Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Summer of 1984 Returns in the Summer of 2011

The summer of 1984 was (sadly) 27 years ago! That was the summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school. It brings back a lot of good memories thinking about that summer.

Reading the "Coming Soon" portion of the Castro Theater website, I see that Midnites for Maniacs is having a special two day Summer of 1984 "extravaganza." The copy reads

MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS is officially inaugurating "The Summer of 1984" as one of the greatest moments of the 1980s! Take a trip back to these Orwellian picnic-days when the Hollywood studio reclaimed the heyday of the Golden era and harvested a variety of films that will still make you smile from ear to ear!

The seven films (one film isn't announced yet) being screened are:

Cloak & Dagger
The Karate Kid
Red Dawn
The Last Starfighter
Streets of Fire
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai!

I've seen all of those films. In fact, I think I saw them all at the theater or on VHS in 1984. I've seen The Karate Kid and
Red Dawn many times on television. I'm excited about this series. There are several films I want to see again.

My thumbnail memories:

Gremlins - didn't like it; little furry guys - the two I remember are Gizmo and one that gets microwaved; I had a crush on Phoebe Cates although that was probably due to Fastimes at Ridgemont High

Cloak & Dagger - Dabney Coleman: great actor from the 1980s (Slap Maxwell, Buffalo Bill, Nine to Five, Modern Problems when he lets his towel slip); I don't remember the film too well; Coleman plays the father and the imaginary spy

The Karate Kid - an all-time classic; wax on/wax off; sweep the leg!; Cobra Kai; Crane stance; Arnold from Happy Days channeling Charlie Chan; "You're the Best" which has subsequently become the soundtrack for every other montage scene

Red Dawn - another classic; Wolverines!; Powers Boothe sitting around a campfire telling Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and others the Soviets and Cubans invaded the US through Mexico (I was living on the US-Mexican border at the time); Superfly as the Cuban colonel

The Last Starfighter - I'm least familiar with this film out of the eight; video game is actually a simulation/recruitment tool for starfighters in a desperate war

Streets of Fire - not quite as well known as Karate Kid and Red Dawn but a very good film; stylish retro 50s look; great Willem Dafoe performance as the bad guy wearing leather hipwaders; final duel with sledgehammers; Rick Moranis as the jerk Billy Fish; "I Can Dream About You"

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai! - full title is someting like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai in the Ninth Dimension; John Lithgow as the bad guy; couldn't follow the story; I watched it two or three times to see if I was missing something

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