging. (These and many more at http://www.reddawn2010.com)
And a YouTube clip:
Man, I need to go find the original on Netflix. The crazy thing is who was in this film:
- Patrick Swayze
- Jennifer Grey
- Charlie Sheen
- Lea Thompson
- Harry Dean Stanton
- Powers Boothe
I should go watch Amerika while I’m at it. And might as well throw The Day After, Threads and Testament in to complete the troika of 80’s nuclear drama. That’d be a brutal evening. Good god those last two were horrifying.