Def-Con 4

1985

Action / Sci-Fi

159
IMDb Rating 4.4 10 1,540

Synopsis


Downloaded 12,019 times
July 22, 2019

Director

Cast

Maury Chaykin as Vinny
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
731.67 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.39 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lost-in-limbo 5 / 10 / 10

"Come on, come on. Let's go!"

This low-cost Canadian produced presentation is reasonably ordinary, but for its type not as terrible as it's made out to be. This is one of those films that the cover artwork always made it look quite interesting, but the synopsis on the back had less of an affect. A friend of mine convinced me to watch it, after the first half-hour I could see why because the story does such a great job setting up the highly-charged, innovative predicament (three astronauts in space watch on as world war three erupts with nuclear attacks on Earth) to only lose its way when a couple months later they crash-land back on earth then it becomes a very vanilla-like post-apocalyptic Sci-fi wasteland survival outing (of the very cheap, rancid b-grade kind) with some very unbelievably trite villains that come off more as joke than anything truly threatening. The head honcho played by Kevin King seemed more suited in a "Save by the Bell" episode, than as a ruthlessly imposing leader. At times I was waiting for cued laughter from an audience whenever he was on screen, as he came off more so a brat. Just as poor was Tim Choate in the leading role. Well more so eccentrically annoying. I found the support to be much better; Kate Lynch, Lenore Zann (running around in a school uniform), Maury Chaykin and John Walsch. The opening first half-hour is very well pulled off; with some striking visuals, solid set-designs and usefully gripping details. You could see where all the money went in to, but that could probably explain its weakly conceived abrupt ending. Maybe that had run out. Anyhow during its grounded action, it does create some nasty touches, edgy activity and cement an ugly intensity. Too bad it just too daft (simply lacking the colourful craziness) and at times incoherent. The story is straight-forward, although the script is flimsy and too black and white to make it completely fulfilling. Minimally junky and grim, if particularly plain post-nuke entertainment.

Reviewed by Captain_Couth 7 / 10 / 10

Revenge of the 80's: Apocaplypse Now!

Def-Con 4 (1985) was a surprisingly good low budget take on World World 3. Despite the low budget and the cast of minor actors, it works. The landscape and the situations the residents on a heavily radioactive Earth are a lot similar to what it would actually be like compared to most movies that were made during this time. A nuclear warhead equipped space station is circling above the stratosphere when the unthinkable happens. Nuclear holocaust! In a pickle, the crew aboard the space station must make several decisions in order for them to survive in a world that's nearly impossible to survive on. Can they do it? What kind of world awaits their return? A watchable film that will give you a good time if in the right mood. Recommended.

Reviewed by Squonkamatic 7 / 10 / 10

Two Nifty B Movies In One That Got Better With Time

Let's get it out of the way first thing: The critics of the 80s like Leonard Maltin and Siskel/Ebert who sadistically maligned DEF-CON 4 as a wretched exercise in scum & sleaze were WRONG. I agree with another comment stating that this movie was unfairly dismissed at the time of original release. Yes it's tacky, low budget and amoral -- perhaps one of the most amoral movies of the Reagan years of home video rental. For that reason alone it actually stood out from the pack by actually daring to present it's viewers with exactly that which it aspired to. Unlike the Mad Max films or even the Italian ripoffs of the genre Max created, DEF-CON 4 has no presumptions about being a parable, having any kind of a message or examining some sort of social phenomenon. It is about nuclear war and the resultant breakdown of our North American collective society, and like those prospects it isn't pretty, easy to stomach or even make sense of. In actuality there are actually two B movies in one here: A pretty taught little SNEAKERS/WARGAMES ripoff about a nuclear war triggered by "accident" after Lybians hijack a shipment of cruise missiles and shoot one into Russia. It doesn't detonate but manages to push east/west tensions to the breaking point, the Russians nuke America and the Americans retaliate. Instant global apocalypse, and a demonstration of one of the prevailing nightmares of the Cold War. This sequence of events is ingeniously staged by having the three person crew of a secret orbiting weapons platform observe the exchange and agonize over how to react. Should they launch? Should they go back to earth? Eventually their satellite's computer is hijacked by an unseen entity who prompts an impromptu landing somewhere near the coast of Canada, sparking the second of the two B movie scenarios that becomes a post apocalyptic thriller centered around a makeshift totalitarian regime dominated by the prep school brat of an Army general who recruits other brats, arms them with machine guns, and herds the surviving populace into a ramshackle town comprised mostly of junk. One of the astronauts encounters a survivalist hilariously played over the top by veteran character actor Maury Chaykin, who steals all of his scenes with a blase attitude ("Just get in your rocket ship and fly off to Central America."), his home made converted front end loader tank contraption, and a kilt. He also has a teenage schoolgirl boarded up in his basement, the less said about which the better. His character is the only one in the film who emerges as an actual person, and when the story shifts it's emphasis away from his fate it looses that central core of interest. In any event the astronaut strikes up a deal with the survivalist for the space capsule's food supply and the female astronaut still on board, leading to their capture by the renegades and a series of bizarre scenes of social chaos that seem to have been inspired by Spaghetti Westerns. I will admit that the film is a bit of a mish-mash, and hard to keep track of because it changes gears so quickly. At one minute it's a high tech space thriller, the next a grim survivalist tale, then social satire and finally a big, stupid shootout. But in all fairness it's only the final twenty minutes or so that loose their footing in absurdity, with the main detraction being the role of the Army brat dictator kid, who's grip on the surviving populace is never fully explained. Why are the others following his lead? Since nobody bothers to tell the audience, the kid remains a caricature rather than a character, and the final conflict between the astronaut and him remains something of a contrivance rather than a believable series of events. The ending is also annoyingly empty of any kind of meaning at all, with the movie more or less simply being over at some point. You know, whatever. But if anything the movie has actually gotten more poignant over the decades since it's creation: We now live in a world where middle eastern fanatics do indeed shape global events & have shown themselves capable of inflicting apocalyptic events. We've also seen events like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina where social order has completely broken down, resulting in the kind of mind boggling escapades depicted in the latter part of the film. It's no longer just an escapist nightmare/fantasy to suggest that what is being depicted in the film might actually happen, and the filmmakers should indeed be congratulated for pretty much getting the look of the apocalypse right ... though I do think that people would have found more opportunities to wash their faces & would think that ammunition for firearms would be a bit more of a rarity. The long and short of it is that DEF-CON 4 is not the unwatchable disaster that many might have potential viewers believe. It's a grim, grimy, somewhat distasteful endeavor for sure, but then again so was the prospect nuclear combat toe to toe with the Ruskies. Don't knock the film for having more or less gotten the aspect of what that might mean correctly. 7/10

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