First Round: Silver Bracket
Dr Strangelove has withstood the test of time and continues to attract legions of new fans with each passing year. I do not care what anyone says, Major Kong stole the show. 😊 Defcon 4 is a cheesy 1985 movie about a group of three astronauts manning an SDI platform in space. A crisis between the US and Soviet Union breaks out and leads to nuclear war. Two months after the war the spacecraft returns to earth, unloading the two surviving astronauts into a stereotypical post-apocalyptic environment filled with barbarians, cannibals and the teenage son of a dead admiral who now runs his own clan. A long-forgotten movie that did have a pretty cool VHS cover.
Winner: Dr Strangelove
7 Colossus: The Forbin Project
Looking back, Colossus seems to have provided the inspiration for Skynet and Joshua. A supercomputer built for the defense of the United States that becomes self-aware and comes to the realization that the world can only survive if it is under the complete control of the computer, appropriately named Colossus. But the Russians have constructed a similar computer system named Guardian. Colossus requests that the two computers be linked. Soviet and US leaders agree and the systems are linked. They rapidly form a mathematics-based language that humans cannot translate. The link is broken, and Colossus demands it be restored. When it is not, the two systems launch ICBMs at targets in the US and Soviet Union. The Russian missile is intercepted and destroyed but the US ICBM hits a Soviet oil field. The movie ends with Colossus on the verge of assuming total control of the world and warning through deeds that interference by humans will not be tolerated. The film was far ahead of its time, warning of the dangers accompanying advanced AI. Unfortunately, Colossus: The Forbin Project was a film which did not attract a large following aside from fans of science fiction. In this way, it is decidedly inferior to Wargames, which was released in the following decade and became a multigenerational pop culture icon.
3 Red Dawn (1984)
6 The Bedford Incident
Red Dawn has been mocked by critics for decades, having been labeled everything from a joke to a conservative wet dream. In spite of the hate, Red Dawn has become a bona fide pop culture icon. The operation to capture Saddam Hussein was codenamed ‘Red Dawn’ in honor of the movie. In the current Russia-Ukraine war, Ukrainian troops have vandalized knocked-out Russian vehicles with the movie’s unforgettable catch phrase ‘Wolverines.’ The Bedford Incident is a good movie, but it is really more of a navy film rather than belonging to the WWIII genre. A classic story of an old, grizzled destroyer captain undertaking his last sub hunt before being put out to pasture. Only things go wrong, and the game turns deadly, ending with Soviet nuclear torpedoes destroying the USS Bedford.
Winner: Red Dawn
5 This Is Not A Test
World War III-themed network miniseries from the ‘80s were forgettable bombs. Amerika is probably the Tsar Bomb of this exclusive group. It was about life in the United States after a bloodless Soviet conquest. The backstory behind the Soviet takeover is admittedly unrealistic but interesting. In the late 1980s, fearing it was losing the Cold War (correct assumption as it turned out in reality) Moscow takes a major gamble and detonates nuclear weapons at the edge of space over the US. The resulting EMP destroys communications systems and computers, making it impossible for the NCA to contact US strategic forces at home or conventional and nuclear forces abroad. The US is forced to accept Soviet surrender terms and is integrated into the Soviet bloc. The movie picks up ten years after ward and follows a number of American and Soviet characters as they navigate the landscape of an America under complete Soviet control. I’ve reviewed Amerika on this blog and discussed the miniseries in depth.
This Is Not A Test is a B movie from 1962 about a deputy county sheriff who receives orders to block traffic moving towards an unnamed city in California. As a group of motorists gathers, attack warnings are heard on the police officer’s radio. The group of people and the deputy try and set up an impromptu shelter in the back of a tractor trailer. Meanwhile, a series of subplots develop and are resolved among the travelers, including adultery, murder and increasing hysteria. The end scene shows a white flash signaling the explosion of a nuclear bomb, but the fate of the people in this film is not revealed. Not a bad movie but like most other B grade flicks, there’s nothing too memorable about it. Good effort at least.
2 Replies to “March Madness 2023: WWIII Movies Tournament: Round One, Silver Bracket”
Hi Mike – Loved your piece about Red Dawn in round one of the WWIII movie tournament & glad it’s though to the next round. Maybe an extra consideration in the recent popularity & appreciation of Red Dawn is with it’s new found champion with the Tabletop wargaming team at Team Yankee; who have expanded their Team Yankee battlesets from WWIII in Europe to the hyperthetical invasion of the USA by embracing the Red Dawn film scenario. If your Liberty in Peril blog takes off then no doubt Team Yankee already has the Red Dawn battlesets to expand into your Liberty in Peril invasion blog. Here’s some interesting video’s on Team Yankee wargaming beginning with the TY Red Dawn Dec 2022 release review video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWb1D4piyF0 Battlefront presents the Team Yankee Command School https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uOn69M3nP4 and here’s the complete Fog of War playlist of Team Yankee video reviews. https://www.youtube.com/@FogofWar/videos
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Hey John. Thanks for the links. You have a good point. If Liberty In Peril is selected, the Team Yankee’s Red Dawn battle sets will be invaluable! 🙂