Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1983 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 four dozen.
Yes, we’re insane, but 1983 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 1983 so that it is their true 40th anniversary. 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 March 11th, 1983, and we’re off to see 10 to Midnight and Trenchcoat!
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 numerous episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.
10 to Midnight
10 to Midnight proves one thing: We’re entering Charles Bronson’s questionable filmography period.
Bronson plays Detective Leo Kessler who is on the hunt for a serial killer, Warren Stacey, (Gene Davis) who he just can’t get enough evidence on. AHe finally decided to switch to tormentig him. This, in turn, makes Stacey set his sights on Kessler’s daughter, Laurie (Lisa Eilbacher), angering Leo even further.
There is no question that 10 to Midnight was trying to be something, but what exactly that was is anyone’s guess. The biggest issue, and this seems to be a theme in 80s movies I’m finding, it it’s hard to root for Kessler. Yes, absolutely, Stacey needs to be brought to justice, and the system is failing him, but his actions lead to multiple deaths of his daughter’s roommates. Those deaths are completely on Kessler.
And then there is the ending. Kessler has Stacey dead-to-rights, the police arrive… and he shoots him in the head in front of all the gathered police after being taunted by Stacey. It’s a wholly unsatisfying ending as you know Keller will now be the one to head to prison.
You’ve just spent a lot of time with a man you don’t particularly like, and the final thing he does is make you like him even less.
No one walks away from this film a winner, and that includes the audience.
When I finished Trenchcoat I had to look up what genre it was supposed to be. It said “Comedy,” and that may have ended up being the biggest laugh I got from this film.
Mickey Raymond (Margot Kidder), is an aspiring mystery writer and decides to take a two-week trip to Malta (the number of times Malta is mentioned I feel as if the tourism board kicked in funds for the budget) to research her fist novel. There she meets Terry (Rogert Hays) and quickly gets wrapped up in a murder-thriller-comedy.
There is no sugarcoating this; it’s just a plain bad movie. There is nothing about it that is endearing or even mildly entertaining other than going, “Aw, I like Kidder and Hays!”
For a Disney movie it’s not the easiest one to find, and having now seen it, I can see why they aren’t putting out in front of everyone.
Avoid at all costs unless you enjoy being bored.
1983 Movie Reviews will return on March 18, 2023 with High Road to China, Bad Boys, and Max Dugan Returns!
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