Six essential cult movies from 1982

Join us as we march through the ’80s and ’90s to identify the six most essential cult movies to see from any given year. Today we’re moving deeper into the ’80s with 1981 and our half-dozen recommendations:

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

From our review: “For a teen movie, it contains a harsher light than most ’80s teen flicks. For one thing, the R rating is certainly deserved, with nudity, violence, and a whole lot of naughty language. It feels… like it’s trying to be edgy so that teens would watch it to feel rebellious? Does that make sense?”

Mazes and Monsters

From our review: “For a movie that tries to ‘accurately depict’ the inside scoop on Dungeons & Dragons (and RPGs in general), the actual game of Mazes & Monsters is seriously dumb. Once you witness the first or second scene of the cast playing it, you will be enlightened that the filmmakers didn’t know thing one about D&D, and were just kinda winging a whole bunch of speculation your way.”

The Dark Crystal

From our review: “The world of The Dark Crystal is a pretty special place. Entirely comprised of the effects technologies of the time, Henson and Oz (co-directing) turned matte paintings, miniatures, gigantic sets, and some of the most amazing puppet technology before or since into something really beautiful. And rather flawed.”

Blade Runner

From our review: “I’ve been a huge fan of film noir and scifi..and along comes a movie that combines them! Two great looks that look great together!”

The Thing

From our review: “I found everything delightfully creepy enough to say with pride that these sort of grisly horror cinema still holds up well today. People’s (and dog’s) heads splitting open to reveal nasty grossness are one of those things that is always somewhat unnerving.”

Swamp Thing

From our review: “This was made two years before Moore started work on the title, so the concepts he introduced to it are nowhere to be found. Instead, this is an old-school Swampy narrative – a relatively straightforward ‘scientist gets turned into monster’ story.”

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