Red Dawn: China Invades America, Chinese Reactions


The movie Red Dawn (1984) starring the young Patrick Swayze (RIP) and Charlie Sheen was perhaps one of the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE PERIOD more memorable movies of the 80’s. The prospect of a Soviet invasion of  Continental America had been a frightening scenario that played well into the collective psyche during the Cold War.

Fast-forward to 2009, instead of fearing nuclear holocaust or imminent military invasion, we are fearing the fallout of the worse economic recession since the 1920’s, not to mention owing a sizable chunk of our debt to the Chinese. So it is probably fitting that the new remake of Red Dawn (2010) due to be released in 2010 would exploit the public hysteria surrounding the possibilities of a Chinese economic takeover. Ironically in the original Red Dawn, the Chinese and the Americans were allied (probably as a result of the height of the Sino-American rapprochement at the time the movie was made).

Chinese netizens were generally both amused and bemused behind the idea of China invading America, with some expressing satisfaction toward such an endeavor, while others disliking the portrayal of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on the set.


Comments on Sina:


Maybe it is real, and not a movie.


“Defeating you enemy,” “Helping you back on your feet,” “Repairing your economy.” This is just for propaganda purposes, right? Does the real red political power have such remedy?


What is the meaning of this? The plot of this movie is America imagining the Chinese as enemies, but in the end come out as the victor – ending in heroic scenes…faint…this is not right!


I am waiting for this day to arrive…


The great China will one day become a world power…


Comments on Tiexue:


Does not look like the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] at all.


Attack America, American devils are beginning to hate the rule of capitalism, Uncle Sam is stupid…


30 years ago the French already made a movie called “Les chinois à Paris” [PLA invading Paris], those interested can go watch it.


The Americans have a lot of imagination…why do those propaganda posters have strong Soviet influences??? In China, we won’t be able to make a movie about America invading China right?


When does it come out? There is no hope for theatrical screening [censorship], wait for pirated version.


China is beginning to replace the Soviet Union as the antagonists in American movies, Americans cannot rest unless they have an [imaginary] enemy.


Countries with freedom are great, they can make any movie as long as they have the imagination. Waiting for this to come out.


Making a movie in China about an American invasion is impossible, if people’s thoughts are this free, and this creative, then it will not be harmonious.


In the near future, we will fulfill this American imperialist’s dream.


Now they are turning toward China, this only illustrates that China is more powerful than before. In the past, the impression of Chinese people in American movies and TV were equivalent to poor people.


Haha, this is really strange, I want to see how the Americans portray the PLA, looking forward to seeing this.


Everybody who saw 2012, that PLA officer directing rescue was wearing a military police uniform, a traffic police officer’s ribbon, topped with a crooked cap, and a was fatty; As if local officials became PLA soldiers.



Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai


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