Admittedly, aging millennials (those of us in our 30s to early 40s) have a warped perspective on the 1980s. We kind of grew up in the ’80s but only because we were mostly born in that decade. Eighties kids who are old millennials are also ’90s kids by default. If you were 2-years-old when ET came out, you don’t really remember the movies of the ’80s; you remember the VHS tapes from the ’80s. So, which year of the ’80s do you think had the greatest films? One forthcoming documentary has made a bold claim and it might not be the one you’d assume.
As any pop culture junkie knows, the power of ’80s nostalgia is not only unstoppable but occasionally, confusing. Things that are borderline terrible (like He-Man) have become canonized alongside works of undeniable genius (like Ghostbusters.) In the mind of the ’80s kid, all of these things were good, because they’re a part of ’80s pop culture, even if the truth of that quality is hard to pin down.
The question of which year of the 80s had the best movies, then, is a fun one to wrestle with. Was it 1981, the year of Raiders of the Lost Ark? What about 1985, the year of Back to the Future? Hell, could it be 1980 itself, the year of The Empire Strikes Back?
According to the forthcoming documentary called Greatest Geek Year Ever!, the answer is 1982. Their argument right now is fairly simple. 1982 dropped a few huge ’80s blockbusters, namely ET: The ExtraTerrestrial and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. But, it also had a few cult hits that weren’t hugely successful at the time but went on to define pop culture in other ways, specifically Tron and Blade Runner.
Is this the right call? Well, you can judge their argument for yourself. The documentary is currently on Kickstarter and will be produced by Scott Mantz, Mark A. Altman, and Roger Lay. Assuming they hit their funding goal, it looks like a lot of fun, regardless of whether you agree with their selection or not. Check out the trailer below.
Here’s more on the project!