The summer of 1982 has been heralded as one, if not the best, summer for movies. Hell the whole damn year was pretty awesome for movies. Films like Ghandi, Tootsie, The Dark Crystal, 48Hrs and An Officer and A Gentlemen. Heck a certain action hero had two movies out that year as Sylvester Stallone starred in Rocky 3 and brought Rambo to us for the first time in First Blood. Stalwarts like Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson had movies out also with Firefox and Death Wish 2. But I’m going to focus on a particular geek selection of movies that came out during the summer movie season. Now there won’t be any reviews in this article but more of a remembrance. The reviews will come later and be more in depth. Now let’s go back 30 years to 1982 and remember that summer of some of the finest movies to hit the geek world.
Our journey begins with Conan the Barbarian which was released on May 14th. Everybody knows this one. One of the first of two films that Arnold Schwarzenegger played the comic book hero from that was originally brought to life in the 30’s by Robert Howard. This film was a pretty decent movie as it had enough action to keep the masses satisfied and the movie had a pretty decent storyline also.
The Road Warrior was released in the USA on May 21st . This is the sequel to Mad Max and takes place in the same post apocalyptic world as before. It stars a somewhat normal and not whacked Mel Gibson that we know now. The Road Warrior has a lot of cool action and has a pretty simple story. This movie has a great scene where Max is driving the gas truck as a distraction to keep Humungous and his band of killers away from the rest of the survivors. Plus Virginia Hey from Farscape is in it also.
Steven Speilberg had two movies out in the month of June. The first one came out on June 4th and it isn’t the one he directed but the one he wrote and produced. Of course I’m talking about Poltergeist. This ghost story was actually quite clever even though I was never scared watching it. It stars Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams and was directed by Tobe Hooper. It really shows what happens when you build a housing development on top of a cemetery. Plus it has the classic line “They’re here”
The second of Steven Spielberg’s movies came out on June 11th and this is the popular one. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. E. T was the big blockbuster of the summer and put Reeses Pieces on the map and made that peanut butter candy a staple in movie theatres ever since. It stars a really young Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas and is one of the highest grossing movies of its time. The movie has also spawned a ride at Universal Studios amusement park.
Opening up on the same day is probably one of my all-time favorite movies. I’m talking about the best Star Trek film of them all. I can only be talking about Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn. KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHNNNNN!!!!!!!! I get really geeky when I watch this film and can probably quote it word for word half way decently well most of it anyway. Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn is a true gem and it’s the one where Spock sacrifices it all to save the Enterprise.
The 25th of June brought us two more movies to geek over. The first is John Carpenter’s The Thing. This is a remake of the 1951 film The Thing From Another World. It stars Kurt Russell and Wilfred Brimley. I love Kurt Russell and he is really good in The Thing. Actually he is pretty bad ass in it. The Thing more or less capitalizes on the fear and paranoia of the crew running the Antarctica base. A pretty good movie to play around Halloween as this movie has a lot of scary moments in it.
The other film released on June 25th is the cult classic Blade Runner. The Ridley Scott film loosely based on Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Edward James Olmos. This is another of my favorites and unfortunately wasn’t a success. Blade Runner has garnered a cult following and is a really popular film with geeks. So much so that Ridley Scott is mulling around doing a sequel.
The last movie on the list is Tron. It was released by Disney on July 9th and it was a different type of movie. Tron capitalized on the video game market and actually made a movie that took place in a video game. It was pretty clever as it was a precursor to computer animation. It was a movie that was pretty cool to look at. It also starred Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner who we know as Captain Sheridan from Babylon 5.
So there you have it. The geek movies from the Summer of 1982. In the weeks to come I’ll have reviews for these movies so you’ll know what I really think about them.