We made it through the winter months of 1982. Spring is here with a fresh start. Like Spring the movies need time to mature, they don’t start out as beautiful flowers. But they’ll get there.
There wasn’t a movie released in April 1982 I was allowed to see in the theater. Thanks to the growing home video market, older sisters and my dad I was able to watch a few of these movies the year they were released.
One movie I didn’t see until years (decades) later thanks to a 2008 documentary and Quentin Tarantino.
Let’s look at the movies of April 1982.
Movies from April 1982
All you had to say was Chuck Norris.
Silent Rage isn’t the average Chuck Norris beating up bad guys movie. This one has a supernatural tone to it. It’s labeled as an Action, Horror movie.
The plot revolves around a man who receives experimental treatments and gains super human strength and the ability to heal himself. The man then goes on a killing spree.
It’s up to Chuck Norris to stop him and he does…duh, it’s Chuck Norris. Essentially it’s Chuck Norris vs Wolverine without the claws.
It’s a decent movie. Norris has a couple earlier movies that area better like Good Guys Wear Black and The Octagon. When Norris signed on with The Cannon Group in 1984 his action star status took off.
Did you know Chuck Norris was once bitten by a cobra. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.
Did you know, Death once had a near-Chuck-Norris experience.
Did you know, when the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
Did you know, you can watch Silent Rage on the Roku Channel and Fubo TV.
What’s in the basket?
This movie is so bad it’s good. Thanks to my horror movie loving older sister I watched this one night.
The story is as old as time itself… Conjoined twin brothers are separated, one is grotesque the other is normal. So the normal brother carry’s his disfigured brother around in a wicker basket. I’m sure anyone would do the same thing.
The problem is, the brother in the basket likes to murder people. He also doesn’t want the normal brother to find love or be happy, which leads to more death. Like all Siamese twins the two can feel each others pleasure and pain.
Rex Reed called it “the sickest movie ever made.” Reed has never been a good film critic. Reading some of his reviews makes you wonder if he even watches the movies. When he started hosting At the Movies, the show was officially dead.
Basket Case is a fantastic B-movie. It captures the horror exploitation genre perfectly. Much to Reed’s displeasure, director Frank Henenlotter used the quote to promote the movie
There were a couple sequels but neither could live up to the original masterpiece. I still talk about Basket Case with my sister. It made a lasting impact, for better or worse.
If you’re a horror fan this is a must watch movie.
You can watch Basket Case on Tubi TV.
I, the Jury
Mike Hammer was big in my house in the 80s. My dad would sit and watch the TV series starring Stacey Keach every Saturday night. This movie came out a year before the TV series aired.
I, the Jury was first made into a movie in 1953, six years after the novel of the same name was published. The 1982 version is another adaptation of the novel.
I shouldn’t have watched this movie but dad didn’t seem to care, except for maybe the sex parts. Mom wasn’t around so he let it slide.
It’s a good movie, lots of action, some 80s gore and of course 80s sex. I’ve watched it one other time when I was older and still enjoyed it.
If you like the hard boiled crime novels by Mickey Spillane you’ll like this movie. Die hard Mickey Spillane fans consider the 1982 I, the Jury the most accurate adaption of Mike Hammer novels.
The Sword and the Sorcerer
This movie we borrowed from the library. Our library didn’t have VHS tapes in 1982, what they did have was even better.
The library let you check out a laser disc player and laser discs. It was the coolest thing ever. I enjoyed looking through the laser discs more than music albums. One Friday night dad and I grabbed a laser disc player and I was able to pick out one movie.
The cover art for this movie, drawn by Peter Andrew Jones, is the reason I picked it. The artwork style was popular in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The most famous artist in the style is arguable Frank Frazetta. My favorite artist in the style is Boris Vallejo. I own several books filled with his artwork.
All three of the mentioned artist drew numerous movie posters, book covers, album covers and much more. The cover art was also the reason my mom wouldn’t let me watch the movie.
Knowing my disappointment dad let me watch the movie on Saturday while mom was out of the house. Probably not the best idea.
Watching this movie both scared me and captivated me at the same time. It’s rated ‘R’ for a reason.
In 1981 Excalibur was a huge hit. One year later and The Sword ans the Sorcerer was trying to cash in on the sword and sorcery genre.
In the movie, King Titus is looking for a sorcerer to help him overthrow his rival. There was certainly things to scar a young kid, like when Titus is resurrecting the long dead sorcerer and he rises up covered in blood. That’s the stuff that will stick with a kid and then come back and haunt his dreams.
Despite the scary black magic, the action and sword fighting kept me watching. The three blade sword, with projectile blades was awesome!
The movie was panned by critics, but what do they know. It was a huge box office success, making over $39 million from a $4 million budget. It was the highest grossing independent film of 1982.
The Sword and Sorcerer doesn’t get the accolades it deserves. Bad reviews didn’t help but a bigger reason hits the screen next month. In May 1982, another sword and sorcery movie featuring a 7-time Mr. Olympia champion will overshadow The Sword and the Sorcerer.
You can watch The Sword and the Sorcerer on Pluto TV.
Tag: The Assassination Game
One of my sisters rented this movie. It’s not bad.
The plot revolves around college students playing an assassination game with dart guns. One of the students, Loren (played by Bruce Abbott), is an ace and never loses, then he does. He murders the kid who ‘assassinated’ him and hides his body so no one will know his perfect record is broken.
Loren gets a thrill from the murder and goes on a killing spree using a real gun for the game instead of a dart gun.
Tag: The Assassination Game stars Robert Carradine and Linda Hamilton in her debut movie. Both will go on to star in some iconic 80s movies.
If you want to watch a better movie with the assassination game go watch 1985’s Gotcha!. It’s better on every level.
The only trailer I could find is in German. High School German class finally pays off! If you speak German you’re set, if not enjoy the trailer anyhow.
Next of Kin
This is my cheat movie. Despite sharing the same title it’s nothing like the 1989 classic with Patrick Swayze. I didn’t see this in 1982, or even in the 80s. I watched it after I stumbled across a 2008 documentary called Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!.
I’ve watched a lot of exploitation genre movies; Blaxploitation, Sexploitation, Chambara, Chop Sockey, the list goes on. But I never heard of Ozploitation until I saw the documentary.
Exploitation films are usually low budget action or horror or comedies. Ozploitation are the same style low budget movies, only made in Australia instead of the States.
In the documentary Next of Kin is discussed and praised by Quentin Tarantino. I was intrigued and searched it out.
It’s a good horror movie.
A girl inherits a creepy mansion that is also an old folks home. After she moves in strange things happen. She then finds an old diary describing strange events from years past. And those events start to happen again.
The movie is well done and a good representation of early 80s horror.
If you like horror movies add this one to your Halloween list.
You can watch Next of Kin on Tubi TV.
Other movies released in April 1982
Here are the rest of the movies released in April 1982. The Richard Pryor movie Some Kind of Hero did well at the box office and received high reviews from the critics.
Penitentiary II is one of the aforementioned Blaxploitation movies. It looks good, I may have to watch the whole trilogy this year.
If you saw any of these movies let me know in the comments.
That ends are look at movies from April 1982. A few good ones to get us excited about the summer movie season starting next month!
May 1982 features not one, not two, but three blockbuster contenders! Two of those movies also sit on the Top 10 highest grossing movies of the year list. Stay tuned, the 1982 summer movie season is about to begin and it’s a good one.
Next week we’ll look at April 1987.