Cheaply capitalizing on Stranger Things-like 80s nostalgia, with a teen-driven thriller-mystery that contains almost no thrills and absolutely no mystery and features what is likely the most egregious male-fantasy-bot female character to grace the screen this decade, Summer of 84 is, sadly, a bucket of misdirected lame-sauce. Working from a DOA script from Matt Leslie and Stephen J. Smith, the acting is just poor, the plot is heavily borrowed (think Rear Window, The Burbs, or Fright Night – except with far less personality) and totally lacking in surprises (telegraphing the answer to its one-dimensional mystery from square one). The characters are nothing but cheap archetypes that we’ve seen frazzle their way through better, smarter versions of this exact same story and watching them onscreen is kind of like your being forced to hang out with uncool kids by your mom. Read More
*This is a reprint of our 2015 SXSW review.
This is the future. Bicycles remain the only mode of transport and they scream down rubble road decorated with human skulls, past junk yards littered with bits and bobs of discarded robots and towards the odd outskirts ripe for plundering. The land is overrun with masked miscreants of a steam-punk Road Warrior meets Jason Voorhees variety picking through the remains of a scrapyard Earth. The leader of the bicycled clan, a nefarious crime boss known as Zeus (Michael Ironside), has concocted a way to transform humans into water – now the world’s most precious resource. This is 1997. Read More