Red Dawn

Red Dawn

Red Dawn

1984. Directed by John Milius.

A cult classic gem born of cold war paranoia, Red Dawn, upon it's release was considered one of the most violent films ever made.

Communist forces invade America and the battle plays out at the street (wilderness) level with high school kids forming a guerilla resistance and embracing their mascot, The Wolverine, as their calling card.

Milius uses The Battle of Algiers as a stepping stone to craft this 80's patriotic touchstone and it works on every level. One of the film's more grim characteristics is that unlike Algiers, the rebel forces are not gaining numbers, They're cut off an dying one at a time. The film has a certain charm when it comes to death, with almost every major character's expiration having meaning or symbolism.

This could not have been accomplished without Basil Poledouris' amazing score. Every time the legendary rift hits, you instantly want to grab your guns and sign up with Patrick Swayze's crew and take on the masses.

Ric Waite's barebones cinematography is wonderful, highlighting the blood and bullets, but also bringing a familiar human, and ultimately American sense of pride to the story.

One of the best parts of the film is how it's nihilistic conclusion transforms into a message of hope and typical America overcomes all feeling. It's a playfully dark offering, that harnesses a Lord of the Flies tableau to show the end of innocence in a hemorrhaging ocean of trees and snow.

Load up your guns, fly your flag, and sit back and enjoy an amazing entry into the American Patriotic pantheon of film.

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Cemetery of Splendor

Cemetery of Splendor