The Chain Reaction (1980)

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An earthquake in rural Australia causes a dangerous leak at WALDO, a nuclear waste storage facility. Heinrich Schmidt, an engineer badly hurt in the accident, knows that the leak will ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arna-Maria Winchester ...
Ross Thompson ...
Ralph Cotterill ...
Lorna Lesley ...
Richard Moir ...
Jr. Const. Pigott
Patrick Ward ...
Laurie Moran ...
Police Sgt. McSweeney
Michael Long ...
Bill McCluskey ...
Margo Lloyd ...
Tim Burns ...
Survey driver
Arthur Sherman ...
Byron Langley
Barry Donnelly ...


An earthquake in rural Australia causes a dangerous leak at WALDO, a nuclear waste storage facility. Heinrich Schmidt, an engineer badly hurt in the accident, knows that the leak will poison the groundwater for hundreds of miles around, and wants to warn the public. His boss, however, is only interested in protecting himself, and believes the accident should be covered up, even at the expense of thousands of lives. Heinrich escapes from the facility, but is too badly injured to get very far. Lost in the woods and suffering from amnesia, he is rescued by Larry, an auto mechanic on vacation with his wife, Carmel. As Heinrich tries to piece together his memories of what happened, his boss' thugs are quickly closing in on the trio. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A fast drive to Paradise turns into a nuclear nightmare ! See more »


Action | Drama | Sci-Fi


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 September 1980 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Nuclear Run  »

Box Office


AUD 450,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie was chosen as the Closing Night Film at the 1980 Sydney Film Festival, screening on 28 June 1980. See more »


When Larry runs over a Pluto's Man, the man is seen rolling off the windscreen into the back trailer of the Ute, but when the camera cuts to the inside of the Ute, the camera has a clear view of the back of the Ute, and no one is there, but in the next shot when he reaches for Carmel, he is on the roof of the Ute. It's not possible to get on top of the Ute from the trailer in that span of time, especially at the high speeds that Larry was traveling throughout the car chase. See more »


Larry: Settle down? This guy comes burstin in here in the middle of the night from the middle of nowhere lookin like a... a front row ford spat out of a grand final scrum - and he won't tell us the score - and you tell me to settle down...
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Featured in Ozploitation Trailer Explosion (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Goose drives again!
15 June 2000 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

This was a pleasant surprise I caught on cable one day. Opening a year after Mad Max and with 2 actors Steve Bisley and Hugh Keays-Byrne also from Mad Max this little action/thriller is very entertaining. Aussies really know how to put together some great car chases - lots of V8 engine noises and cameras by the wheel, this movie has at least 2 that beat the crap out of several hundred car chases in American movies. The story might be a little far-fetched but nothing that's intolerable. I gave this one an 8/10, without the car chases a 7.

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