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 January 28, 1983, and we’re off to see The Entity and Videodrome!
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.
As I watched The Entity, I kept thinking it must be someone’s attempt at making their own version of Poltergeist. As I researched it, it turned out that when it was filmed in 1981 made that impossible and it gave me a bit more appreciation for what I was watching.
The story follows Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey) as she suddenly finds herself being assaulted repeatedly by an unknown entity. At first, people don’t believe her, but as the assaults continue to happen, more and more people witness the occurrences and begin to believe in her. That is, except for her psychiatrist, Dr. Phil Sneiderman (Ron Silver), who believes she should be committed.
Of course, by the end of the film there are very few people left with any doubts. Even after the Entity is apparently gone, we actually find that not only did she move with her children, but that the Entity continues to attack her but with less frequency and severity.
Oh, well then, glad to know it’s just an occasional supernatural rape every so often now.
The story is based on an actual paranormal case, but it did not end in the same way, thankfully. But as the film draws to a close and you realize you’ve gone on this journey with Carla to no real resolution, it just feels like an odd way to end a film.
All that aside, the film is well acted, the direction is fairly fresh, and it still feels like a film worth spending a few hours with.
Videodrome is one of those films that has been on my list to watch for longer than I can remember. While I’m glad to have finally ticked it off, it just wasn’t for me.
Max Renn (James Woods) runs a UHF television station in Canada that specializes in showing strange and unusual programming. Harlan (Peter Dvorsky) introduces Max to a show he believes is transmitted out of Malaysia called ‘Videodrome.’ The belief is that the show is showing real-life torture and murder, but they can never capture enough of it to confirm. Max begins a slow descent into madness as he tries to unravel the mystery of the show and begins having increasingly odd delusions of the world around him.
As the story progresses, this becomes an elaborate scheme by a military operation to give brain tumors to the kind of people who would watch Videodrome? Yeah, it’s weird.
This movie is 100% about the visuals and, more specifically, the body horror of it all. And it does all of that with flying colors. Everything about this film visually is unsettling in all of the right ways, and you can see how it has earned its reputation.
I just wouldn’t go into it thinking you’re getting a great story, but you are getting something immensely interesting to look at.
1983 Movie Reviews will return on Feb. 18, 2023 with The King of Comedy, Local Hero, Lovesick, and Table for Five!
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