In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Friday, April 26, 2019

It's The End of the World, Eh?


With this weekend's finality of both Endgame and the Battle of Winterfell, I thought it appropriate to dust off an eighties end of the world title in Paul Donavan's Def-Con 4 from 1985.


Three astronauts crash land on Earth shortly after a nuclear war has ravaged the planet.

Denizens of the video store era will no doubt remember that infamous coverbox above. I just only recently realized that Def-Con 4 was a Canadian production. Donovan was a CanCon journeyman with a resume that included Lexx, one of the most wonderfully weird sci-fi's to ever grace the small screen. As for Def-Con 4's Canadian roots, you need look no further than the cast that included adopted Torontonian Maury Chaykin and Lenore Zann, who appeared in such notable homegrown titles as Visiting Hours and Happy Birthday To Me.

Tim Choate & Lenore Zann in Def-Con 4.

Def-Con 4 begins in orbit and we are let into the tense situation on the ground via news broadcasts. At first, I thought this might be another teleplay like previous crisis flicks Countdown To Looking Glass and Special Bulletin. Not so though, as their shuttle crashed to Earth in the second act, revealing a very different world than they left.


It wasn't long before I realized that the coverbox was another elaborate ruse. However, I must admit that I was fine that it went the Mad Max route instead. I was expecting this movie to be pretty cheap-looking, but to be honest it looked like they had at least some money to spend on sets. Though it probably wasn't hard to make Nova Scotia look like a desolate wasteland (I keed!)

Seriously though, Def-Con 4 has a good deal of personality. I love the fact that no one in the production though to check if DEFCON was a retro-graded scale. In actuality, Def-Con 4 only denotes mild concern. It may also be the first time I've ever seen a Social Insurance Card used in a movie.


Even though Def-Con 4 may not have reached the heights promised on its cover, this was still some choice eighties post-apoc shenanigans.