The Eighties were an amazing time for fantasy films–fantasy films that were brilliant, insane, campy, operatic, cheesy, visually stunning, ridiculous, sublime, magnificent, terrible, and/or some combination of the above. Even the bad or majorly flawed ones, however, have a distinctly “1980s fantasy” feel to them that is hard to define but instantly recognizable as being not quite like any other era of genre filmmaking.
And while there I many I have seen many times over the years, I have also always had some notable gaps in my 1980s fantasy film education, and so this Summer through Fall, I’ve decided to hold a film festival of sorts here at the site. If all goes according to plan, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be watching one per week (some of which I’ve seen many times, some of which I haven’t seen before) and posting a review each Friday of that week’s film.
Below, you’ll find the complete list, along with tentative assigned dates (it’s possible that I may not be able to have every post up when I plan, but I’ll try to stick as closely to the schedule as possible). Now, this list is by no means complete or definitive, but I tried to select a number of representative films in each sub-genre or category that are either important for various reasons, well-loved, what have you. You might notice the absence of two of the greatest 1980s fantasy films, The Princess Bride and Labyrinth. That is because I have reviewed them both previously for the site.
Please feel free to join me on my journey!
Sword and Sorcery
Conan the Barbarian (1982) – June 6
Hawk the Slayer (1980) – June 13
The Beastmaster (1982) – June 20
Ladyhawke (1985) – June 27
Legends and Mythology
Clash of the Titans (1981) – July 4
Excalibur (1981) – July 11
Erik the Viking (1989) – July 18
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) – July 25
Time Bandits (1981) – August 1
Brazil (1985) – August 8
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) – August 15
The Last Unicorn (1982) – August 22
The Flight of Dragons (1982) – August 29
The Secret of NIMH (1982) – September 5
Flash Gordon (1980) – September 12
Supergirl (1984) – September 19
Highlander (1986) – September 26
The Neverending Story (1984) – October 3
The Dark Crystal (1982) – October 10
Willow (1988) – October 17
Legend (1985) – October 24
Dune (1984) – November 7
Krull (1983) – November 14