Atomic War Bride
+ This is not a Test

Dir: Vejko Bulajic/Frederic Gadette
Starring: Anton Vrdoljak, Ewa Krzyzewska/Seamon Glass, Thayer Roberts

Something Weird Video have been releasing a bunch of DVDs, crammed with content, and featuring bizarro movies you'd never expect to see. This 'Nuclear' double bill is one of their most solid, containing two features and half a dozen shorts; the only thing missing is the trailers, which formed a much beloved part of other titles (Olga's Dancehall Girls!), but you can't have everything. The shorts include the infamous Duck and Cover, which shows you how to survive atomic war using a tablecloth, and the equally scary You can Beat the A-Bomb, featuring a guy who seems genuinely pleased about the arrival of thermonuclear Armageddon. Watch these first, to get into the right mind-set for the features.

Atomic War Bride is very odd. It's Yugoslavian, and seems as much social satire as anything. The plot concerns John Johnson, whose wedding day is memorable for all the wrong reasons: war breaks out, the church gets bombed, he gets drafted, and is sentenced to death by firing-squad for sedition. Amazingly, his life then proceeds to go downhill from there... Memorable, in a Dr. Strangelove kinda way, it has chilling moments, but is too left-field to be truly effective.

This is not a Test is more straightforward: a assorted bunch of citizens are stuck at a roadblock as World War III looms; inevitably, tension ensues. Glass plays a cop with a major Napoleon complex, barking orders at the civilians, who have their own problems to deal with. Such as Armageddon approaching, perhaps? It feels like a Twilight Zone episode, and occasionally threatens to topple over into Lord of the Flies territory, but largely errs on the side of restraint. At least until the end which...well, at least it's not unexpected.

Overall, the DVD comes well-recommended, though we still can't get up the courage to watch the features on the other Something Weird DVD in the pile. Having seen the trailer for Satan's Bed, don't hold your breath waiting a review on that one...


Better living through radiation
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