In order to find out what will happen to people in a concrete shelter in a post-nuclear situation some scientist are looking for three volunteers to stay isolated on a small island. After ... See full summary »
In order to find out what will happen to people in a concrete shelter in a post-nuclear situation some scientist are looking for three volunteers to stay isolated on a small island. After some time on the island those three, two men and a woman, realize that the scientists want them to stay longer than the arranged sixty days. They become real nervous about it, but what to do? Written by
Saw "Operation Dead End" (Germany, 1986) on TV few days ago. I remembered this movie was shown in cinemas 1986, which caught my interest then, but I never saw it until now. So I had a middle high expectation, which turned out to be a big disappointment. For plot outline, please read the official paragraph above.
Although it began interesting (e. g. the introduction of the volunteers/experimentees, the transport by ship and helicopter to the island, the gasmasks, the shelter), the story went downhill after ca. half an hour. I nevertheless watched it completely, because my mind was busy with thinking about the poor quality of this movie, about the many implausibilities and inconsistencies (see the collection of spoilers below). Moreover, I was too lazy to get up and go to bed.
Why it was so poor: The director wanted to show off by being "cool", but lacked very much in substance. The situation of two men and a woman imprisoned in a shelter for over 60 days was never adequately used. Many times it was ridiculous how the experimentees behave, and the scientists on the ship, too. The behaviours of the characters were most of the time incomprehensible and full of clichés, the psychology behind was unbelievable. The actors were not so bad, but given such a bad script (with bad dialogues) they didn't get a chance to redeem the movie. There was little suspense/thrill, much boredom and in the end a big question mark: What sense did it make?
Begin spoilers **************** Some of the main implausibilities/inconsistencies: - The island is (supposedly) contaminated with a germ (anthrax, for example), therefore one must wear a gasmask there. But in the shelter, there is no airlock! Instead, the whole shelter must be air-cleaned every time the door is opened. This procedure is not believable, because every shelter with autonomous air supply has an airlock. - In the shelter it's uncomfortably cold, the experimentees said. Why? Is this part of the experiment (to investigate what exactly?), a technical incapability/failure or because of supposed sadism of the scientists? It is not explained. - What do the inhabitants do the whole day? They have no things at all to do (neither work nor leisure time activities), so it is only a question of time, that they will get a nervous breakdown. What is the purpose for such hard preconditions? Even prisoners get something to do. - A rat is in this small high-tech shelter with video and audio surveillance all around, and no-one of the scientists/technicians recognized this before? This is unlikely/hardly believable. - Boris (the blond man) outwits the scientists by disturbing the video transmission and they have no idea why, although they are actually watching him doing this? Ridiculous. - When Leslie (the dark-haired man) out of the blue went nuts and tried to rape Kim, Boris makes no attempt to stop him. Maybe he thinks: That's none of my business, so I'm ignoring this. But we can't learn, because we get no insights in the characters whatsoever. - When the 60 days are over and nobody comes to pick them up, the inhabitants plan to destroy the (for 30 days) remaining food rations to force the scientists to come. In order to do this, they must leave the shelter (why? Also implausible! They could have dumped it into the toilet), but the door can only be opened (remotely controlled) by the scientists, which they actually do despite their knowledge of the plan. This is completely illogical: The scientists make it possible, that the inhabitants can end the experiment, which wasn't the intention of the scientists. End spoilers **************
Result: 2 points out of 10, because of the quirky 1980's atmosphere (especially the suddenly starting cheap synthesizer music) and the mediocre first half hour. Besides there are worse films than that.
Recommendations: If you like this sort of movies, I recommend you "Das Experiment" (2001, Oliver Hirschbiegel), "A Cold Night's Death" (1973, Jerrold Freedman), "Quiet Earth" (1985, Geoff Murphy), "Operation Ganymed" (1977, Rainer Erler, rare!), "Phase IV" (1974, Saul Bass), "The Andromeda Strain" (1971, Robert Wise). These are much better movies.
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