For the last two years my retrospectives on the films of the Summers of 1982 and 1983 allowed me to revisit some of the best fantasy and sci-fi films of the 80’s and enjoy them on a new level as a 40 something. In some cases I would approach a film with a sense of trepidation, wondering if you truly can go back and enjoy an old favorite on the same level 30 years later. At the end of each series, I learned that many of these films withstand the test of time and sometimes you really can go back.
I truly thought each “Summer Of” retrospective would be the last. After The Summer of ’82 I didn’t think there could be another lineup of summer films that could compare to Blade Runner, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Road Warrior, Conan the Barbarian, Poltergeist, The Thing, TRON and E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial. It was a magical summer for fans of fantasy and sci-fi films and there hasn’t been another like it. But I had enjoyed writing that retrospective so much that I had gone through withdrawal and for the next year hoped for another opportunity to revisit a summer’s worth of films. That void was filled with my retrospective on The Summer of ’83 which included a lineup of films that have been personal favorites of mine for over 30 years. Even as I closed out that series, I didn’t think I would have an opportunity to write another “Summer Of.”
Then I saw the lineup for the films of the Summer of ’84 and realized another retrospective was possible.
The Summer of ’82 was about a lineup of the best fantasy and sci-fi films of the decade (Blade Runner, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Conan the Barbarian). The Summer of ’83 was about a lineup of my personal favorites (WarGames, Fire and Ice). The Summer of 1984 was still heavy on the adventure and sci-fi films, including some of the most crowd pleasing films of the decade as well as a few cult favorites:
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (5/23/84)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (6/1/84)
Conan the Destroyer (6/29/84)
The Last Starfighter (7/13/84)
Red Dawn (8/10/84)
Once I saw this list, I knew I had to revisit them again.
I’m taking these retrospectives year by year, but if the films of the Summer of ’85 etc. bring out the same sense of nostalgia for my original movie-going experiences, I’ll keep them coming.