Science Fiction/Fantasy Movies from 1982

I have always felt 1982 was a great year for science fiction and fantasy movies. In the wake of Star Wars the late 70's and early 80's saw a number science fiction/fantasy films appear. Some were great, some not so much. But for overall quality I think 1982 is when the studios and the creators hit their stride.

Let's hit rewind... And travel down the long hall into memory back...

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

The Wrath of Khan happens to be my favorite movie of all time. I, also, think it happens to be one of the best movies ever made as well. Seriously, I do. I know, I know... you think I sit around watching nothing, but Star Trek. Wrong. I study film. I know what I'm talking about.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is better than Citizen Kane. There I said it. You know you all were thinking it, I'm just the one brave enough to admit it. Okay, I'll also admit Casablanca is right there with it and may (I stress "may") be better than Wrath. And to give Welles his props The Magnificent Ambersons is flippin' genius. But Wrath is still up there. 

Why? Look at the construction of the plot. It's tight. It moves and never lets up. Look at the themes. Friendship. Lost. Usefulness. Revenge. The list goes on and on. It is human drama wrapped in the package of science fiction. Simply, awesome.

I know you're thinking if it's so good why don't you hear about it more? The main reason is because it's science fiction and the second reason is because it's Star Trek. But those who dismiss it are making a mistake. It is truly a treasure among what we call movies.

The Road Warrior

The Road Warrior wasn't released in the US until 82, so I'm counting in my list. Here is science fiction and fantasy elevated to the status of myth. The opening narration sets the tone and the film never disappoints. One word describes it best: powerful.

Blade Runner

Visually Blade Runner is groundbreaking science fiction. Don't look for a plot, though. It makes no sense. Just watch and enjoy this version of the future.


Sure the story was weak, but what an idea. Tron was and still is a "wow" movie. As you watch it you can't help, but to say to yourself, over and over again--wow.

The Dark Crystal

The Dark Crystal is simply a joy of creation and imagination. Even though hurt by a weak story structure and dialogue the creative core of this unique film still shines through. Enjoy.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. doesn't play as well as it did when I was kid, but still a great movie. There was something about this movie back in the day. It felt different than other films. I guess the right word is magical.


1982 would have been an awesome year for science fiction and fantasy if only those movies were released. But here are a few more:

The Thing
Conan the Barbarian
The Secret of NIMH
The Beastmaster
Airplane II: The Sequel
Swamp Thing
Time Masters

Okay, a few of these aren't really that great, to say the least, but they appeal to fans of the genre. And of course there are even more I could list just from 82.

My list is getting a bit unruly, but as you can see I've proved my point. 82 was a great year for science fiction and fantasy. It's almost hard to believe that all these movies came out in the same year. To me it seems there was a bit more freedom to experiment back then. Sure, some were sequels, but most were risks. Most were low budget movies. Most could not even get green lit today. But, our world be poorer if we didn't have them.


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