Back in 2019, a documentary titled In Search of Darkness was released. The film documented the most influential horror films of the 1980’s, in micro recaps. Featuring dozens of directors, actors, and pop culture icons, the documentary went year by year starting with 1980 and focused our four or five of the most memorable films.
Despite running four hours long, In Search of Darkness is one of my favorite documentaries ever. I love the simple format, which makes for easy watching, and it’s a great way to discover missed gems and revisit old favorites. Seeing some of my favorite directors breakdown why films succeeded or failed is something I could listen to all day.
To break up the micro reviews, small segments take place between years that highlight important topics such as women in film or practical effects. It’s just a documentary that really suits my tastes and interests.
In Search of Darkness was followed up by a sequel (and a third film is on the way). While I wasn’t thrilled with the focus on Italian horror, I still watched every minute of the film and enjoyed it.
Last year, a spin-off film was announced, In Search of Tomorrow, focusing on the science fiction films of the 1980’s. I cannot express how excited this made me. I love 80’s sci-fi almost as much as 80’s horror and unlike the horror, I have ALOT of gaps in the films sci-fi films of the 80’s that I haven’t seen.
My buddy Michael of The Wrestling Insomniac, was kind enough to gift me his digital copy of In Search of Tomorrow which I’ve been slowly watching over the past few weeks. I finally finished up the film and I got to say, it’s just as good as the first In Search of Darkness.
The lineup to talking heads include Joe Dante, John Carpenter, Alex Winter, Peter Weller, Phil Tippett, Paul Verhoeven, Dee Wallace, Ivan Reitman, Jesse Ventura, Bob Gale, Gene Simmons, and more. The film is set up in the exact same format as the In Search of Darkness films which has yet to get old.
Like In Search of Darkness, In Search of Tomorrow is a love letter to the genre. The film shows appreciation and respect for the movies that defined a decade, even if they weren’t successful or didn’t make a huge splash. The lineup of films is impressive including Star Wars, Star Trek, ET, Terminator, Predator, RoboCop, Aliens, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Short Circuit, WarGames, Tron, and more.
The insider tales of production and the creative processes continued to wow me, and I even walked away with a couple of interesting points to ponder. One is that the films from the 80’s are so rewatchable due to the positive, feel-good aspects of the plot. Also, CGI looks so terrible today because it has too much power. You can make things look too good and without any flaws, it just doesn’t work as well.
Sometimes I go back and watch old films from my youth out of nostalgia and I walk away disappointed. I’ve discovered that seeing recaps such as these, sometimes is all I need to scratch that itch. For example, Howard the Duck was a favorite movie of mine as a kid. I bought it on DVD once, but I really don’t think I ever watched it. I’ve been planning on giving it a spin, but I have a sneaking feeling I’m going to be very disappointed. Watching a four-minute piece on the film and seeing some of the highlights gave me just enough to put off watching Howard the Duck again and delaying that inevitable disappointment.
Unlike many YouTube channels that spend forty minutes dissecting a movie and usually learning into the negativity of the film, In Search of Tomorrow always looks at the brightside of the projects it covers. You also get to hear from the actual people involved and not some random guy who is regurgitating stories told elsewhere. This sort of insider information is what makes the In Search of films so wonderful to watch and I really hope we get a sequel to In Search of Tomorrow that will cover some of the lesser known sci-fi of the 80’s.
I highly recommend checking out In Search of Tomorrow, especially if you are a fan of 80’s cinema and/or sci-fi.