Firestarter – May 11, 1984 On May 11, just three days after Russia announced that they would be boycotting the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, audiences got their first look at Firestarter. It is, of course, the legendary Stephen King’s second novel adaptation of 1984, this one starring young Drew Barrymore, fresh from bursting onto the scene in her role as Gertie in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Firestarter tells the story of young Charlene “Charlie” McGee, a pyrokinetic, and a secret government agency that’s trying to control and weaponize her. However, Charlie was no joke. One wrong look and…whoosh! Another fantastic story from the mind of the King.
Gremlins – June 8, 1984 Although it was set during Christmastime, Joe Dante’s Gremlins actually came out in the summer. Unfortunately, twenty days after the film was released, the infamous “Night Stalker” serial killer, Richard Ramirez, would take his first confirmed victim; but when Gremlins hit theaters, it was nothing but good times. The movie is the perfect blend between horror and comedy. It’s great for horror veterans as well as being a wonderful gateway movie for young ones just getting their feet wet in the genre. Gremlins would go on to become one of the most beloved Christmas-themed horror movies ever, and the quality of the production has allowed it to stand the test of time.
C.H.U.D. – August 31, 1984 Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. The final line of the trailer says “C.H.U.D…. they’re not staying down there anymore.” Honestly, here we are, over 30 years since the release of C.H.U.D., and we still believe there are far scarier things going on in the sewers beneath New York City than a bunch of C.H.U.D.s roaming around, but even so, they are pretty scary in their own right. To put this one in time perspective, the Space Shuttle Discovery launched one day before C.H.U.D. did on its maiden voyage. We can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the C.H.U.D.s invaded the Space Shuttle Discovery instead of coming topside in New York City. Houston, we’ve got a big fucking problem.