6 user 4 critic

Massive Retaliation (1984)

Three families that are best friends head to their secret retreat when WW3 seems to be nearing. The adults arrive at the retreat and must endure the stress to come while the children are ... See full summary »


Thomas A. Cohen

Watch Now

With Prime Video



Learn more

More Like This 

The Zoo Gang (1985)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Homeless kids need a place to stay, so they rent the club "The Zoo" out, from Old Leather Face. Later, a new gang attempts to take away their home. A fight ensues with thumbtacks and ... See full summary »

Directors: Pen Densham, John Watson
Stars: Eric Gurry, Tiffany Helm, Jason Gedrick
Tapeheads (1988)
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A couple of creative losers accidently become big shots in the video music industry.

Director: Bill Fishman
Stars: John Cusack, Tim Robbins, Mary Crosby
Hot to Trot (1988)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

Fred P. Chaney receives as inheritance after the death of his mother a speaking horse that also has good knowledge about the stock-market. With the help of this horse Fred gains a lot at ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Dinner
Stars: Bobcat Goldthwait, Dabney Coleman, John Candy
Burglar (1987)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Bernice "Bernie" Rhodenbarr is a burglar by trade, and she runs a bookstore as well. Her friend Carl Hefler is a dog groomer. After a successful burglary, it's discovered that a dead body ... See full summary »

Director: Hugh Wilson
Stars: Whoopi Goldberg, Bobcat Goldthwait, G.W. Bailey
Little Vegas (1990)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A cast of misfits, refugees from checkered pasts, alcoholic binges and unrequited loves, each seek something different from this scorched wasteland and each other.

Director: Perry Lang
Stars: Tony Denison, Catherine O'Hara, Anne Francis
Rooftops (1989)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A skilled young street fighter battles criminals across the rooftops of New York City.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Jason Gedrick, Troy Byer, Eddie Velez
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A hip guardian angel named Bobby Fontana, who died in a car race in the 60s, reluctantly agrees to watch over lonely 80s high schooler Lenny Barnes who needs guidance on how to become cool.

Director: Cary Medoway
Stars: Lewis Smith, Jason Gedrick, Jane Kaczmarek


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Bower ... Kirk Fredericks
Karlene Crockett Karlene Crockett ... Marianne Briscoe
Peter Donat ... Lee Briscoe
Marilyn Hassett ... Lois Fredericks
Susan O'Connell Susan O'Connell ... Jackie Tolliver
Michael Pritchard Michael Pritchard ... Harry Tolliver
Jason Gedrick ... Eric Briscoe
Bobcat Goldthwait ... Ernie Rust (as Bob Goldthwait)
Mimi Fariña Mimi Fariña ... Susie Barker (as Mimi Farina)
Johnny Weissmuller Jr. ... Virgil Griffin
Christopher Burton Christopher Burton ... Carl Fredericks
Molly Cohen Molly Cohen ... Meghan Fredericks
Alex Drude Alex Drude ... Harry Tolliver Jr.
Doug Santana Doug Santana ... Peter Fredericks
Lisa Soloway Lisa Soloway ... Kimberly Briscoe


Three families that are best friends head to their secret retreat when WW3 seems to be nearing. The adults arrive at the retreat and must endure the stress to come while the children are separated from the adults and have their own troubles along the way. This is a great story in the fact that many of these types of movies deal in violence while this one deals in the psychological aspect of the situation. Written by Nolan Price <noas4@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

September 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Days of Sunshine Past See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Bob Goldthwait. See more »


Near the end of the film the shadow of the boom mic can be seen as the girl is being taken from the van. See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to the memory of Philip Lilienthal and for Sally, Sarah, and Molly. See more »


Children of Darkness
Written by Richard Farina
Performed by Mimi Fariña and Dewey Bunnell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

As usual, not a drop of blood
21 September 2005 | by fathom-5See all my reviews

This is no better than Testament, The Day After, or Time of The Wolf. It's just too quiet, too detached from the horror that one might expect from a film revolving around the mass-detonation of atomic weaponry. The weight of the events is turned gooey, trivial, almost into a soap-opera style drama. Try as actors might, "imagining the unimaginable" (as it's often called) leaves the viewer uneasy at worst. The reporter that traveled to Hiroshima right after the a-bomb was dropped - he was not left uneasy. He was horrified, beside himself with grief and sorrow. Those are the emotions a film on this topic should attempt to evoke. Sadly, Massive Retaliation wimps out like many before and after it. One is invariably led to wonder the reasons this abnormal structure has proved the prevalent one. Why is it, that whenever anyone wants to make a nuclear war film, and get it taken seriously, it's turned into a character study? I can count on one hand the no-holds-barred, "thermonuclear war is not pretty" type of films that have been widely distributed across America. I guess when "The China Syndrome" predicted 3 Mile Island and changed millions of minds regarding nuclear power, the secret was out: to keep making missiles and subs and bombers, don't put the "real deal" in front of the people. Make them think that it will be a mild, slow, thoughtful and sad cancer-type death. Showing the real thing, the eyeball exploding, blood boiling out every hole, organs exploding, teeth melting, ocean boiling, mountain-leveling finality of all life on earth for thousands of years thing would just upset everyone too much. Afraid, but not rioting out of sheer panic - that's the optimum mood. Trauma is not conducive to apathetic behavior, and that's what the death-merchants need from the civilian sector. Hence, the oddly maudlin nature of our mainstream nuclear Armageddon movies. What a sorry excuse for consciousness-raising fare, this tripe known as Massive Retalitation.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed