Back again with another top five list, this time the year is 1982. Things are really getting difficult. No, that’s not even accurate. Things are getting downright impossible. 1982 is chock full of films that I consider top notch awesome. I’ve started this post several times. The first draft I had about 26 honorable mentions. But I won’t take the easy way out. With the 1980 and 1981 lists I had five honorable mentions and a top five and regardless of how difficult it is I’m sticking with that format. I have a feeling there may be some flicks on my lists that won’t show up on many others but hell… it’s my list!
Chewie’s Top 5 Films From 1982
All of these films received their US theatrical release within calendar year 1982. If you want to see the full list of all films eligible for this list you can view it here. Keep in mind, these are my “favorite” movies not necessarily what I’d consider the “best” movies.
- The Pirate Movie – A comedic musical starring Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol loosely based on The Pirates of Penzance that was nominated for nine Razzie awards and won three. I used to watch this every time I was home sick from school. It’s terrible but I love it.
- Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior – There’s been a million and one post-apocalyptic flicks but I don’t think there are any better than The Road Warrior. A young and not yet crazy Mel Gibson helps a community of survivors against the evil barbarian warriors. Too good!
- Rocky III – Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky in an installment that not only gives us Mr. T as Clubber Lang, “Thunderlips” Hulk Hogan and the death of Mickey but also Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger”. For that song alone it deserves a spot on my list.
- Tron – A computer hacker gets sucked into the digital world and has to compete in gladiator style games? Forget about it. Starring Dude before he was Dude (Jeff Bridges) and Bruce Boxleitner who I loved from Scarecrow and Mrs. King.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Believe it or not I’d never seen this until a couple of years ago. If you know me at all you know I’m all about Star WARS… not Trek. I’d always heard just how awesome this installment to the Trek series was. Yep… it’s just that good.
The Top Five
Wow… so it’s come to this. I simply cannot tell you how difficult it was to make this list. There were SO many awesome films that were released in 1982. I’m sure I’ll get a ton of heat for leaving off some amazing films but here they are… my favorites.
#5 – Conan the Barbarian
A vengeful barbarian warrior sets off to avenge his tribe and his parents whom were slain by an evil sorcerer and his warriors when he was a boy. This is where I first learned the name Arnold Schwarzenegger. James Earl Jones is more well known for being the voice of Simba and some guy named Darth Vader but as Thulsa Doom he was menacing. This is the first time I can remember a decapitation on film (Conan’s mother at the hands of Doom) and it really stuck with me. This is probably more “gritty” than the sequels as originals tend to be. Don’t let the 2011 remake fool you… this is an awesome character and this is the place to start.
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home-world. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas and in one of her first roles the adorable Drew Barrymore. The nation fell in love with this ugly little alien. He was EVERYWHERE and has become one of those characters that is now beloved for nearly everyone that’s my age. At the time, it was the highest grossing film of all time (surpassing Star Wars) and with good reason. In addition to an outstanding story we get a masterful score and one of the most iconic moments in cinema history when Elliot and E.T. take off on Elliot’s bike.
#3 – The Beastmaster
A sword-and-sorcery fantasy about a young man’s search for revenge. Armed with supernatural powers, the handsome hero and his animal allies wage war against marauding forces. I’m not quite sure there’s a single actor that sums up the 80’s for me better than Marc Singer. Not only does he play Dar here but he also played Mike Donovan in the TV series V. But I digress. The Beastmaster was one of those movies that was shown often on shows like Big Chuck and Little John or as the Channel 43 Sunday Afternoon Movie. In addition to Singer, we get Tanya Roberts as a hot amazon gal and Rip Torn as the sinister Maax (no typo there).
#2 – First Blood
A Vietnam Veteran uses his combat skills against the lawman of a small town when they arrest and abuse him. Based on the 1972 David Morrell novel of the same name, this is the first in the Rambo series. It’s more “gritty” than the other entries and while it’s action packed it is also more story driven than the others in the franchise. This one shows really shows you what John Rambo is going through as a returning Vietnam vet from a mental standpoint as opposed to just being an ass kicker. The franchise took on a new life with Rambo: First Blood Part II but this is the place to start. Well worth checking out and holds up well to this day.
#1 – MegaForce
Story about a rapid deployment defense unit that is called into action whenever freedom is threatened. MegaForce tops the list of my Top 10 Guilty Pleasures so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see it on this list. It stars Barry Bostwick, Persis Khambatta, Michael Beck, Edward Mulhare and Henry Silva. I was lucky enough to meet Barry Bostwick a couple of years back and was giddy as a school girl. I can remember seeing this film in the theaters and coming directly home and getting on my Big Wheel and pretending that I was Ace Hunter. After all…the good guys always win, even in the eighties. MegaForce was nominated for 3 Razzie awards including Worst Picture, Worst Actor and Worst Director and all I can say is… I don’t care. This is brilliant. It doesn’t “hold up” at all because it never was up to standards to begin with. This is the perfect example of where a “favorite” movie doesn’t equal a “better” movie. It does have some terrible acting. It does have some terrible dialog. It’s got some of the worst green screen work in the history of green screen. But for a kid who was 7 or 8 when he saw it, it left an indelible mark on me. In addition to the bad dialog it’s got some of the best. In fact, the quote that I legitimately live my life to comes from this film:
“It’s all on the wheel, it all comes around.”
Did I leave off your favorite film from 1982? Leave a comment with your thoughts!