1980s Fantasy Film Festival

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


Terry Gilliam

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


Fairy Tales

The Neverending Story (1984) – October 3

The Dark Crystal (1982) – October 10

Willow (1988) – October 17

Legend (1985) – October 24


Science Fiction

Dune (1984) – November 7

Krull (1983) – November 14


Author: Robert Berg

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  1. 1980s Fantasy Film Festival #1: “Conan the Barbarian” (1982) | DreamPunk - […] we kick off our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival with the classic sword-and-sorcery film, Conan the Barbarian, which made a star…
  2. 1980s Fantasy Film Festival #2: “Hawk the Slayer” (1980) | DreamPunk - […] the Slayer is the most ridiculous film I’ve seen since…well, since last week’s 1980s Fantasy Film Festival entry, Conan the…
  3. 1980s Fantasy Film Festival #3: “The Beastmaster” (1982) | DreamPunk - […] films into our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival, and probably the major uniting factor between these sword and sorcery entries…
  4. 1980s Fantasy Film Festival #7: “Erik the Viking” (1989) | DreamPunk - […] Full Upcoming Schedule […]
  5. 1980s Fantasy Film Festival #10: “Brazil” (1985) | DreamPunk - […] Full Upcoming Schedule […]

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