-esque, straight-to-video nuclear bomb shelter paranoia film (with a shocking twist!).
Reading the recent thread about Threads
and the ensuing discussion of different nuclear horror movies reminded me of a film I saw about a decade ago, but can't seem to find after much googling.
Here's what I can recall:
It was a straight-to-VHS movie, almost certainly never put into wide theatrical release. The quality of the production was fairly cheap, probably made in the late 80s to early 2000s (most likely in the mid/late 90s). I remember seeing a pre- or post-film promo for the studio behind it, an indie affair with a name like "The Factory"/"The Foundry"/"The Underground" or something similar that did a lot of work in low-budget horror and sci-fi. But it wasn't a totally anonymous work -- I did get this from Blockbuster, so they must have had some industry presence.
The movie was about a small group of regular people in an underground bunker, basement, or bomb/fallout shelter. It was pretty sparse, just dingy concrete floors and walls and lots of low-wattage fluorescent light.
They were hiding from an imminent nuclear war -- I seem to recall one character following the news on a shortwave radio, and then there being a big concussion that shook the whole room. From that point on it was a study in cabin fever, with characters fighting over dwindling supplies and arguing over the effects of radiation and whether it was safe to go outside. It struck me as very similar in that regard to the movie Cube
, with scared, paranoid personalities bouncing off each other in a confined, dangerous space.
One image I remember in particular is one character opening the door to the outside and seeing a fiery, irradiated nightmarescape rendered in cheesy 90s CGI -- I think they may have even seen some kind of horribly mutated monster -- but it turns out to have been just a dream.
The characters and plot details are fuzzy -- I think some of them may have fought each other, maybe even shot/killed -- but I do remember the twist ending: they finally decide to brave the risks and open the door... only to find a perfectly normal, sunny day outside. The entire thing was a hoax, engineered for some kind of social experiment or reality TV show if I remember right. The crew even had heavy construction equipment and/or explosives positioned above the bunker to simulate an atomic blast.
I've searched all over Google, Wikipedia, and IMDb's tag search but can't find any leads... help?