Many years ago, around 2016, I emailed you (HERE) about a film I only remembered the vaguest details about, which I saw at the tender age of four (or possibly five, but no later than that), in the early 1970s.Â The details I thought I knew became clouded, so it made it near impossible for me to remember but recently my subconscious became obsessed with it, trying to remember any more than the few images I could hold on to.
Today I rediscovered it.
I was browsing a forum I’m not a member of, and saw a user’s avatar…
..and thatÂ creepy thing put me on the trail.Â A reverse image search on Google gave me my answer:
OPERATION X-70 (WATCH HERE).Â A French cartoon, dubbed in English, that involves the accidental chemical-weapon bombing of a neutral/allied country with the titular chemical weapon, which creates interesting mutations in the people of the city.Â The horror show in the animated .gif explains that “Asiatic” POWs were experimented on first, with the neurotoxin (and that it wasn’t lethal)…but as soon as I started watching all of the details fell into place: the bomber that accidentally drops its payload on the unsuspecting city, the onboard computer called Tarzan that malfunctions and directs the pilots to do so, the eerie, depopulated town, the creepy masked soldiers and politicians…
This one definitely, definitelyÂ qualifies as a Kindertrauma!Â
So glad this one is finally solved, Bill S! I can tell why this short stuck with you! The images and illustrations are truly horrifying! Canâ€™t thank you enough for sharing this Kindertrauma with us!
I was “glad” to finally have discovered what this was; the movie is of course a satirical/horror commentary on the cavalier attitude towards nuclear war (and biological, and chemical) in the 70s, and despite its surreal visuals, much of it is lent verisimilitude by things like the bomber crews’ chatter before the presentation, the obviously rotoscoped images of atrocity victims, etc. Quite shocking to me, back in Atlanta, some 45 years ago!
Interestingly, I had no idea or conscious recollection of what the movie was called…when I chose my user ID of “Bill S-70” – perhaps some subconscious echo of a memory caused me to do that.
Whew…that was quite something. I’m glad I didn’t see this as a kid, since a combination of the opening narration of Road Warrior and a viewing of MGM’s “Peace on Earth” cartoon gave little me recurring nightmares of endless war and nuclear annihilation that still come back to haunt me to this day.
Still, cool find and I’m glad you got to put a lifelong mystery to rest!
Has anyone written a Kindertrauma on â€œPeace on Earth?â€ One of my local television stations (WNEW or maybe WPIX) would drop that short into a block of Christmas-themed cartoons on the big morning every year. It really scared me. It was a â€œcute animalâ€ cartoon, only with images of Nazis and nuclear warfare. Egads.
It is a great animated short, though. I didnâ€™t know until a few years ago that MGM remade â€œPeace on Earthâ€ in the 1950s (I only ever saw the original From 1939 growing up).
SmallDarkCloud- I think that was the exact way I saw it too, hidden insidiously between The Chipmunks and Bugs Bunny on WPIX.