Last week, we got our first look at Summer of 84, a synth-heavy period piece starring a group of teenagers who believe that a string of murders is tied to a seemingly harmless local police officer (Mad Men‘s Rich Sommer). The upcoming thriller was directed by a trio of Canadian filmmakers who call themselves RKSS, short for Roadkill Superstars. In addition to creating over 20 short films, RKSS – comprised of François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell – also directed the 2015 cult hit Turbo Kid, which is often described as “Mad Max with BMX bikes in the ’80s,” and it’s exactly as awesome as it sounds.
Their second feature, Summer of 84, is definitely a much smaller scale project, but the group is already hard at work on a Turbo Kid sequel, and I think this is going to work well as a showcase of their versatility. The film received decidedly mixed reviews out of Sundance, but the critics that did champion it dubbed Summer of 84 a cult classic in the making.
According to an official synopsis of the film:
Every serial killer is somebody’s neighbor. For 15-year-old Davey, the thought of having a serial killer in his suburban town is a scary yet exciting prospect at the start of a lazy summer. In hormonal overdrive, Davey and his friends dream of sexual conquests until the news reports of the Cape May killer. Davey convinces his friends that they must investigate, and they uncover that his next-door neighbor, an unassuming, single police officer, could be the prime suspect. Could Davey possibly be right, or is it his overactive imagination?
There are a number of clear inspirations in the trailer alone, but the movie that kept popping in my head was Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs. The 1989 cult classic starred Tom Hanks as a family man who’s all but convinced his neighbors are involved with some kind of Satanic cult. The Reagan-era paranoia that defined Dante’s film seems to be very present in Summer of 84, and the recent success of 1980s-set genre stories starring younger ensembles makes Summer of 84 the perfect follow-up to Turbo Kid, especially since the script was written before either Stranger Things and It were released.
Be sure to check out some of RKSS’ best short films below, including T is for Turbo, the basis for the Turbo Kid series!
You can also check out some official photos from Summer of 84 right here!
Summer of 84 comes to theaters on August 10th, and VOD on August 24th!
Images: Gunpowder & Sky