Saturday, January 9, 2016

The House in the Middle

I could swear I had blogged about the short The House in the Middle, which is coming up tomorrow morning at 5:45 AM as part of TCM Underground.

The short was made in the mid-1950s, funded by an organization called something like the "National Clean-It-Up Fix-It-Up Society", which was a front for, if memory serves, paint manufacturers or something. This one has the remarkably daft premise that, in a nuclear war, it's going to be important to have kept your house and yard clean, because if you don't, your house is going to be more likely to catch fire in the resulting conflagration. That is, if it even survived the initial bomb blast.

The short then creates several examples with mutliple houses, one kept up well in each case, and one or more not so well. Unsurprisingly, when the "nuclear" blast hits (supposedly this is all real test footage from the atomic tests done out in the Nevada desert), it's that well-maintained house that survives, apparently so the occupants inside can die of some other horror. The whole thing is bizarre, but that's what makes it so interesting.

It's also on Youtube:

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