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 August 19th, 1983, and we’re off to see Easy Money, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, and Yor, the Hunter from the Future.
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.
It has been a long time since I have revisited any of Rodney Dangerfield’s work, and I’m not even sure that I ever watched Easy Money before.
Dangerfield plays Montgomery “Monty” Capuletti, a married man who clearly married out of his league, and his mother-in-law never lets him forget it. She hates his gambling, smoking, drinking, and generally everything about him. When she dies, her wills states he and his wife will get her fortune if he can clean himself up for one year. And if he can’t, then his brother-in-law will receive everything. of course, Clive (Jeffrey Jones) does everything he can to stop him from succeeding.
Throughout the year, he’s aided, and tempted, by his best friend Nicky (Joe Pesci), but he ultimately succeeds, and as he celebrates, he learns his mother-in-law is, in fact, alive and did this just to improve her daughter’s life. But he still gets the money in the end by living in her house.
I have to say, watching this, I had forgotten just how funny Dangerfield could be. Yes, he just plays to his usual tropes of fidgeting and acting put upon, but he was a master at it and it works. And Pesci is such a perfect foil to him that the two are just a pleasure to watch.
While everyone thinks of Caddyshack and Back to School when they think of Dangerfield, you definitely should not overlook Easy Money. The film goes down smoothly, and has some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments.
A healthy recommendation to check this out if you are on your own 1980s film journey.
Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn
In the early 1980s, video rental stores were just starting to take off. There was a rash of films throughout the years to come that were made far more for the home video rental market than they were for theatrical success. While Metalstorm feels like it wasn’t done specifically for home video, it definitely feels as though it’s close to that.
It’s unclear why there was a sudden rash of 3D sci-fi films such as Spacehunter and this one, but it was a thing that was happening for some reason. It seemed no one cared about the stories, just so long as they had excuses to have things coming at the screen a lot.
The plot is utter nonsense and deals with your usual, “Oh no, a warlord has abducted the good-looking woman, guess I have to go rescue her and save the planet at the same time” story we had seen so many times before. There was an layer of some crystals you could store souls in, but other than that it was just nothing of any interest.
Yor, the Hunter from the Future
Just in case one bad sci-fi movie wasn’t enough for you this week, say hi, to Yor!
Yor (Reb Brown) is a man of mystery. He doesn’t know where he comes from, and all he knows about himself is the medallion he wears around his neck. But no one hunts or fights quite like him. He helps two villagers with a kill, and when the village befriends him, wouldn’t you know it, the village gets attacked and the women he had just fallen for – but already has feelings for – gets kidnapped.
I’ll give this movie this, I did not see the futuristic – but clearly shot in a factory – scenes coming. All of a sudden it turns out Yor escaped a futuristic society that destroyed itself with nuclear weapons, and he was destined to defeat its dictator.
At the end of the film, after fulfilling his destiny, Yor returns to the primitive tribes on the mainland, determined that the society he will build won’t repeat the same mistakes.
I honestly can’t tell you what this movie is. It wanted to be Beastmaster, but somehow turns into Beneath the Planet of the Apes by the end. And, of course, you have the fun trope of every woman that meets Yor IMMEDIATELY falls for him, but thankfully he only has eyes for that one women he has known for about… oh… 20 minutes.
Yor is your typical garbage 80s sci-fi, but it almost crosses into the “it’s so bad it’s good” category because the plot is just bonkers.
1983 Movie Reviews will return on Aug. 26, 2023 with Daniel, Fire and Ice, Hercules, and Strange Brew!
Fun Jug Media, LLC (operating TheNerdy.com) has affiliate partnerships with various companies. These do not at any time have any influence on the editorial content of The Nerdy. Fun Jug Media LLC may earn a commission from these links.