Red Dawn: A Contemporary Remake of Yellow Peril Hysteria?

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Red Dawn: A Contemporary Remake of Yellow Peril Hysteria?

Recently, I blogged over at about why I am boycotting The Last Airbender and Prince of Persia: both films reinforce backwards racial stereotypes of good and evil. But perhaps no film this year will be more racially divisive than the remake of Red Dawn, slated for release this November.

For those of you who missed the 1984 original, Red Dawn follows a group of American teenagers who face the sudden invasion of their tiny Colorado town by allied Cuban and Russian Communist forces. After surviving the initial attack on their town, the teens learn to survive in the surrounding Colorado wilderness. Ultimately, they form a rebel militia dubbed the “Wolverines,” and resort to guerilla terrorism to resist the Russian and Cuban occupying forces. By the film’s end, the Wolverines have morphed into American freedom fighters and patriots.

The 1984 Red Dawn film has been simultaneously praised as one of the best right-wing films of all time, and criticized as “xenophobic,” “survivalist porn” that caters to crazed militiamen. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that MGM decided to remake the movie, betting on the cult classic status of the original to draw in contemporary viewers.

Except this time around, the new villain is China.

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