Thursday, January 17, 2008
THIS IS NOT A TEST (1962)
I love cheap DVDs. And I don’t just mean the $5 bin at your local super store either where you can find some great movies mixed in with the crap. I’m talking about the super cheap $1 discs that are put out by companies you’ve never heard of and are packed with Public Domain movies you have also have never heard of. There are a dozen or more of these kinds of shady DVD companies sliding through the cracks and I have to admit I love them all. Any time I spot a display of their product I’ll paw through them out of curiosity and if something strikes my fancy- hey- it’s only a buck! This is how I ended up seeing THIS IS NOT A TEST.
Talk about low budget! I’m not sure what this movie cost but I’m sure it had to be less than was spent on a single hour of filming any normally budgeted movie. Seriously- outside of the actors and the equipment this looks likes it might have been filmed for a few hundred dollars. So I found it wholly appropriate that I should watch this on a $1 DVD. Cheap film with a cheap video presentation obviously mastered from VHS. The world is sometimes perfect!
The film itself is nothing to get excited about. Another in the long line of sad social warning films about the horrible possibility of nuclear war and its terrible aftermath. It’s pretty bad. Barely clocking in at 70 minutes it still feels way too long with lots of dialog padding and scenes that go on longer than they should. A group of people who are vaguely representative of a cross section of American society are stopped on a lonely highway by a policeman. It’s the middle of the night and none of the travelers are happy about having their trips interrupted. The cop informs everyone that there has been a nuclear attack on the country and all the roads closer to the cities are jammed. They are all going to hunker down here to wait out the attack and try to survive. Soon we have fights, romance, silly drama, smart-assed attitudes, adultery and lots of booze drinking. Even a little dog gets offed to save air in the enclosed truck that everyone holes up in. And, of course, the film ends with the bomb going off and killing everyone. So its a happy ending.
This is exactly the kind of film that I know is going to be a waste of my time but I can't stop watching. No matter how bad the acting, the writing or the production values I can NOT turn away. I know I should but I can't. Maybe I should seek treatment. But there is no reason for anyone else to suffer through this movie. Steer clear, good folks. Only if you suffer from the same sick need I have to see these sad Atomic War scare films should you ever think about spending your dollar on THIS IS NOT A TEST.
I need a drink.