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Nightmare Fuel / The War Game

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The War Game may not be as dark as The Day After or Threads, but it still has its fair share of nightmare fuel.

  • When it was originally filmed in 1965, The BBC refused to air it because it was too horrifying to be shown on television. It was eventually aired in 1985, a year after Threads aired. Apparently the BBC figured that while The War Game was horrifying, it was less horrifying than Threads.
  • The opening narration which states that due to a small land size, Britain has more nuclear targets per land area than any other country in the world
  • The explanation of the Four Minute Warning. The narration states that for incoming ICBM's, by the time the early warning system could confirm an incoming attack, the warning time would be only 2 and a half to 3 minutes. And if the missiles were launched from submarines off the coast of Britain, there would be less than thirty seconds to get to shelter.
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  • The battle between NATO and Soviet Forces. A tactical nuke is shown being fired, with the soldiers aware that this would bring about The End of the World as We Know It. The film also mentions that NATO is making plans to rely on tactical nukes in a conventional war. Therefore it was possible that NATO could be the first to strike.
  • The film cites a NATO military exercise in Western Europe which featured a "limited engagement" of tactical nukes, and estimated that 2,000,000 people would be seriously or fatally injured.
  • The start of the nuclear attack. It begins following a doctor making an emergency call to a house in Canterbury. The narration describes how most of Russia's ICBM's are liquid fueled and stored above ground which results in them being vulnerable. Therefore the Russians would have to literally use them or lose them in a nuclear war. Then the sirens sound and everyone including the police escort panics. They rush into the house and try to hastily build a shelter out of doors and mattresses, as the family could not afford a proper shelter. The narrator indicates that this is how the last two minutes of peace could look all over Britain. Suddenly an inbound 1 megaton nuclear warhead, having missed it's target, airbursts 6 miles away. The flash melts the eyeballs of a nurse and boy who were outside at the time, and sets fire to the furniture inside the house. Then the shock front arrives and demolishes the home.
    Narrator: During a recent meeting of the Ecumenical Council at the Vatican, an English and an American Bishop expressed the view that "the church must tell the faithful that they should learn to live with, though need not love, the nuclear bomb, provided that it is 'clean' and of a good family."
  • This line from the narrator, which couldn't describe the sheer terror and impact of a nuclear bomb any better:
    "The sound of the blast from a thermo-nuclear bomb has been likened to that of an enormous door slamming in the depths of hell."
    • The line and the aforementioned eye melting scene is sampled in legendary hardcore punk band Discharge's "The Possibility Of Life's Destruction" from their Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing album. (Which is pretty much all Nightmare Fuel from start to finish)


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