“Red Dawn”

When the Soviets invade the American heartland, it’s up to a handful of jocks from the local Highschool to stop them. Classic cold-war cinema that blends paranoia and patriotism into an explosive motion picture  that only gets “better” with age.

Though the premise of the film is absurd, it’s simplistic, black and white take on the Cold War makes for an extremely visceral experience. Directed by conservative Hollywood filmmaker John Milius (of “Apocalypse Now”, “Conan” fame) it offers one of the only examples of “the Reds” (and not just “martians“) actually invading the states, a preposterous but bold statement.

While much better films about the cold war have been made in the past (directly and indirectly) “Red Dawn’s” unapologetic, pro-American stance of US v. THEM (with “them” being heartless, killing machines bent on world domination) it is not only an elaborate propaganda film but one of the few Hollywood productions to take such a ring-wing attitude, especially so close to the end of the Cold War.

Its full of Reagan-era optimism and hard-headedness with a belief that America’s virtue can never be defiled by the “evil Empire.” It’s presentation of which is almost mythic in proportion. A fascinating political statement to be examined, especially in light of current political and social divisiveness down in the U.S. with so much talk of Obama’s “socialist” take-over and whatnot.

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