Radioactive Dreams (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Radioactive Dreams (1986)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Radioactive Dreams Photos

Movie Info

This comedy is set 15 years after the final nuclear holocaust and centers upon two fellows who have been stuck in their fathers' elaborate bomb shelter since the bombs began to fall. They had plenty of food, clothing (from the 1940s), and necessities, but their only entertainment was a huge set of pulp mystery novels by such writers as Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler. By the time the two young men, Phillip and Marlowe finally emerge from the shelter in 2010, they have become "hard-boiled" detectives. They manage to find an old car and head off down the ruined roads looking for action. Along the way, they see beautiful, but hard-as-nails blonde Miles Archer and pick her up. She ends up robbing them and abandoning them. In her haste, she drops a set of keys--the keys to the last nuclear warhead. Whoever holds them, holds the world in their hands and suddenly the young men find themselves pursued by assorted weirdos, including man-eating hippies, looking for the ultimate power.


John Stockwell
as Phillip Chandler
Michael Dudikoff
as Marlowe Hammer
Lisa Blount
as Miles Archer
George Kennedy
as Spade Chandler
Don Murray
as Dash Hammer
Michele Little
as Rusty Mars
Michelle Little
as Rusty Mars
Norbert Weisser
as Sternwood
Chris Andew
as Brick Bardo
Hilary Shepard
as Biker Leader
Glory Fiormonti
as 2nd Biker
Archie Hahn III
as Adult Chester
Sue Saad
as Punk District Singer
Kimberly McKillip
as Sadie, Hippie Chick
Mark Brown
as Greaser
Nathan Stein
as Corky the Surf Mutant
Chris Desjardins
as Punk Singer
Johnny B. Frank
as New Wave Singer
Madelynn Von Ritz
as Hippie Club Singer
Reni Santoni
as Hairstylist/Voice of Adult Harold
Eve Muller
as Punk Henchwoman/Hippie Chick
Damon Webb
as Marlowe (age 3)
Garette Ratliff Henson
as Phillip (age 4)
Jim Welch
as Father
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Radioactive Dreams

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Audience Reviews for Radioactive Dreams


One of my favorite post apocalypse movies mostly because it does not take itself too seriously. From the very height of capitalizing on the fear of the big atomic meltdown, Radioactive Dreams begins with a grainy glimpse of our eventual heroes as children being tucked away with their respective bank robber fathers ill-gotten gains just as the first bombs are dropping. This sets the stage for their eventual escape from their buried cave come bomb shelter years later as young adults. The whereabouts of their fathers for the entire time they were trapped and growing up becomes the catalyst for their gumshoe style romp in the sun drenched aftermath of the atomic war that trapped them in the cave and separated them from their fathers. A goofy array of highly stereotyped gangs await them in the last city standing including mutant biker girls, more concerned with their wigs than surviving a fight, cannibal hippies and many many more that accost and befriend our naive and lovable heroes. After a wacky chain of events our heroes find themselves in the center of a race to the last ultimate weapon but they want no part of it and only seek the answers to their long entrapment and their fathers disappearance. The tongue in cheek humor is a welcome change to the often grim Post Apocalypse movies of the era and the acting, while mostly "B" level and below fits nicely with the comical array misfits in this bizarrely segmented city of freaks they find themselves drawn through. The city itself often stands in striking contrast to the otherwise low budget nature of the film and its complexity and attention to broken down detail helps to genuinely give this odd world a bit of life it might otherwise lack form the less than stellar supporting actors. This movies one truly appalling downfall is a soundtrack that would make a Yoko Ono album sound melodic and pleasing to the ear. The song "Nightmare" sung by an atrocious 80's stereotype going by the name Jill Jaxx is of particular note and the most important reason for the mute button on your remote. Keep it handy. Lucky the movie ends on a better but not great jazzy tune called "Zim Bim Zowie" that helps to erase the nightmare of Jill Jaxx's "Nightmare". So if you grab a beer and your best 1980's asymmetrical shirt and go into this movie expecting little more than some fun, "B" movie action and a light but still interesting plot, you may just enjoy this forgotten gem from the age of Apocalypse Inc.

Josh Evans
Josh Evans

A brilliantly kitschy artifact of bizarre '80s cheap-o adventure flicks, films that weren't afraid of mixing polar-opposite sub genres (classic film noir with an Australian-style post-Apocalyptic setting). The film shifts from slick style, to awkward encounters and crazy hairdos in a rhythm that feels completely natural. When taken for what it is, it's just a fun and unique little adventure through a fun and bizarrely different world.

Caleb McCandless
Caleb McCandless

*An OCITS Top 100 Films Nomination* I first saw this film on the USA network as a teenager and it quickly became one of my favorites. It has aged rather well despite the fact that it is filled with 80's synthpop [some of which is truly brilliant while some is just sort of comedicly nostalgic] and plays like a feature length music video rather than a standard SF film. The idea of two orphans locked in a bomb shelter with nothing but Raymond Chandler books to read and swing music to listen to coming out a decade later to find the world of Mad Max has always appealed to me. I could somehow identify with Phil and Marlowe. I can still identify with Phil and Marlowe. The scene in the beginning of the film of the little boy and the older man looking out from the shelter as the bomb explodes chilled me to the bone as a teen and now I find it eerily beautiful. This film should really be required viewing for SF fans.

Kurt Weller
Kurt Weller

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