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All the 70s & 80s Movie References in Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Netflix Stranger Things Header

Stranger Things has captivated audiences all over, and is receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike. It’s hard not to watch Netflix’s new series without noticing the countless references to films of the late 70s and early 80s, as well as connections to a certain “KING” of horror fiction. There are so many spot-on homages paid to the classics that amongst friends, a drinking game was discussed and concocted… shots when you spot them! The creators of the show, twins Matt and Ross Duffer, said they referenced the movies they grew up watching on VHS. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for a YouTuber to create the perfect and concise video utilizing split screens of scenes from Stranger Things Season 1 along with scenes from its influences.

Watch the video here below.

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‘Stranger Things’ – Winona Ryder Featurette
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Stranger Things Winona Ryder Featurette

If you’ve been living under a rock since July 15th, you probably don’t know about Stranger Things, the new Netflix series that is parts Stephen King and parts early 80s sci-fi action movies. In other words, it’s perfect. In a time where everyone is divided over the RNC vs. DNC, Stranger Things did something unheard of; it got almost everyone to agree, critics and fans alike. Netflix just released this short featurette with star Winona Ryder, herself an 80s gem.

Check out the video below.

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TV Review: Stranger Things 1.8 “Chapter Eight: The Upside Down” (Finale)
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Netflix Stranger Things Header

Stranger Things
Episode 1.8 “Chapter Eight: The Upside Down”
Teleplay by The Duffer Brothers, Story by Paul Dichter
Directed by The Duffer Brothers
Created by The Duffer Brothers
Starring Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, David Harbour, Natalia Dyer, Cara Buono, Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, Charlie Heaton, Matthew Modine, Joe Keery, John Reynolds, Joe Chrest
Netflix
Air date: Friday, July 15, 2016

If you’ve followed my reviews of this series so far, you know I am in love with it. So this review is bittersweet. To most in Hawkins, Indiana, Will Byers drowned in a quarry. He had to – they had a funeral and everything. To those who know him best, they have spent days piecing together the truth. There is some sort of monster lurking in Hawkins, that has taken Will to the Upside Down, a parallel dimension to our own. Worse, perhaps is that the government is covering this up, and the monster as well as a powerful but scared little girl, are parts of a Cold War experiment called MK Ultra. Before we get to it, let’s take a minute to review where our essential characters are:

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TV Review: Stranger Things “Chapters 5-7”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Netflix's Stranger Things

Stranger Things
Episode 1.5 “Chapter Five: The Flea and the Acrobat,” 1.6 “Chapter Six: The Monster,” 1.7 “Chapter Seven: The Bathtub”
Written by Alison Tatlock (1.5), Jesse Nickson-Lopez (1.6), Justin Doble (1.7)
Directed by The Duffer Brothers (1.5, 1.6, 1.7)
Created by The Duffer Brothers
Starring Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, David Harbour, Natalia Dyer, Cara Buono, Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, Charlie Heaton, Matthew Modine, Joe Keery, John Reynolds, Joe Chrest
Netflix
Air date: Friday, July 15, 2016

The first half of Netflix’s new miniseries Stranger Things deals with loss – loss of loved ones, loss of sanity, loss of everything you hold true. The series, created by the Duffer Brothers (Matt & Ross), takes everything we loved about the early 80s work of Spielberg, Stephen King, and others, and puts together a wonderful and mysterious world paying homage to their many inspirations as they go along. Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) disappeared when a monstrous thing followed him home and took him. His mother (Winona Ryder) is beside herself, and mysterious electrical disturbances in her home lead her to believe Will is trying to contact her. Will’s friends, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) are frantic to find their lost friend, but instead find a bizarre young girl, tattooed 011 on her wrist. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is of few words, but possesses a form of telekinesis and has mind control abilities. We see through flashbacks to her in a research facility. This facility, we know is also harboring a Lovecraftian monster with a rift or portal… to where we do not know yet.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: Stranger Things “Chapters 2-4”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Stranger Things Chapter 2 Header

Stranger Things
Episode 1.2 “Chapter 2: The Weirdo of Maple Street,” 1.3 “Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly,” 1.4 “Chapter 4: The Body”
Written by The Duffer Brothers (1.2), Jessica Mecklenburg (1.3), Justin Doble (1.4)
Directed by The Duffer Brothers (1.2), Shawn Levy (1.3 & 1.4)
Created by The Duffer Brothers
Starring Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, David Harbour, Natalia Dyer, Cara Buono, Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, Charlie Heaton, Matthew Modine, Joe Keery, John Reynolds, Joe Chrest
Netflix
Air date: Friday, July 15, 2016

Stranger Things is the latest binge-worthy effort to hit Netflix, with all 8 episode debuting on July 15th. Check out my review of the first episode here: Chapter 1.

