Def-Con 4 (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Def-Con 4 (1985)





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Shot in 1983 but not released until 1985, this low-budget sci-fi adventure is set in a degenerate society sometime in the near future, with humans thrown back to the level of Neanderthals by nuclear war. Three astronauts, two men and a woman, are in charge of a space station armed with nuclear weapons when World War III erupts on earth. They remain in space to stay out of the conflagration but are forced to crash-land several months after the war has wiped out most of civilization. After the crash, one astronaut is killed, another is captured, and the third stays with the downed space station in a series of chase-and-capture scenes. Marauders have taken over a lawless world and the future looks bleak for everyone, even the remaining astronauts. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Action & Adventure , Drama , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
New World Video

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Kate Lynch
as Jordan
John Walsch
as Walker
Tim Choate
as Howe
Jeff Pustil
as Lacey
Donna King
as Alice
Florence Paterson
as Mrs. Boyd
Peter Falconer
as Boat Guard
Al Foster
as Oldster
Geoff Harrington
as Vicious Trouper
Karen Kennedy
as WWN Newscaster
Hugh Orr
as Squad Leader
Bruce Piercy
as Squad Leader
Ken Ryan
as Newscaster
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Critic Reviews for Def-Con 4

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Audience Reviews for Def-Con 4


A secret manned satellite w/ nuclear missiles is orbiting earth when WWIII occurs. In short order almost all of civilization in obliterated. A couple months later the satellite crashes to earth. Competing groups of survivors roam the Canadian countryside while the astronauts attempt to survive. An astronauts is killed. One remains locked aboard while another explores the area further, soon partnering with two other survivors; all are captured by a ruthless teen leader of the largest, and most stable group of survivors. At this point the action dies and the rest of the film is rather dull. Not the worst post-apocalyptic movie, but disappointing after a pretty good set-up.


Def-Con 4 is a horribly underrated dystopian sci-fi film about astronauts who crash back down to Earth after a nuclear holocaust and their struggle to survive in the harsh wasteland. Though it has its cheesy moments along with implausible moments, I found it to be a very effective and engaging film. I found the vision of the nuclear wasteland to be very fascinating and I wanted to know more about this hellish world. I also found the film to be a very interesting piece about what people would do in such a situation to survive, especially in a position of power. I honestly don't know what people found to be so awful about Def-Con 4, and it is beyond a shadow of doubt, one of the most underrated films I've ever seen. If you have a penchant for obscure films and darker sci-fi flicks, I'd say to give Def-Con 4 a fair chance before dismissing it.

Keenan Sullivan
Keenan Sullivan

Pretty ropy but enjoyable, low budget sci-fi that blows all its budget on set and costumes it discards all too quickly in favour of sand dunes and farm houses. Probably just for fans of 80's, B movie, light sci-fi... to be fair the acting was passable and the story has possibilities that the budget stooped them exploring in a grander fashion.

Mark Nash
Mark Nash

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