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DieDieBooks releases nuclear horror Threads essay, with plenty of nods to Lawrence’s The Day After

7 Mar 23,  Sarah Moore, The Pitch,

DieDieBooks, created by Rachel Kempf and Nick Toti in Kirksville, MO, is a publisher releasing a series of film criticism in anthology style—each release is a stand-alone book about a different horror film, each written by a different author. As part of the first ‘season’ of titles from the new Missouri publisher, a full-length look at the cult-classic nuclear horror film Threads is out now from author Bob Mielke. 

Threads is a 1984 film that shows the lead-up, destruction, and years-long aftermath of a nuclear attack, with painstaking detail. It is set in Sheffield, England, and was originally commissioned by the BBC to show the true dangers of the Cold War. Thanks to its stark portrayal of nuclear holocaust during an era of Cold War high tension, this film has long remained a horrifying pillar of that era, in its attempts to scare straight world powers. 

To capture the import and payload of the British title, no author could be more fitting than Mielke. While not a traditional film critic like other authors in the DieDieBooks imprint, Mielke is a nuclear activist and researcher in addition to his work as a professor at Truman University, where he teaches an interdisciplinary seminar on nuclear warfare. 

To have a nuclear scientist-level take on a nuclear science horror film is certainly an unexpected angle for a full-length essay about a genre film. Mielke delivers on his potential by turning over a wildly engaging text but equally singular in perspective—no one else could have written this, and you feel smarter just for having picked up his treatise…………………………………………………….

With the rising threat of nuclear destruction bearing down on the world again today, these films and the Threads book become even more pertinent. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock to 90 seconds to midnight this year, the closest the clock has ever been. This is meant to tell the world how close we are to nuclear destruction.

In 1984 when Threads was commissioned to diffuse the impending nuclear warfare, the Doomsday Clock was only set to three minutes to midnight. 

“Why doesn’t somebody make a film like [Threads] now?” Mielke asks. “I think the answer is that they wouldn’t get the money to do it. I mean, to me, it could be done in a very fresh way because there’s all sorts of new wrinkles in the current world situation, but people just don’t seem to want to.”……..


March 7, 2023 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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