Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

lördag 22 september 2018

SUMMER OF 84 (2018)

Directed by: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell
Written by: Matt Leslie, Stephen J. Smith
Stars:  Graham Verchere, Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery... read more

Country: Canada | USA
Style: Drama | Mystery
Runtime: 1h 45min

Road Kill Superstar, a french Canadian film making trio who who came into the spotlight with their short film Le Bagman and retro ultra violent hit Turbo Kid are back with their sophomore effort Summer Of '84. Once again aiming for that nostalgic 80's vibe Summer Of 84 is a tale of paranoia, fear and friendship all set to the backdrop of some beautiful synth music courtesy of Le Matos.

I really wanted to love Summer Of '84 because Turbo Kid is probably one of my favorite films. The vibe and emotion Turbo Kid evokes is nothing short of amazing but it seems the sophomore film jitters has struck RKSS. Instead of making an interesting and entertaining tale of horror nostalgia we are left with a rather bland and mediocre experience.

I get a very flat retro vibe which once again is absorbed in an essence of trying to unconvincingly squeeze out another movie with a Stranger Things vibe. Those movies such as The Goonies, Stand By Me and even Stephen King's It has done this before and done a better and more convincing job. Summer Of '84 just does not deliver on the thrills and the performances of the young cast of unknowns cannot carry the movie and make it engaging enough to get its point across.

I think what disappointed me the most with Summer Of '84 was the lack of anything that really happens. We spend a whole film with not much of a pay off or full blown horror experience which I was hoping for in the climax leading up to the ending. My mind raced when the conclusion began to unfold but the lack of graphic horror chops really fizzled out quickly. There is definitely a level of emotion brought forth but not what you'd expect.

Davey played by Graham Verhere is having a great summer with his friends in the neighborhood. It seems Davey is rather paranoid as well and into a variety of conspiracy theories and ideologies. Once kids start to go missing in the town Davey believes a local cop and general all around nice guy Wayne Mackey played by Rich sommer is responsible. Davey and his best buds Tommy (Judah Lewis), Woody (Caleb Emery) and Farraday (Cory Gruter-Andrew) then begin to lay down some surveillance on Mackey. The movie just seems to drag in multiple places and it carelessly waits to reveal if Mackey is actually a killer or not, it tries very hard by going back and forth by convincing then not convincing trying to set up unsuccessful red herrings.

The young boys just can't carry the picture like say the kids in It or Stranger Things who were much more much more engaging. The relationship between Davey and Woody is somewhat pushed to the forefront as we see why later in the film. Summer Of '84 just can't bring together the pieces to become that great entertaining retro horror picture I was hoping for. Forgettable performances, simplistic and bland story but an incredible soundtrack from Le Matos. There is no originality and not much charm to be found here, in the case of Summer Of '84 retro does not save the day.

My rating: 2 out of 5


Produced by:  Barry Barclay, Floris Bauer... read more
Cinematography by: Jean-Philippe Bernier
Editing by: Austin Andrews
Special Effects by: Robert Musnicki
Music by: Jean-Philippe Bernier, Jean-Nicolas Leupi, Le Matos
Language: English
Color: Color

DistributorGunpowder & Sky


Owner of and writer for Twisted Minds. Combined his love for underground films, music and comics with writing in the 90's. Started tape trading the good stuff around that time when originals of Italian classics by Fulci, Argento, Deodato, Castellari and Margheriti were hard to find. Then came German gore by Ittenbach and Schnaas, Mondo movies and Japanese gore such as Guinea Pig and Men Behind The Sun. Written for Violent Maniacs Cage, Mortados Pages Of Filth, ZFE Films With Attitude, Severed Cinema, Goregasmic Cinema, Pophorror & Extreme Horror Cinema.