Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

At times while watching ‘Stranger Things’, a viewer may wonder, “What’s NOT a reference to an ’80s movie?”  The hit series pays homage to the works that inspired the Duffer Brothers, Matt and Ross, to create this sci-fi/horror mishmash.  There are healthy scoops of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg, as well as James Cameron, John Carpenter, Chris Columbus, George Lucas, Sam Raimi, Ivan Reitman, Robert Zemeckis, and more.  There are even Easter Eggs that recall the non-genre creations of John Hughes, among others.

‘Stranger Things 3’ debuts on July 4th, for its first summer-set installment, and while Matt and Ross Duffer aren’t giving away a lot, they did reveal some of the ’80s films that inspired the latest batch.

Ross Duffer said:

“We would say that this is our most unapologetically fun season.  Yet at the same time, it is also our most horrifying and intense season. It’s this wild mix of tones that we think really sets this season apart.”

One film’s influence has already been seen, in the ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’-inspired clip featuring Dacre Montgomery‘s Billy Hargrove parading by the pool in a red bathing suit to the delight of the desperate housewives of Hawkins, IN, including Cara Buono’s Karen Wheeler, the mother of Billy’s classmate Nancy, and her younger brother, Mike.

In addition to ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’, the Duffers revealed to Entertainment Weekly, that eagle-eyed viewers may also spot references to Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ (1982), Zemeckis’ ‘Romancing the Stone’ (1984), Martin Brest’s slightly anachronistic 1988 buddy cop flick ‘Midnight Run’, Spielberg’s ‘Indiana Jones’ movies, and his completely anachronistic ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993), and the films of David Cronenberg.

Cronenberg’s first feature film, ‘Rabid’ was released in 1977, and he followed that up with such classics as ‘Scanners’, ‘The Dead Zone’, and ‘The Fly’.

Of course, while ‘Stranger Things’ is packed with Easter Eggs, it manages to take the Duffers’ affection for the movies they grew up watching, and weave them into their own, new and exciting narrative.

If you want to refresh your memory on any of these works, you have time.  ‘Stranger Things 3’ will arrive on Netflix on July 4th.