God damn, the summer of 1982 was a good time to be a fan of science fiction movies. There have been some worthy genre titles this year, like Looper and Cloud Atlas, but ’82 is the stuff of legend.
Check out this clip from a local news broadcast, previewing the summer slate of sci-fi films. Every single one they mention is an enduring classic, so much so that it’s difficult to imagine all of them arriving in a single season.
One of the best things about sci-fi is the sheer scope of the genre. This collection of movies has a little something for everything. On the horror end of the spectrum you have Poltergeist (okay, more horror than sci-fi, though it did teach us an important lesson about building homes on top of desecrated Native American burial sites) and The Thing. Hardcore genre fanatics have Blade Runner and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (which the newscast spoils, by the way). And for the kiddies in the group, or at least younger fans, there’s E.T. the Extraterrestrial and Tron.
That’s an impressive list of movies, not to mention the level of talent involved. You have some of the biggest directors in movies behind the cameras, including Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, John Carpenter, and Tobe Hooper, not to mention Hollywood icons like Harrison Ford and William Shatner (and Craig T. Nelson) onscreen.
This isn’t even the full list of sci-fi movies from 1982, which includes notable titles such as The Last Starfighter and Videodrome, and The Road Warrior was released in the U.S. in ’82 as well. Conan the Barbarian and The Dark Crystal, though not science fiction, were also released this year, so five-year-old me must have had a lot of kick-ass stuff to watch.