In 2015, the amazing team at RKSS (Roadkill Superstar) films released a truly unexpected film. Directors and friends Yoann-Karl Whissell, Anouk Whissell and Francois Simard brought us the ‘80’s throwback and post-apocalyptic cult phenomenon Turbo Kid. With its over the top silliness and WAY over the top gore, Turbo Kid melted the horror hearts of many gore hounds, myself included. Well boils and ghouls, the RKSS terrible trio are back and they are once again taking us back to the ‘80’s. 1984 to be exact. Can they capture the hearts and minds of the horror community yet again? Let’s find out!
Summer Of 84 (2018)
The summer of 1984 (obviously) is winding down in the small town of Ipswich, Oregon. Boredom is beginning to set in for a group of long-time friends. Young Davey Armstrong is the conspiracy nut of his group of cohorts. Soon news comes to light of a serial killer in the area dubbed the ‘The Cape May Slayer’, who is targeting young male teenagers. Fueled by boredom and the promise of adventure, Davey begins to suspect one of his neighbors is the slayer. The group then begin a bold investigation that is charged with trepidation, which could end dangerously or even… DEADLY.
When directors break out big with their first theatrical release, it always comes with a certain stigma that follows the next inevitable production. Will it be as good? Can they top the last movie? These are almost always the questions asked. Back in January, the teaser for Summer of 84 dropped. It immediately sent shivers up my spine, but in a very good way. Since that time, I have been salivating for more. Then in June, the full length trailer was released. Which really only added to my fanatical desire to see this film.
Well boils and ghouls I was able to set all my lofty expectations at ease. Summer of 84 really fucking floored me. RKSS completely captured what small town American life was like in a time of uncertainty in the early ‘80’s. While also seamlessly adding an intense synthwave score provided by Le Matos. Their synth score weaved an amazing mixture of music, setting all moods and atmospheres throughout. RKSS also casted a young group of mostly unknown actors, which really helped you as the viewer develop a cinematic bond with these youngsters. Davey (Graham Verchere) and Woody (Caleb Emery) were the two spotlights of these group of misfits.
I asked one of my horror brother in arms what his initial impression of Summer of 84 was:
‘Summer of 84 is the kind of harsh reality of what could possibly go wrong in every scenario… The last 30 minutes of Summer of 84 are the most exciting, yet the most tragic of modern horror films. These last 30 minutes WILL separate those who either love it or hate it, without an in-between ’
-Bryan Enright, Writer/Podcast Maestro – The Horror Syndicate
While I’m going to refrain from mentioning any critic comparisons to other films or TV shows, I will end with this. Summer of 84 is well, in my humble opinion, the summer film of 2018. This slow burn takes you on a hectic and paranoid ride, dragging you along for every twist and turn of the kids’ investigation. As my delectable co-writer stated above, the third act is where it’s at. The unbelievably dark and twisted ending is something that will linger in your mind, long after the credits have stopped rolling. Because sometimes when you think you are doing the right thing, it goes wrong. Your actions tend to have consequences. This is not a cookie-cutter flick. I am saying this now, Summer of 84 is my favorite film of 2018 thus far. PERIOD.
Summer of 84 is out now on VOD! Watch it tonight!!!!!
Thanks for reading!