80s movies for fans of ‘Stranger things’

The Netflix series Stranger things sweeps its fourth season and causes an instant effect: that of seeing again, or discovering, some of the films in which it is clearly inspired, as well as a good part of the cult adolescent cinema, whether they are generational dramas , adventures or science fiction, which represented a milestone in the American cinema of the 80s. They are films very much of their time that give us back, as if in a mirror, certain images, atmospheres and decisions present in the series created six years ago by Matt and Ross Duffer. What follows are 10 films from that decade that are ideal for fans of Stranger things, to which we could add titles that are not on platforms such as Eyes of Fire, a recognized benchmark for the Duffer brothers.


John Landis, 1981

The movie that brought lycanthropy back into the spotlight and created the special effects blueprint – courtesy of Rick Baker – for the human-to-werewolf transformations still practiced today, technically enhanced, but not nearly as impressive as the film of Landis. The film splendidly combines horror movies and teen comedy that would be all the rage in the 80s. The soundtrack mixed the standard ballad Blue moon with Van Morrison’s Moondance and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad moon rising’. It’s all about full moon.


Steven Spielberg, 1982

More than a cult film, it is the best-known American film of the 80s, one of Spielberg’s greatest successes and a permanently evoked title. After shooting a film with a humanistic tint about the relationship between humans and aliens, Third Kind Encounters, and before showing the most bellicose aspect of this relationship in The War of the Worlds, Spielberg organized a story of adventures and children’s wonders with the famous alien who wants to return home. Drew Barrymore is his caring friend, two years before starting fires with her mind in Eyes of Fire.


Joel Schumacher, 1985

Rob Lowe’s haircut in this film is too similar to Billy Hargrove’s character in Stranger Things to be a fluke. Schumacher’s film is one of the best examples of adolescent and choral comedy of that decade in which, after finishing university, a group of close-knit friends must face the reality of the present. It features a very generational cast with Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson. Several would repeat that same year in The club of the five, the other adolescent hit of the time.


Thomas Eberhardt, 1984

Perhaps the least ‘popular’ film on the list and, therefore, the one that best responds to the cult film category. The teen comedy/horror formula is joined by science fiction and a post-apocalyptic future. A comet passes close to Earth and causes the human species to mutate into zombies. Two teenagers manage to save themselves by spending the night in a metal container. Two of its interpreters, Mary Woronov –star of Andy Warhol and Roger Corman– and Robert Beltran, had coincided two years earlier in another great eighties cult nonsense, What if we eat Raúl?


Richard Donner, 1985

In his most prolific year, Donner went from the fanciful Middle Ages of Lady Halcón to recount the adventures of the group of adolescents that give the film its title, in search of the hidden treasure of some pirates. Spielberg, the great demiurge of friendship and 80s fantasy, is once again behind the operation as producer and responsible for the original plot, apparently inspired by the relationship he had with Coppola, Lucas, Schrader and De Palma in their years as filmmaker apprentices. The film would mark two or three generations and is a clear reference for ‘Stranger things’.


Joel Schumacher, 1987

Corey Felman repeats, who was in almost all the titles of that golden age of adolescent cinema, along with his generation partner Corey Haim and somewhat older actors such as Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric. The classic group stories, with two brothers somewhat confused after the traumatic divorce of their parents, are immersed here in a very specific aesthetic, that of bikers and that of modern vampire cinema. Those are the hidden youngsters of the Spanish title, although the original does them more justice: Lost boys, the lost boys, as in the story of Peter Pan. Schumacher and Sutherland, now with Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Julia Roberts, reoffended in the group fantastic cinema with another film released a few years later: Deadly Line.


Rob Reiner, 1986

Another well-known story of teenage friendship that, at the time, caused some surprise as it was the adaptation of a novel by Stephen King. It is a new triumph of generational cinema based on stories of friendship and adventure that do not renounce the stereotype, but, being signed by King, it also tends to certain dark parts. As almost always in this type of film, it introduced a new generation of young actors led by Corey Feldman and River Phoenix.


Richard Donner, 1985

After being fired from the filming of Superman II despite having hit the commercial target with Superman, the film, director Richard Donner was able to bring to fruition one of those films that are as fascinating on paper as they are doomed to failure… until they are vindicated over time. An actress just beginning to be fashionable at the time, Michelle Pfeiffer, and the dazzling ‘replicant’ Rutger Hauer play two lovers doomed and bewitched by a jealous and obscurantist bishop: she is turned into a falcon during the day, and he is transformed into a wolf when night comes. Medieval fantasy, poetic fantasy and romantic adventure in one unusual film.


Joe Dante, 1984

Not satiated with the success of ET, Steven Spielberg produced this triumphant blend of horror, black comedy, thug humor and teen adventure at the expense of playful creatures that can never be fed past midnight and don’t need to be soaked or wet. expose them to sunlight. Made by Joe Dante, who came from series B, and with a script by Chris Columbus, six years before directing Home Alone: ​​from success to success.


Rob Reiner, 1987

Instant cult movie? Modern classic? Modern classic? Years go by and this intelligent film that praises and questions medieval and romantic adventure films alike continues to be a benchmark for all kinds of young people, and not so young viewers. Brilliantly written by William Goldman, it offered her first major roles to Robin Wright and Cary Elwes, although she has made much better use of that success than he has.

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