Summer Camp: The Campy Movies of My 80’s Youth, Installment #2

It’s installment #2 of Summer Camp! As I re-watched all the movies I’m talking about this week, I kept remember other movies that needed to be on the list. I was so hard to choose! For instance, as I re-watched one of today’s movies, Swamp Thing, star Adrienne Barbeau reminded me of The Cannonball Run which is a movie I watch about a million times. How can THAT movie not be on the list, right? (Speaking of Cannonball, I’ve come realized over the years that Burt Reynolds movies of the late 70’s and early 80’s are where I get most of my humor and my potty mouth not to mention I could do a whole week on JUST Burt Reynolds movies but I digress.) Anywho…enough about me. Let’s get to the movies, shall we?

#3 – Night of The Comet (1984)

Synopsis: After a rare comet sighting, teen Valley Girl sisters find that they’re among the only survivors of a zombie attack. As they try to avoid the zombies, they’re sought by scientists who want to experiment on their bodies in the hope of finding an antidote. Dodging both the doctors and the undead, they keep moving in the hope that they can continue to stay alive.

Biggest Star(s): Catherine Mary Stewart (The Last Starfighter), Robert Beltran (Star Trek Voyager)

My Take: Valley Girl meets I Am Legend. The movie does a good job of making the empty city and suburbs seen incredibly creepy. Between this and The Last Starfighter (which also came out in ’84), teenage boys across America had a collective crush on Catherine Mary Stewart in 1984 (at least I know I did). The scene where she and her sister dance around the department store trying on clothes to the tune of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (not performed by Cyndi Lauper for some reason) is the scene I remembered the most before re-watching. It was also the inspiration for a similar scene in season three of Stranger Things when Max and Eleven dance around the mall and try on clothes to the tune of Madonna’s “Material Girl”.

High Point: The zombie cops.

Low Point: Not enough zombies.

#4 – Swamp Thing(1982)

Synopsis: On the verge of a breakthrough in his quest to wipe out world hunger, altruistic botanist Dr. Alec Holland is placed under the protection of special government agent Alice Cable. Mad outlaw scientist Anton Arcane wants to steal Holland’s research for his own nefarious ends, but an unforeseen accident during the heist turns Holland into the Swamp Thing, an enormous plant-like creature that fights back against Arcane’s henchmen to save Cable.

Biggest star: Adrienne Barbeau.

My Take: Early comic book adaptation by Wes Craven which is an odd departure from the rest of his filmography. I think I only saw this one once or twice. Aside from the Swamp Thing costume, the creature costumes were pretty cheesy and the creature metamorphoses are about the same. Louis Jourdan plays a superb bad guy but it’s a little slow and, at times, doesn’t make sense.

High Point: Adrienne Barbeau (duh) and Swamp Thing reaching up towards the sunlight to grow his arm back.

Low Point: The romance scene between girl and one armed Swamp Thing.

About Eric Vardeman 115 Articles
80's lover. Screenwriter. Cohost of The Greatest Lists podcast. Christmas enthusiast. Tulsa Curling Club founder. Cherokee. Guitar player. Boomer Sooner. Curator of 80's playlists (

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