Tuesday, May 20, 2014

1982: The Best

And now for the main event...

10. Poltergeist

Tobe Hooper knocked it out of the park with this one (with Steven Spielberg providing advice, no doubt) and the end result is one of the best ghost stories of the 80's.  Chock full of scary bits, blessed with a fine cast and sporting a nice Jerry Goldsmith score, Poltergeist is a great horror movie that still holds up quite nicely today.

9. Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip

It's not often a stand up comedy film also serves as a sort of triumphant comeback story but this one certainly fits that bill.  His first comedy special since setting himself on fire, Richard Pryor delivers a master class in comedy, going from family stories to a hilarious bit on animals to a recounting of his accident that is simultaneously funny, sad and horrifying.  Just amazing.

8. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Carl Reiner directs Steve Martin in this clever film noir mystery comedy spoof/tribute  that seamlessly mixes Martin's detective character and the rest of the cast with clips from classic noir movies starring names like Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Vincent Price.  The story is funny, the performances are solid and the whole concept of the film itself is just wonderfully clever and fun.

7. Rocky III

Not only the best sequel to Rocky but possibly the best of the franchise period.  If nothing else, Rocky III is the most entertaining with a great villainous turn for Mr. T, a fun Hulk Hogan role, tons of memorable lines and moments and a killer song from Survivor.  There aren't enough words to describe just how awesome this one is.

6. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

It really says something that even after 32 years and 10 more movies, the second Star Trek film is still the best.  Boasting a solid script, great fx and a trio of nice performances from William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Ricardo Montalban, Star Trek II is one of those films that I consider a perfect viewing experience.

5. Conan the Barbarian

Arnold Schwarzenegger really came to notice with this great sword and sorcery flick directed by John Milius and based on the classic Robert E. Howard character.  Even though it's a little too serious for its own good (just as the second film is probably too silly), this is still one of the great action films of the decade.

4. First Blood

Speaking of great action movies, the first Rambo movie is also on that list.  Blessed with a great physical performance from Stallone and good supporting work from Brian Dennehy and Richard Crenna, it delivers some very strong action scenes which go a long way in covering up some of the faults.  Hell, even the last scene with Stallone blubbering works on a certain level as while it might be hard to watch it's still fairly effective.  Just a damn good movie.

3. Creepshow

Outside of Dawn of the Dead, this is my favorite George Romero movie and also my favorite Stephen King adaptation.  A fun, colorful tribute to the EC Comics of the 50's, this sports five fun tales of terror full of great character actors, clever cinematography and fantastic Tom Savini f/x work.

2. Blade Runner

So much has been said about how great this one is that it's sort of hard to find anything new to talk about.  Blade Runner is a terrific sci-fi film with an amazing production design, some good performances and a compelling story.  Ridley Scott really hasn't topped this.

1. John Carpenter's the Thing

And my pick for the best film of 1982 is this stunning John Carpenter remake of the 1951 classic.  Good acting from the entire cast; great direction from Carpenter and some amazing special effects from Rob Bottin with an assist from Stan Winston.  This is one of the great horror films of the 80's.

And that does it for 1982.  A terrific year for movies.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.