The 1980s Cold War Thrillogy - 35th Anniversary 'Edition'

My Super 8mm original film production with legendary artist Dan Freed is certainly a 'catalog of trail and error.' I'm almost certain many ask, "Why stream these amateur shorts?" In some cases, it's for posterity and others, I just love sharing what my movie-making chums produced on shoestring budgets, imagination and the use of raw materials.

One of my favorite moments during the "Super 8 Years," is the "1980s Cold War Thrillogy" that we produced. It started with the short titled, "Comrade: X" which is a takeoff on the 1940 Clark Gable film of the same name. Our "Comrade: X" was produced when all of us in the crew still could not drive. Hence, the static automobile shots. The moving car shots featured our mothers driving the vehicles. What I find fascinating is how we were tuned into geopolitics. In this film, Stephen Harlow, a young American scientist stumbles upon Soviet plans to blow up The White House and put the US under "Russian rule." The Soviets under Comrade: X and partner Alexander Jookoff infiltrate US soil to take out Harlow. The film ends with the villain supposedly dead and its hero saved Washington from a nuclear attack. As of this writing, the film was produced 35 years ago in early 1982.

Later in that year, we produced a 20+ minute 'featurette' titled, "The Last Day." As it turns out, 'Comrade' overcame his injuries and was taken to his compound on an island in the Baltic Sea. 'Comrade' sends his guards to kidnap Harlow, take him to the island and force him to build a nuclear bomb. The film ends with a huge question mark leaving us to make yet another sequel.

The sequel to "The Last Day" is known as "The Optimist." As it turns out, Harlow joined the CIA despite the PTSD he suffered from dealing with Comrade X. This time out, the CIA recruited Harlow to strike a deal with the imprisoned 'Comrade.' The deal fell through and to this day and little known to the entire world, the Cold War nuclear dilemma was never solved.


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