Hitting all the good nostalgia checkmarks, the show lets its audience know who the creators grew up with. Movie posters adorn the kids’ walls showing Jaws, The Thing, Evil Dead, etc. Stranger Things takes place in Hawkins, Indiana in the winter of 1983, where something has escaped from a Department of Energy research facility and a young boy is now missing. At the same time, a strange young girl mysteriously shows up and encounters the boy’s friends who are out desperately searching for him. There are evil government scientists, led by Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) hunting the girl and hiding some giant monster in the facility.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: Stranger Things 1.1 “Chapter One: The Vanishing Of Will Byers”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Netflix Stranger Things Header

Stranger Things
Episode 1.1 “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”
Written & Directed by The Duffer Brothers
Created by The Duffer Brothers
Starring Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, David Harbour, Natalia Dyer, Cara Buono, Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, Charlie Heaton, Matthew Modine, Joe Keery, John Reynolds, Joe Chrest
Netflix
Air date: Friday, July 15, 2016

First off, my Facebook feed is blowing up with rave reviews from friends and critics, and even Stephen King publicly celebrated Netflix’s latest original series, Stranger Things. Before the opening credits even roll, I am totally transfixed, flooded with all the movies it reminds me of already. Goonies, Stand By Me, Explorers, E.T., Stephen King’s IT… the list goes on. In one 8-minute introduction, we know everything we need to know about what is happening and who the characters are.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: Wayward Pines 1.10 “Cycle”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Wayward Pines 110-01

Wayward Pines
Season 1 Episode 10: “Cycles”
Directed by Tim Hunter
Written by Chad Hodge & The Duffer Brothers
Created by Chad Hodge
Starring Matt Dillion, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon, Melissa Leo, Hope Davis, Reed Diamond, Charlie Tahan
FOX
Air Date: Thursday, July 23rd, 2015, 9:00pm

The whole season has hinged on one simple question; what is Wayward Pines? The all-too-perfect small Idaho town is full of surveillance, and the occasional “reckoning” of its dissidents. It’s protected by an electrified fence which keeps its citizens trapped or secure, depending on your point of view. The truth revealed is Wayward Pines is the last vestige of humanity, and it’s actually the year 4028. Humans were mutated into Abbies (monstrous vampire looking creatures) and David Pilcher (Toby Jones) recruited followers to join his “ark,” and were kept alive through cryogenics. When Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) refuses to follow orders and execute Kate (Carla Gugino), he instead tells the whole town the truth about Pilcher, the surveillance, and the Abbies. Pilcher sees the writing on the wall for his town, and shuts down to power to everything, including the fences.

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TV Review: Wayward Pines 1.9 “A Reckoning”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Wayward Pines 109 Header

Wayward Pines
Season 1 Episode 9: “A Reckoning”
Directed by Nimród Antal
Written by The Duffer Brothers
Created by Chad Hodge
Starring Matt Dillion, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon, Melissa Leo, Hope Davis, Reed Diamond, Charlie Tahan
FOX
Air Date: Thursday, July 16th, 2015, 9:00pm

With a plot to take down the electrified fence in full effect, Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) is dead set to stop it. Burke is sheriff, but more, he knows the full truth about Wayward Pines – it is the last vestige of civilization in a distant future, surrounded by the mutated remains of what used to be humanity. Unfortunately, the people closest to him, his wife Theresa (Shannyn Sossamon) and his former partner/love interest Kate (Carla Gugino), think he’s gone insane or was brainwashed by Wayward Pines founder, David Pilcher (Toby Jones). When his son Ben (Charlie Tahan) gets caught in the crossfire, Ethan’s loyalties are pushed to the brink.

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