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 May 6th, 1983, and we’re off to see The Final Terror and Doctor Detoit!
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.
The Final Terror
Don’t you love when a slasher movie telegraphs who the killer is as a campfire story early in the film? Then you’ll love The Final Terror.
When a bunch of people go camping in the woods, they are slowly killed off by a mysterious person in the woods. Well, mysterious only if you’re paying zero attention.
The Final Teror felt like “What if we took Deliverance and added a slasher aspect to it?” and it just didn’t work. The killer is telegraphed far too early in the film from the telling of a campfire story, and from there you just don’t really care. Nothing about this film is surprising, and it certainly doesn’t make you jump at any point.
This movie is a perfect example of the issues that began to plague ‘horror’ films of the 1980s that turned them into the butts of jokes. Nothing original happens in the film, and it certainly fails at the simplest of horror film tasks.
It’s hard put a finger on what went wrong with Doctor Detroit. It had a great cast, a decent plot concept, and a stellar new character from Dan Aykroyd, and yet the movie just seemed so empty.
Clifford Skridlow (Aykroyd) is an uptight college professor who gets pulled into a fight between various pimps and has to create a persona called “Doctor Detroit” to protect the four escorts he had just met from a pimp known as “Mom” (Kate Murtagh). He, of course, finds it difficult to balance his two lives, and they inevitably crash into one another by the end of the film.
Doctor Detroit had a ton of promise, and it just never seemed to get there. It’s not a ‘bad’ movie, it’s that it just simply exists and doesn’t exactly fill you with any sense of of it having lived up to its potential.
I didn’t dislike it, it just simply is a movie I’ve seen and can immediately forget.
1983 Movie Reviews will return on May 13, 2023 with Blue Thunder!
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