The 1980s were a peculiar time for many reasons. Neon-colored clothes, synthesizer music, big hair and big shoulder pads, the Rubik’s Cube. Add to the list of 1980s oddities a rash of fantasy films that were truly spectacular and bizarre. These were genre mash-up movies that combined medieval sorcery and knights in armour with futuristic sci-fi elements, such as electronic animals and laser beams—some of which were fired from metal swords. There were also wizards, winged horses and leg warmers in these movies. And ironically, none of these films were played for laughs. They all took themselves extremely seriously. So as we plow through the dog days of summer, here are the 10 best fantasy films from the 1980s.
10. Legend (1985)
This film stars a young Tom Cruise and was directed by Ridley Scott hot off his triumphs with sci-fi masterpieces Alien and Blade Runner. The movie is about a demon, played by actor Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), who seeks to create eternal darkness by destroying the last of the unicorns and marrying a fairy princess. Tom Cruise plays a “forest boy” named Jack who fights back against the demon with help from his elven allies. Billed as a “magical fantasy” film, the movie contains a funky synthesizer-fueled soundtrack by the synth-pop group Tangerine Dream, as well as a lot of cloven-hoofed children sporting bows and arrows. Not a movie that comes up a lot when people talk about Tom Cruise’s career.