The great sci-fi summer of ‘82

We’ve said it many times, but it always bears repeating… 1982 was the greatest year for genre movies, and it was a feast for film fans practically every week.

There was E.T., Blade Runner, Tron, Stark Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Poltergeist, Conan The Barbarian, and more. It was a hell of a summer for me, because if I wasn’t playing video games, I was at the movies, having the time of my life.

Now that 1982 is thirty years behind us, you’d think there’d be a look back at this magical time in movies.

And yes, there is going to be a 1982 film festival coming this summer, with the best of ’82 shown in 35mm, which will be an increasing rarity in the future when film becomes obsolete.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, the movies will be screened on the original weekends they first opened in theaters.

This festival will kick off at the Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, and there will be eight films on the schedule: Conan, Road Warrior, Rocky III, Poltergeist, Trek II, E.T., The Thing, and Tron.


According to the Hollywood Reporter, The Alamo Drafthouse is also working with director Ridley Scott to get a film print of Blade Runner, “which is a notoriously difficult film to screen.” 

Apparently, film festivals are now coming back in fine style in that we’re also going to have an Apes marathon at the Drafthouse in May, and there will also be the Marvel movie marathons that will run before The Avengers finally hits the screen. Of course, the Apes and 1982 fests won’t be touring the country, but it would sure be cool if they did, right?


It would also be interesting to see how these movies would do today if they were re-released live, and what today’s audiences would think of them. Back in the day, flicks like Tron, Trek II, The Road Warrior and The Thing completely blew me away, and quite a few of these ’82 classics hold up pretty well today, at least IMHO.

Not to mention I’d love to see some nationwide screenings of these flicks spearheaded by the filmmakers themselves, which would not only be a feast for geeks all over the country, but would also take some kids today to school about what blockbusters were really all about. Don’t forget, 1982 was the biggest summer at the box office for movies in history up to that point, in no small thanks to the money making juggernaut of E.T.