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April 12, 2019

My Claim: They Put Out More Good to Great Movies in 1982 Than Hollywood Has Put Out in the Last Fifteen Years

I was looking up First Blood and I clicked on this list of movies from 1982 and was surprised out how good so many were.

And how varied! Note the big variety of movie types, different genres, all that.

48 Hrs.


Barbarosa -- This is the Gary Busey/Willie Nelson western. It looked like a trash movie, but I remember it being really good. And it was very well reviewed.

The Beastmaster -- okay, so maybe this wasn't a great movie, but... well, it's kind of a cultural touchstone.

Blade Runner -- obviously now considered a masterpiece (though not by me).

Conan the Barbarian -- what can you say?


The Dark Crystal -- both of these movies might have been let-downs, but probably better than most movies considered "good" these days.

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid -- this gimmicky Steve Martin comedy was considered a let-down after The Jerk, but... again, I'd put this one up against most comedies in the past 10 years.

Deathtrap -- nifty little puzzler.


E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Firefox -- like many Clint Eastwood movies, this was a bit like Clint's acting -- laconic and a bit too understated. Again, though: I gotta think this movie would beat the shit out of most action movies made recently.

First Blood -- this is the movie I looked up to set me down this Wikipedia Walk. This is the first real action movie I remember being nuts about.

Friday the 13th Part III -- hey man, the kills were in 3-D.


Halloween III: Season of the Witch-- I know this is weird, and I"m not saying this just to be different, but this is my favorite Halloween movie. Yes, the one without The Shape. Hurry up it's Halloween, Halloween, hurry up it's Halloween, Silver Shamrock... By the way, they did that particular song because they were out of money, could not write their own song, and wanted something free, in the public domain. They picked "London Bridge" and I think the director and producer sang that dumb little ditty, using it as a temp track until they did a more professional version. But they never bothered with the more professional version, and the temp track became the finished track.

I, the Jury -- okay, this is probably not a good Mickey Spillaine movie, but this was back when they still made a detective movie or two every year. They haven't done that in 20 years. What's the last detective movie? Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

It Came from Hollywood -- just mentioning this one -- this is that movie hosted by John Candy, Gilda Radner, etc., going through the crap horror movies of the 50s.

Koyaanisqatsi -- This must have been a good movie, PBS played it like all the time!


My Favorite Year

Night Shift -- I just rewatched this. I don't know if it completely holds up -- I think you really had to be a child to think that the obnoxious and dopey Billy Blaze was "cool" -- but it's still pretty good. (The Michael Keaton Trillogy of Night Shift/Mr. Mom/Gung Ho has been on the cable channels lately.)

An Officer and a Gentleman

One from the Heart -- I never saw this and I understand it was a flop but, hey. Coppola doing a big release. Must have had something good about it.



Rocky III -- these last three movies were basically HBO's entire schedule for like two years. I could have also included "Grease 2" as a rash on HBO, also released in 1982, but that would tend to undermine my thesis about 1982 being a good year for movies.

The Secret of NIMH

Silent Rage -- not a great movie, but Chuck Norris vs an unstoppable silent serial killer patterned on Michael Meyers and Jason Vorhees? It's almost a Marvel Team Up movie.

Sophie's Choice

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan -- so good. Also, pretty much never not on HBO. "Dey put kreatyures in our ears, Kepten!"

Swamp Thing

The Sword and the Sorcerer -- these last two movies are crap but I just want to remind you of them anyway. The Sword and the Sorcerer is that terrible fantasy movie with Lee Horsely as a guy with a three-bladed sword, like a giant Gillette Mach 3 Razor, where each blade can be fired off like a rocket.

The Thing -- obviously, an all-time classic.



The Verdict

The World According to Garp

Young Doctors in Love -- this was the funniest movie of 1982, one almost no one knows about. It was an Airplane derivative, but was much, much funnier than the Airplane sequel (which was actually released in 1982, but I didn't mention it because it wasn't good). If you haven't seen this super-silly gem, check it out. It's Airplane, but set in a soap-opera-like hospital.

BONUS!!!! Well here's a big one:

The Road Warrior

Mark1971 says it's not on this list because it was released in the end of December 1981 in Australia, but was only released in the US in May of, yes, 1982.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 08:02 PM

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