torsdag 18 oktober 2018

Summer Of ´84


The year of 1984 was filled with a lot of great movies ( and some really bad ones as well of course ). But if you think about the year of 1984, we got the first Police Academy movie with Steve Guttenberg. A classic still today in the comedy genre. 1984 was also the year we got Firestarter, based on the novel by Stephen King. To see a very young Drew Barrymore develop pyrokinesis and attack people with her mind, actually turned out to be a good film. I would not say this is one of the better Stephen King movie adaptations, but still a solid film with a great cast. I have to mention that actor Martin Sheen also did a great performance in this film. If you buy the Shout! Factory Blu Ray release, you get some nice special features included. I might get myself a copy, and listen to the commentary track especially. Let´s move on with the year of 1984. I also remember the film Revenge Of The Nerds, a comedy where nerds fight against a fraternity called The Alpha Betas who hates nerds. If you have not seen Revenge Of The Nerds on DVD, you should. This is one of the real comedy classics of 1984, with some really classic characters like Booger, played by actor Curtis Armstrong. In the horror section released in 1984, we have to mention the movie Children Of The Corn. Based on a short story by Stephen King, the film tells the story of a malevolent entity, who make children kill adults to make sure they have a good harvest. Actor Linda Hamilton is seen in this film, who of course would be seen this year in The Terminator that made her character Sarah Connor iconic. The first Children Of The Corn movie is not a classic in any way, but the best film in the franchise, and worth a watch if you enjoy Stephen King movie adaptations. The 80´s have been brought back into many B movies over the years, and there are a bunch of titles that have tried to bring back this era. One of the films that did this really good, is of course the awsome B movie known as Turbo Kid. A crazy apocalypse mixture of science fiction, horror and action, that worked so well because of a genius concept of pure 80´s nostalgia on a wonderful level. Even today i consider Turbo Kid to be one of the best throwbacks to the 80´s, and a film you must buy on DVD or Blu Ray, this film deserves to be next to The Godfather collection box. Directors Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell should have won a ton of awards for this film at the Academy Awards, but at least we can say that Turbo Kid did get a lot of respect by movie critics and audiences. When i heard that the same directors of Turbo Kid was making a different film together called Summer Of ´84, i had to check it out. It seemed to bring back the 80´s style once again, but in the horror genre instead. Since i love Turbo Kid so much, is their next film almost as good, or is this the step into the wrong direction for these film makers ?

The year is 1984. In the ordinary American town Cape May, a serial killer known as "Cape May Slayer" is running loose, and have murdered 13 teenagers so far. Davey Armstrong ( Graham Verchere ) and his friends Tommy "Eats" Eaton, Dale "Woody" Woodworth and Curtis Farraday ( Cory Gruter-Andrew ) all suspect their neighbor Police Officer Wayne Mackey ( Rich Sommer ) to be the serial killer. Without any real hard evidence to prove that Wayne is behind all these gruesome murders, Davey decides to get evidence with the help of his friends. But is Wayne really a serial killer, or is someone else behind these murders ?

The first thing that comes to my mind about Summer Of ´84, is that this film reminds me of the 1985 film Fright Night. There is a big difference of course, there are no vampires in Summer Of ´84, instead it is a serial killer who could be a neighbor. I like the fact that you can feel Fright Night influences in this film, without copying the plot too much from the 80´s classic. The young cast works well in this film, and when you have great characters that match on screen presence, you know this will help the film become more interesting. Lead actor Graham Verchere as Davey Armstrong is a teen we all can recognize ourselves in, the nice guy who loves mysteries. Caleb Emery as Dale Woodworth ( an actor i hope to see more in the future ) is the one you feel sorry for, because he have such a good heart taking care of his mother who is suffering with depression. Cory Gruter-Andrew as the intelligent teen Curtis Farraday is exactly like one of my high school friends called Martin, who had great grades in every subject.Cory does a great job portraying the nerd character Curtis. Judah Lewis as the tougher teen Tommy " Eats " Eaton is exactly what this gang needed, a bit different from the others with a bigger attitude. Then we also have actor Tiera Skovbye ( who have a Scandinavian background from Denmark and Sweden, very cool )  as the lovely young woman Nikki Kaszuba, who is one of the highlights in this film. I would not call Summer Of ´84 a pure horror film, maybe more of a thriller horror, with a mystery vibe within the story. When it comes to capturing the 80´s, this film does a pretty good job making it right. The soundtrack is really 80´s style, and the hair styles does look like the 80´s. The G.I. Joe walkie talkies is a nice throwback to the good old days, and i also appreciate the costume design. The story is very simple, but works thanks to the great cast and the Fright Night feeling throughout the film. The limited budget is no problem, since you can tell that the film crew have tried to do this film with passion for the 80´s. Directors Francios Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell have made a film that does succeed to bring back 80´s nostalgia. I would say that their film Turbo Kid is a better film than Summer Of ´84, but as a thriller horror, i still feel that they have made a solid try to bring back a classic concept from the past. If you loved Fright Night, i actually think you want to see Summer Of ´84. It is nice to see that film makers pay their respect to classic films, and if you want to see something good on VOD, i think Summer Of ´84 will be something you will appreciate.

Rating: DDD

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