The Atomic Cafe

"Good"

The Atomic Cafe Review


Documentaries don't get much stranger than this, but neither does the technology underneath The Atomic Cafe.

A 1982 film now being issued on DVD, The Atomic Cafe is a lighthearted look at nuclear war, produced during the height of the Cold War entirely using stock footage from the 1940s and 1950s. It's a gimmick, but it's a good one -- as the look back at such uniquely American moments as pre-fab bomb shelters, "Duck... and cover!" and the perils of radiation sickness (Your hair will return, the same color as before!) make for chuckle-worthy and sobering experiences.

At the same time, the gimmick wears thin, as the filmmakers try to weave the old footage into a kind of mock narrative, from the first flight of the Enola Gay to riding out a domestic nuclear explosion in a shelter. The attempt at cobbling this together doesn't work, and it doesn't come off nearly as funny as the raw footage itself.

A few commentaries about a nuclear holocaust have been attempted -- and Dr. Strangelove stands out as the greatest success -- butThe Atomic Cafe strikes out a middle ground between surrealism and pop culture. There are certainly lessons in the film about hysteria and misinformation, but their delivery is hampered by someone with an overactive need to poke fun. As such, you need to take the movie itself with a grain of salt -- just like you do with the leaders and filmmakers it skewers.



The Atomic Cafe

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th October 1982

Distributed by: Docurama

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 15

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty

Producer: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Advertisement
Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.