Factual error: After the train crash, the teen characters discover cube-like items. One of them states it looks like a Rubik's Cube. The movie itself takes place in 1979, but the Rubik's Cube, although invented in 1974, was not licensed to sell in the USA until 1980. It was not even called a "Rubik's cube" until 1980 (prior to this, it was known as a "Magic Cube"). (00:21:55)spectrauru
Factual error: When Joe is in his room painting one of his monster models you can see in the background a model of the Invisible Man. This model was not released until 2009 by Moebius models. Although the model was created in the classic Aurora models style, this model was not available during 1979. (00:09:15)dudleythunder
Factual error: The film opens during the winter, then 4 months later you see that school is out for the summer which should be June. When Joe is visiting Charles the TV is on and Walter Cronkite is saying "the potential is there for the ultimate risk of a meltdown at the Three Mile Island atomic power plant." The meltdown at Three Mile Island had already happened by this point, being in March of 1979. (00:07:20)dudleythunder
Continuity mistake: When the boys are running through war-zone Lillian, they are shown running quite spaced. A shot later they're running in a clump. (01:26:30)
Factual error: The morning after the film's pivotal train wreck, Joe and Charlie are watching coverage of the story on local TV. The typeface on the screen is the now-ubiquitous Microsoft computer font "Arial", most recognizable by its distinctive 'R'. However Arial was not invented until 1982 and not in broad use until after 1990. The movie is set in 1979.ns_kid
Factual error: In an early shot of the movie, a sign shows as Town of Lillian, Ohio. In a later shot, it shows another as City of Lillian, Ohio. Also as a side note, Ohio does not recognize any incorporated area as a town, only village or city.
Other mistake: The Super 8 cameras used are both sound models, one Eumig and one Kodak, but when the film and film boxes are shown, they are the normal Super 8 silent cartridges, which are square. Sound movie cartridges are rectangular to accommodate the sound recording mechanism in a Super 8 Sound camera. (00:15:55)
Continuity mistake: In the bedroom scene, when the camera looks out of the window at Alice, she's wearing a plain blue t-shirt with a denim jacket. After she's climbed in, it has writing on.
Factual error: In the scene where the Air Force Colonel is speaking with the Deputy Sheriff at the train crash site, there are two mistakes with the Deputy's uniform (in Ohio, all 88 Sheriff's Offices use identical uniforms). In the movie, the Deputy's badge is a 6-pointed star. In reality, it is a 5-pointed star. The "Deputy Sheriff" shoulder patches in the movie were adopted in 1997. This movie is set in 1979. (00:34:20)buckeyeguy71
Factual error: When the kids broke into the school after being evacuated, the military bus used to transport them back out of town was too new. The front panels and grille on the bus show that it is a Blue Bird All American RE built between 1989 and 1999. The Blue Bird All American RE available in or before 1979 would have been mostly one panel on the front and had no grille. The bus in the movie was modified.it had headlights that resembled a Blue Bird from 1979, but even then the exact front light configuration was not accurate. It is plausible that the US Air Force could have specified a different headlight arrangement, but the front panelling of that bus would not have been seen until 1989 when the All American bus was given a face lift.
Factual error: When the kids enter Joe's house, late 80's architecture can be seen in the brickwork around the garage door.
Factual error: Although taking place in Ohio somewhere between Brookville and Greenville, this area is extremely flat with no hills unlike the town and train wreck area which is quite hilly. This is due to the fact it was actually filmed in West Virginia.