A Possibly Totally Inaccurate History of The Fall of Communism As Presented in Bad Movies

By  · Published on August 3rd, 2012

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; Mr. McDonald, tear up this restraining order. You’ve marched into the most patriotic bad movie column since the dramatic toppling of Lee Greenwood’s Stars and Schlock Forever. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that not all movies are created equal. Some are endowed by their creators with certain inexplicable faults. We here at JFC are dedicated to the proposition that perhaps despite these faults, these films have elements that come together to form a more enjoyable union…than most would have the patience to endure. Then, in the last course of human descent, it will be become necessary for you to ingest a sugary themed food item week keep in the cupboard by the pebbles, Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles.

Communism, after consulting a dictionary recently and rectifying a longstanding misunderstanding, is not in fact that cracker-and-juice portion of church. It is a set of political and social ideologies with but one goal: destroy America. It was founded by John Lennon, the red walrus, and fear of this growing movement would later be spread in America by Senator Paul McCartney; a scare tactic known as McCartneyism. The Beatles were quite divided as it turns out. But how is it that we finally defeated this great threat?

If there is one thing the movies have taught me, it’s that they are easily the best possible source for historical truth and all films essentially exist within the same universe…even if that universe is my fry-grease-and-Nintendo-addled brain. So yeah, two things. Therefore, I present to you a probably (not really) totally accurate (in no way) history of the fall of communism as presented by the bad movies documentaries of the 1980s.

Now we all know that communism was initially brought to the U.S. from Manchuria by Angela Lansbury, who insidiously brainwashed a young American into believing the despicable lie that solitaire was a fun way to pass the time. She would escape and fabricate for herself an airtight cover as a beloved mystery novelist. No one seemed to notice that people died everywhere Jessica Fletcher went, nor did they ever discover that these victims were all international spies seeking to bring her to justice. But while this represents the roots of the red scare in America, it didn’t reach a crisis point until that legendary historic standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union, the one that pushed us closer to the brink of war with the Soviets than we had ever been before.

I’m speaking of course about that time Matthew Broderick played a videogame and almost destroyed the entire planet. This event was later renamed The Cuban Missile Command. Somehow, this perpetually-smirking twerp was able to “accidentally” access the country’s foremost defense and military systems through his home computer and decided to play a game called Global Thermal Nuclear War. Eventually Broderick had to teach the computer that much like tic-tac-toe, or your VHS copy of Inspector Gadget, the only way to win is not to play.

For his actions, and for making our national security administration look categorically knuckleheaded, Broderick was sentenced to five years house arrest. Unfortunately, he kept concocting wild schemes for skipping out of the house and enjoying jovial, montagey romps through Chicago where in he would crash otherwise peaceful parades.

Not only were the Russians enraged that they had been duped by the kid from Ladyhawke, the Cubans were irked as they were already planning on initiating the same “accidental” access of America’s defense computers using their own videogame wiz: Comrade 64. The two crimson superpowers joined together and decided to launch a full scale invasion of America. Their point of attack would logically be the cultural center of the nation, the thriving metropolis that is…Calumet, Colorado.

This coalition of mustache-twirling commies parachuted into a school yard and progressed outward, spreading death and destruction unabated by, you know, that whole American military thing. They maliciously began to deplete America of its greatest natural resource: 80s teen idols. Brat packers, dirty dancers, and, um, soul men were massacred in droves. After initially, and rather easily, being conquered, we eventually decided we weren’t going to allow these reds to put baby in a corner. By “corner,” I mean reeducation camps, and by “baby,” I of course mean Harry Dean Stanton. We showed those socialist dogs we were not to be trifled with; beating them back with our overwhelming ability to drink deer blood, piss in radiators, and exalt the names of violent members of the weasel family. Ultimately, those meddling kids foiled Old Man Commie’s takeover of America; leaving a mountain of bodies in their wake that would fill a haunted amusement park. Zoinks.

Red Dawn

Miffed by yet another defeat, the Russo-Cuban Alliance disbanded. The Cubans would largely cease to be a threat, save for one psychotic, coke-blasted drug dealer they would leave behind to decimate Miami. The Russians on the other hand retreated to Vietnam thinking they were safe to plot their next move outside the now heavily-monitored Moscow. They set themselves to torturing American POWs from the Vietnam War, which they were sure would help them rule the world somehow.

