One morning during a high school class in a small town in Colorado a student looks out the window only to see paratroopers landing on the football field. The students and teacher go outside believing it is the American military only to find out the hard way that they are really the Russians invading.
Once the town is invaded and taken over by the Russians, eight friends manage to escape into the mountains. They soon realize that they are not going to get any help so they band together to fight. Calling themselves the Wolverines, led by the oldest, Jed (Patrick Swayze -Ghost, Dirty Dancing), they launch a guerilla-style attack on the Russians. They hope to save their families, friends and country by driving off the Russians.
"Red Dawn" lands somewhere in the middle of action film and teen film. I don't know if it is the best example of either, but it is entertaining in parts. Maybe not for the reasons that the cast and director John Milius (Flight of the Intruder, Farewell to the King) thought it would be. Some of the scenes are so cheesy and over-the-top that you can't help but love them. Political opinion aside, the film has plenty of body count and gun fights to keep the action film fan happy. This was a film that really spoke to the teenage population in the mid 80s when it came out. It was the time of the cold war and films with bad acting by Patrick Swayze making a heap of money. We, the more 'modern' audience, have to remember that when we are watching the film.
-Red Dawn Rising: A Retrospective Look At the Making of the Film
-Rebuilding the Red Menace: What It Took to Make World War III
-Military Training featurette
-WWIII Comes to Town featurette