Three astronauts operating an American satellite in space orbiting the globe, carrying a package of warheads, during a turbulent time on Earth as nuclear is a penetrating threat where war is imminent. When an American thermonuclear warhead lands in Russia, supposedly released by terrorists, which doesn't explode, chaos ensues, and the astronauts, faced with the fact that their loved ones and friends will perish, can only look on as the Earth is plunged into worldwide war. Someone from the ground below on Earth, after the nuclear devastation ends with most of the world dead from the nukes landed or dying from radiation in the air, triggers a program which forces the astronauts to land. Landing on a beach, the doctor Jordan(Kate Lynch)is knocked unconscious, while Captain Walker(John Walsch)is removed from the crash-landed capsule by cannibals which cook him over a fire, as astronaut Howe(Tim Choate) tries to find help. Awaiting Howe and Jordan will be a militant group under the command of baby-faced teenager Gideon Hayes(Kevin King)who operates a make-shift concentration camp(..he was the son of a military man, and successfully survived a helicopter crash, leaving him a broke-backed satellites specialist and girlfriend)with other school chums as gunmen. With Gideon's lieutenant Lacey(Jeff Pustil), a pathetic goon who relishes his powerful role which puts him in position to bark orders(..when in truth he'd be mincemeat if left in this world without such company), they take the remaining astronauts hostage, and the rest of the film shows their attempts to break free from his totalitarian grip. We are also shown that, despite most of the warheads having released from the satellite, one has remained lodged in it's chamber counting down to it's explosion time.
Maury Chaykin has an amusing role as a filthy civilian named Vinny who, for a time, threatens Howe's life if he doesn't take him to the space capsule full of food, before taken prisoner by Gideon. Lenore Zann is Gideon's Achilles' heel, ex-girlfriend JJ, for whom he still covets despite her rejections. Amusingly, JJ was Vinny's "prisoner"(..but basically, she was using his booby-trapped abode as a hide-out from Gideon)who attempts to help Howe escape. I enjoyed the opening of the film inside the capsule with our astronauts showing their emotions at what was transpiring on Earth. The last portion of the film, once we enter Gideon's concentration camp, kind of ruins an otherwise interesting premise..the idea of astronauts crash-landing on a nuclear devastated world. Gideon, played by King who looks all of 17, as a leader is a bit of a stretch..it's hard to believe that he, Lacey, or any of these teenage clowns, with(..or without) guns could operate a camp of any kind. Gideon is quite a despicable bastard..a kid obviously born with a silver spoon in his mouth and the world at his feet(..there's one scene where he promises his satellite specialist a cooked steak if he reveals a certain password, going back on his word once getting what he desired). But, would such a military brat survive a nuclear devastated world becoming a feared leader over slaves? Bah, I doubt it. I think the film has it's moments, and certainly isn't the worst movie every made as claimed during the user comments. I found it minimally entertaining, being a sucker for post-apoc sci-fi..but, it could've been much better with a more believable story(..and a more realistic villain(s))and focused direction. To start so well, and fall so short is a bit disappointing. I truly feel the film would've served better if the story remained centered on the three astronauts and their adapting to a devastated world.
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