The fall of the Soviet Union caused a lot of problems -- such as political and economic disarray, missing nuclear weapons, runaway crime, that sort of thing -- but probably the worst thing about it was that moviegoers lost maybe the best bad guy country we'd ever had, aside from Nazi Germany. James Bond used to be a lone man taking on a massive evil empire with just his wits and lovemaking skills. Then one day in the 90s he finds himself fighting newspaper owners.
Oh no, he's going to write something mean about you!
In War Games, a young whippersnapper hacker found himself almost accidentally starting (and then stopping) a war between two superpowers that would have annihilated the earth. Now movie hackers just blow up people's computers and change traffic lights. Red Dawn was scary in addition to silly because, you know, maybe they weren't going to invade us exactly like that, but you still actually worried they might invade us.
By cloaking themselves behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy (almost like a veil, or curtain, made of some kind of metal) Russia freed America's imagination to fill in the many blanks with details that were 10 times worse than reality. According to the movies, Russia was ahead of us on everything -- space, missiles, sexy women spies, you name it -- and at any moment they were poised to burst out and destroy us.
Or break us, as the situation may require.