Episode 4: Nuclear Panic Movies, feat. Jim Laczkowski of Voices + Visions

Gabe and Now Playing Network head honcho Jim Laczkowski – who you may remember from Director’s Club Podcast and Voices & Visions, among others – take a deep dive into the soul-crushing world of Nuclear Panic Movies. Again, this subject is too broad for a single podcast, so we’ve broken the discussion down to a series of movies released at the height of ‘80s Cold War paranoia between 1983 and 1988.

Jim sets the stage by filling Gabe in on a couple ‘60s entries – Fredric Gadette’s This is Not a Test (1962) and Ray Milland Panic in Year Zero! (1962) – then they dig in, like atomic radiation tearing its way through flesh, bone, and marrow. Subject matter includes Nicholas Meyer’s The Day After (1983), Mick Jackson’s Threads (1984), Lynne Littman’s Testament (1983, #52FilmsByWomen), Edward Zwick’s Special Bulletin (1983), Fred Barzyk’s Countdown to Looking Glass (1984), Mori Masaki’s Barefoot Gen (1983; Gabe also quickly discusses the legacy of Hiroshima/Nagasaki-themed movies), Jimmy T. Murakami’s When the Wind Blows (1986), Steve De Jarnatt’s Miracle Mile (1988), and John Duigan’s One Night Stand (1984). Gabe closes things out with a quick mention of Konstantin Lopushansky’s Dead Man’s Letters (1986), which is otherwise dense enough to fill an entire podcast on its own.

Follow along with this handy Letterboxd list (ranked by release date): https://letterboxd.com/gabepowers/list/nuclear-panic-movies-of-the-80s/

Tune in next month when Gabe and Tracks of the Damned’s Patrick Ripoll cram every single slasher movie released in the year 1981. Do our homework along with us by watching all of the films on this Letterboxd list: https://letterboxd.com/gabepowers/list/1981-slasher-movies/

James Laczkowski