Def-Con 4 (1985)


Def-Con 4 (1985)

Directed by: Paul Donovan

Cast: Lenore Zann,Maury Chaykin,Kate Lynch,Kevin King,John Walsch,Tim Choate

Two men and a woman circle the globe in a satellite armed with a nuclear device. The third world war breaks out, two months after the exchange of nuclear weapons on earth the spacecraft’s guidance system is mysteriously reprogrammed, forcing the crew’s return to earth. In order to survive, the crew must escape to the radiation free zones while avoiding cannibal ‘terminals’ and a military school student turned evil despotic ruler.

The spacecraft lands, considerably off-course, on a beach in eastern Canada. Jordan (Kate Lynch) is knocked unconscious on impact. Walker (John Walsch) exits first and is quickly killed by ‘terminals’ – humans crazed by disease. Several hours later, in the middle of the night, Howe (Tim Choate) ventures out in search of help and a way to escape. He soon encounters Vinny (Maury Chaykin), a survivalist who has fortified his house with barbed wire and booby traps. Vinny effectively saves him from the terminals and makes him his prisoner. As the plot develops, Vinny, JJ (Lenore Zann) (another prisoner), and Howe are captured and taken in chains to a makeshift fortress built out of junk. They must escape before a malfunctioning nuclear warhead explodes in sixty hours.

One of the superior post apocapalyptic entries in the entire subgenre catalogue ,the Canuxploitation blast of Def-Con 4 is heavily aided by the minor masterpiece that its first reel , which takes place in the supposed spaceship, is. Other than that the abrupt landing of the space ship upon Canadian shore signals a significant  drop in  the quality of the overall picture as the proceedings fall prey to the most typical of the 80ies genre film conventions. However even if this is not the masterpiece it promises to be it still is a highly entertaining film. In fact we have two different approaches on display here. The first part is downbeat and feels like a minor documentary like masterpiece, while the second part is a Z-grade Mad Max schlock that is entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

Πέφτει ηρωικά μετά το πρώτο μισάωρο τούτο το συμπαθέστατο σε γενικές γραμμές postapocalypse Καναδικής παραγωγής και προελεύσεως,αλλά ακόμα και έτσι το αγωνιώδες και τεταμένα ψυχροπολεμικό πρώτο σαραντάλεπτο μας μεταφέρει με απόλυτη σχεδόν ακρίβεια στην ισορροπία του τρόμου μεταξύ ΕΣΣΔ και ΗΠΑ.

Από εκεί και πέρα το ταινιάκι ξεμένει από καύσιμη ύλη και αναλώνεται σε κοινοτοπίες του είδους,διασκεδαστικότατες μεν,πλην το όλον φαντάζει ως χαμένη ευκαιρία.

Ακόμα και έτσι το παρόν είναι σίγουρα αισθητά ανώτερο από άλλες προσπάθειες που προσπάθησαν να αναπαράξουν το δυστοπικό κόνσεπτ των πλέον πετυχημένων δειγμάτων του είδους.


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