HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
   
 
Newest Articles
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
   
 
  Testament Everything Must Go
Year: 1983
Director: Lynne Littman
Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Ross Harris, Roxana Zal, Lukas Haas, Philip Anglim, Lilia Skala, Leon Ames, Lurene Tuttle, Rebecca De Mornay, Kevin Costner, Mako, Mico Olmos, Gerry Murillo, J. Brennan Smith, Lesley Woods, William G. Schilling
Genre: Drama, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's just another ordinary day in a Californian small town, but for housewife Carol Wetherly (Jane Alexander) and her family it will be the last ordinary day they will ever experience. Not knowing of the devastation to come, they carry on as they always have, as Carol's businessman husband Tom (William Devane) gets up early, rouses his eldest son Brad (Ross Harris) and they both go cycling around the neighbourhood, Brad somewhat reluctantly. Meanwhile daughter Mary Liz (Roxana Zal) practices at the piano while her breakfast is getting cold, and youngest son Scottie (Lukas Haas) is more concerned with causing minor chaos. Sadly, things will never be the same again.

A science fiction film for those who don't like science fiction, Testament sombrely depicts that eighties preoccupation, the much dreaded nuclear war that thankfully never came to pass. The same year that this was released miniseries The Day After was broadcast too, and in a way stole some of this film's thunder, but while the miniseries now looks histrionic and over the top, by staying quiet Testament is the more effective work. Scripted by John Sacret Young from Carol Amen's short story, it was originally intended for television, but considered so well made that it was released to cinemas, winning the excellent Alexander an Oscar nomination in the process (and making the cast a bit more money, too).

The way the bomb drops is sickening, but not depicted by way of any huge special effects budget. Suddenly, as the family are waiting for Tom to return home and watching television, the picture cuts out, and after a few seconds of static a newsreader appears onscreen to inform them that a nuclear attack has commenced. We have seen no footage of troops amassing on that television, nor hear of any diplomatic incidents or even warmongering, so it's only knowing what the film is about beforehand that prepares us for what happens: a flash of light through the windows and then silence.

The nuclear war drama of the day, whether it be Threads, The Day After or an Italian post-apocalypse adventure, would always feature the survivors stumbling around the rubble of a devastated landscape, but here the town escapes the worst of the blasts. It will not, however, escape the fallout and radiation poisoning. At first the townsfolk try to get organised in the face of the disaster, communing in the town hall and seeing what can be done about looting or food and water supplies. But the local doctor has ominous news: the radiation will cause eventual disease and death and nobody has a clue what to do about that.

So Testament settles into a examination of Carol's family as it begins to fall apart, initially as Tom is lost, apparently forever, on his way back from San Francisco. Then small, tragic details accumulate, as Scottie runs away and buries his toys in the local graveyard (which is getting more full by the day), and death encroaches on Carol's loved ones. For the greater part of the film, the situation is portrayed with sorrow, until, near the end, Carol sinks to her knees at a mass burning of bodies and shouts, "Oh, who did this? God damn you!", and a little more righteous anger might have given the film a more scathing tone. As it is, there's a sense that this is Armageddon for nice people, but the horrible inevitability of the deaths nevertheless contains a bleak power. Here any hope for the future lies not with the characters, but with the audience. Music by James Horner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4284 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: