Once in a generation, a movie comes along that sticks with us for eternity. Some horror fans will throw that one film that absolutely destroyed their nerves as perhaps The Exorcist or Halloween. But I can also tell you a grand majority will also throw this title out there-Threads. The 1984 BBC televised film on nuclear war laid an anxiety bomb in the minds of all those who watched this little piece of PTSD. Author and scholar Bob Mielke in connection with the Die Die Books series gives us one hell of a deep dive into this atomic nightmare that will give fans some new insight into one of the most terrifying films ever made.

Threads is a movie that pulls no punches, reveling in the slow-building sense of dread that arises from its nightmarish—and painfully realistic—depiction of the lead-up, destruction, and years-long aftermath of a nuclear attack on Sheffield, England. Commissioned by the BBC to warn audiences about the dangers of the Cold War, this television film has since been reclaimed and celebrated by horror fans as one of the scariest movies ever made.

This horror essay on Threads by Bob Mielke examines the film through the lens of history, pop culture, and horror, and I recently finished a copy of this monster analysis so here are a few thoughts:

This horror essay on Threads by Bob Mielke examines the film through the lens of history, pop culture, and horror by dissecting the film down to milliseconds of a scene, to obviously the more memorable ones along with just about everything you would want to know that went into making this explosive movie, and the aftermath of its effects on the public. The book also has an in-depth compare and contrast to America’s own nuclear threat picture, The Day After, which offers a deep, thought-provoking memoir gathered through extensive research.

Mielke’s analysis of Threads and thorough explanations of symbolism in the film really put a lot of this movie into even more perspective for me and if I ever feel like having a panic attack again by watching this one more time, I’ll definitely be looking at it through a new set of eyes as the exceptional attention to carefully unpack everything in detail with ease to understand without sounding cinematically snooty, made me think long and hard about this movie and the phenomenon around it.

Per the press release:

Mikita Brottman, the lauded author of numerous books, who is also a Sheffield native, comments: “You cannot win a nuclear war, but as Mielke explains in this genial and engaging guide, you can definitely enjoy watching one. Although Threads paints a grim portrait of post-nuclear-war Sheffield, Mielke’s lively, lucid, and cheerful book makes the doom a little less relentless.”

The central character in Threads is Ruth Beckett, a young woman who is pregnant at the time of the blast and must raise her daughter in the post-apocalyptic hellscape. Karen Meagher, the actor who portrays Ruth, says of Mielke’s book: “We are genetically predisposed to survive. It is a primal necessity. The irony is not lost on me that it is ‘we’ who have laboured, researched, and refined instruments of destruction throughout our existence to essentially obliterate ourselves from existence! I hope the reader will consider every word Mielke has written in this comprehensive and considered, yet easily accessible, book. It took me right back to the visceral experience and time that was Threads.”

Pick up your copy of Threads by Bob Mielke right here and be sure to join Die Die Books mailing list while you’re at to stay up to date on any future releases!

Patti PaulterGeist

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