80sSFF: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies of the 1980s

I was a child of the 1980s and I have a fondness for the science fiction and fantasy movies of that period.  Is there anything beyond this apart from a misplaced nostalgia?  Are there differences between these movies and contemporary movies?



Cusp year: Apocalypse Now & Apocalypse Now Redux (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979; Redux, 2001)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)

Time Bandits (Terry Gilliam, 1981)

Bladerunner (Ridley Scott, 1982; “Director’s Cut”, 1992)

The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson and Frank Oz, 1982) This will be covered in a bonus essay in my book, On Being Human.

Dune (David Lynch, 1984; “Extended Edition”, 2006)

Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984)

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (W.D. Richter, 1984)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (George Miller and George Ogilvie, 1985)

Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985; “Fifth and final cut”, 1996)

Big Trouble in Little China (John Carpenter, 1986)

Labyrinth (Jim Henson, 1986)

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Terry Gilliam, 1988)

Willow (Ron Howard, 1988)

They Live (John Carpenter, 1988)

Cusp year: Batman (Tim Burton, 1989); Ghostbusters II (Ivan Reitman, 1989)