As you’ll clearly see below – there’s not a huge selection of films from 1984 which I consider either shite, or that I was hyped for and subsequently disappointed by. Obviously, like any other year there were a lot of bad movies, but I either haven’t seen them or they didn’t piss me off enough to immortalize them here. In this blog which nobody reads.
Mark Lester’s Firestarter is a bit of a mess. It’s not the most amazing novel Stephen King has ever written, but there’s enough visual and emotional content to translate into an interesting movie. Decent cast, though also miscast, it’s just a bit dull and all over the place. But its biggest crime is simply, that it should have been made by an At The Peak Of His Powers John Carpenter. What it could have been is almost certainly better than what it is.
Conan The Destroyer
Conan The Barbarian is one of my all time favourite films. Conan The Destroyer gets everything that made the first film so good, so wrong. When people hear me say that CTB is one of my favourites, they laugh and sneer and likely imagine something cheesy and violent and cheap and crap; they’re imagining Conan The Destroyer. The only things going for it are Arnie swinging a sword about, and the soundtrack, but even Poledouris returning to score things can’t rescue this mess.
The Last Starfighter
I don’t have anything against The Last Starfighter, directly. What I do have is a bit of a strange grudge. See, when I was younger, I saw a Sci Fi movie which I can only remember snippets of – no faces, no plot, just random images which could be from anything. But growing up, I always suspected that movie was The Last Starfighter and when I saw it, it was nothing like that lost movie. A few years would pass and I would forget what Last Starfighter was about, and watch it again, hoping that this time me memories of the lost movie would align with it, but again, it would not be what I was looking for. So, any time I think about The Last Starfighter, I am reminded of that lost movie which I will never discover. What snippets do I remember about the lost movie; A cast of heroic characters, set on different planets, a deadly mission, the characters are picked off, one of them is an Amazon type strong female warrior, and she is killed while escorting a child through some long grassy area.
It’s not like John Milius jumped straight from Conan The Barbarian into something better. He made the infamous Red Dawn, a conflicting movie with a cast of soon to be big names. I don’t hate Red Dawn, it’s just one that I expected so much more from, considering the talent, and considering this was the era of bug dumb action movies. This was exactly the sort of story my friends and I would act out over days and weeks during the summer – our town had been invaded by X, and our group of 10 year olds were the only ones who could stop X, by running through the streets, gardens, and fields with our plastic guns, making bases in the forest, and sometimes finding a Playboy magazine. Red Dawn should have been our favourite game translated to the big screen, but it’s just not what I wanted.
You already know that David Lynch is one of my favourite directors. Dune is the only film of his that I really struggle with – it being so long, having so many characters, and it just feels like a chore to get through. It doesn’t look like a Lynch film, outside of featuring a lot of his familiar faces, and the screenplay is a mess. There was too much material, and there were too many cooks behind the scenes, and there was too much weight of anticipation for it to ever be any good. It’s an achievement that it was even made in the first place, but it just doesn’t work on any level.
Let us know what your least movies of 1984 are in the comments!
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