Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1980 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.
We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly three dozen.
Yes, we’re insane, but 1980 was that great of a year for film.
The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1980 so that it is their true 40th anniversaries. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.
This time around it’s Sept. 8, 1980, and we’re off to see Battle Beyond the Stars!
Quick side note: Since we launched this series this year, we’ve discovered that Vintage Video Podcast is doing the exact same project with two differences: First, it’s audio (naturally), and second, they are doing every major film. We’ve listened to a couple of episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.
Battle Beyond the Stars
Roger Corman was involved with this film, and that is usually enough to fill me with dread, but this one actually worked.
A very clear cash-in on the success of Star Wars, Battle Beyond the Stars is pretty much a straight-up copy of The Seven Samurai that just happens to be set in space.
I am surprised to say that I didn’t hate this movie. From decent acting to a healthy selection of design choices, the movie was entertaining and kept me engaged throughout. While the various spaceship footage was re-used endlessly in movies that came along later, it was all shot for this film and I honestly was surprised at each ship having its own unique look and flavor.
Yes, we’ll just skip over the main ship looking like it had breasts. But at least it was unique.
If you’ve ever seen The Saven Samurai or The Magnificent Seven you will know how this story plays out. And it’s fair to say some characters got next to no character development, but it’s a fun romp through the schlock sci-fi movies of the early 1980s.
And it just so happens to also be one of the earliest credits of a crewmember named James Cameron… yes… that James Cameron. He was in the special effects department on this one.
This is one I actually recommend checking out.
1980 Movie Reviews will return on Sept. 12 with The Exterminator!
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