Upon uncovering their secret lair, America turned to its only logical hope for salvation: an incarcerated, muscle-covered veteran with raging post-traumatic stress disorder and a crippling speech impediment. John Rambo proved to be quite adept at killing truckloads of commies; arguably even moreso than did high school children.

The Russians tried to beat Rambo down both physically and psychologically; torturing him with electrocution and being submerged for hours in giant vats of gravy and pistachio pudding. But Rambo rammed a fist full of bullets right up their Rusk-holes. Unfortunately due to his repeated electric shocks, and general sub-cranial mushiness, Rambo became convinced that there were Russian communists hiding in modern technology; the prost in the machine if you will. Once the mission was complete, he proceeded to slaughter dozens of hundreds of dollars in computer equipment like Polpot at a Radio Shack.

Fed up with the bruises and brain damage of soldiering, Rambo decides to try the much less punishing profession of boxing. He changes his name to Rocky Balboa and amasses a great deal of success, and even a title, at the expense of further brain cells. All is well in Dudville until a towering Russian boxer throws his tall furry hat into the ring; challenging American fighters left and…the opposite of left he could never remember. Rockbo, fully aware of his tumultuous personal history with the Soviets, opts not to meet the mountainous Ivan Drago in the squared circle. But then, Rockbo’s best friend, Apollo “The Hammering Hubris” Creed, is punched to death by Drago in the ring; an apparent political retaliation for Dirty Harry stealing Russia’s Firefox jet, a.k.a The Brain Plane, a few years before.

The Russians were less outraged by the aircraft’s theft as they were by being shown up by a snarling senior citizen. Rockbo decides to meet Drago on his home turf and proceeds to lay a jingoistic smackdown on the sweaty commie tower. He then delivers an impassioned, if almost entirely indiscernible speech in which he mind-swoggles every Soviet citizen present, including Premier Gorbachev, to abdicate communism forever. He uppercuts the U.S.S.R and KOs the Berlin Wall with the power of his words and fists but mostly fists.

That was it, the wall came down with a resounding thud and communism was no more. All that was left was to clean up the last lingering Soviet threats around the world. Rockbo rescued his mentor, Colonel Troutbreath, from a group of Russians occupying Afghanistan. He lead the Afghan people in a revolt that eventually drove Russia out of Afghanistan for good…and had absolutely no long term repercussions for America whatsoever.

Drago, so dejected by his loss to Rockbo, tried to re-energize his patriotism by enlisting as a Spetsnaz agent. But when he was tasked with quelling a guerrilla rebellion in Africa, he found himself sympathizing with the rebels; experiencing what we humans call emotion for the first time in his existence. He defects and becomes a champion Russocidal maniac himself. For the few pockets of communist resistance remaining in East Germany, the clear tactical response was Anthony Edwards with a paintball gun and that leggy gal from Dogma.

Finally Superman, in what could be called his finest hour, by people who don’t understand what that means, marches into the United Nations and announces that he is going to rid the world of all nuclear weapons. The assembly erupts into applause; thankful to the Man of Steel for doing something they all apparently wanted to do, but could not for the life of them figure out how. He gathers all the warheads on the planet into a space Hefty Bag and hurls it into the sun. Luckily, what should by all rights have transformed the sun into a roving killball of hot Armageddon, merely creates Nuclear Man, a dopey Chippendales dancer with Gene Hackman’s voice and Gene Wilder’s aptitude for supervillainy.

Now that the world is rid of all nuclear weapons and communism is extinct, the biggest problem now facing Earth is merely famine, disease, crime, poverty, and robot uprising.

Junkfood Pairing: A Cuban Sandwich and a White Russian

Not Pictured: The White Russian we already drank.

Inspired by the killer one-two combo of baddies from Red Dawn, head down to your local bar and grill and ask for this tantalizing discord of flavors. If you really want to go authentic, tell the waiter to serve the sandwich on a red plate and sing the old soviet Russian national anthem as it reaches your table and a gargantuan oil painting of Ivan Drago ascends to the ceiling.

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Longtime FSR columnist, current host of FSR’s Junkfood Cinema podcast. President of the Austin Film Critics Association.