All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.com

Having reached the halfway mark for season one of Stranger Things with Chapter 4: The Body – the Duffer Brothers give us an emotionally charged episode, allowing the revelation from Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly to really sink in. While the injection of retro music choices is relatively light for this episode it continues to be packed with all manner of eighties references.

All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.com

With Chapter Four, Stranger Things begins to lay the groundwork for our protagonists to all get on the same page. You have Eleven showing even more of her abilities as she helps Mike, Lucas, and Dustin understand that Will is trapped in the Upside Down. Joyce’s pleas of contact with Will fall on deaf ears with her eldest son, but he uncovers the truth for himself thanks to an unlikely ally, Nancy Wheeler, who is attempting to find out where her best friend has disappeared to. All of the bizarre events happening in the formerly quiet town of Hawkins have begun to unsettle Sheriff Hopper who takes his first steps into uncovering the Stranger Things that are affecting his community.

So let’s jump into discussing those eighties references and please remember that we are going to be hitting spoiler territory for The Body, so you have been warned.

All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comStephen King The title for this episode, The Body, is the same name for Stephen King’s 1982 novella – which would of course be turned into the feature film Stand by Me by Rob Reiner in 1986 starring the late River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, and Kiefer Sutherland. While I feel the Duffer Brothers were definitely influenced by the movie version of King’s story the title of chapter four is also prophetic. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comSounds of Sorrow During the emotional crisis hitting the Byers from the end of the last episode – there is a brief montage showing how Joyce and Jonathan are embracing the news. Jonathan retreats to his room and through his headphones we hear Atmosphere by Joy Division, which was released in 1980. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comThe Cube Mike’s bedside table shows a nice collection of retro toys – like a vintage View-Master and of course the staple for puzzle solving enthusiasts in 1980s: the Rubik’s Cube. It looks like the young boy has actually completed it. Considering the series takes place in 1983 there is a good chance that Mike might have a reel for E.T. inserted in the View-Master! All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comMasters of the Universe Lucas has a few retro toys of his own as you can see in this scene, just behind him you can make out Mattel’s Man-At-Arms from the insanely popular Masters of the Universe toy line – which makes quite a bit of sense. Lucas appears to be the one in the group who is military minded, you can even see an ammo box behind his lamp so why wouldn’t he own the toy with the tag-line “Heroic Master of Weapons?” Also of interest is you can see the all-important slingshot on the table next to the window! All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comDirector On The Set! In this heartbreaking scene where Joyce and Jonathan must identify the body of Will – the Morgue attendant is none other than the director of this episode and Executive Producer Shawn Levy. Since Stranger Things takes place in November of 1983… the future director of the Night at the Museum movies and Real Steel would have been all of fifteen years old! All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comProfessor X Dustin mentions Professor X of the X-Men in the scene where the group learns that Eleven is using one of her abilities to help them make contact with Will in the Upside Down. In November of 1983 the current issue of that comic was #175 – in which it appeared that the Dark Phoenix had been resurrected. I should point out one more thing – the music is very similar to Bernard Herrmann’s theme for The Twilight Zone. For the 1985 revival by CBS the familiar tune was composed and performed by the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia! All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.com80s Montage! The Duffer Brothers know that if you are going to be giving tips of the hat to eighties films and TV series you at least need one good music montage. In this case we get to see Mike, Lucas, and Dustin helping Eleven blend in better before they visit Hawkins’s Middle School. While Millie Bobby Brown obviously looks nothing like E.T. there is certainly a strong vibe from that 1982 film in this particular scene. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comPortal Moments before Test Pilot Shepard bravely passes through the portal to the Upside Down, we get a good look at what he is entering and it resembles the disturbingly fleshy tunnel from 1982’s Poltergeist – not only that but it also seems to be making the same “breathing” sound as in that film. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comO’Bannon Feeling something isn’t quite right, Sheriff Hopper spots an interview on TV with State Trooper O’Bannon – who was named after Alien’s late screenwriter and Director of 1985’s Return of the Living Dead, Dan O’Bannon, the influence of the former film is made more evident later in the series. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comThe Mist When Dr. Martin Brenner and his team attempt to pull Shepard from the threat he encounters in the Upside Down it reminded me very much of a moment in Stephen King’s 1985 novella The Mist. It was originally published, albeit in a longer form, in the 1980 horror anthology entitled Dark Forces before being edited down and collected in 1985’s Skeleton Crew. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comThe Monster Squad During the school assembly to honor Will Byers there is a face off with Mike and Eleven against the school bully, Troy, that’s reminiscent of the schoolyard moment in Fred Dekker and Shane Black’s The Monster Squad from 1987. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comA Nightmare On Maple Street At a funeral home we see something similar to many eighties horror films: that moment when the teens have to band together to survive. In this episode that moment, Barb’s abduction and the near assault on Joyce, is similar to the Nightmare on Elm Street series when Nancy and Jonathan realize the creature is not only real and they aren’t insane but both of their lives have been affected. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comOwen’s Bar? When Sheriff Hopper does a little investigating while having a beer with State Trooper O’Bannon briefly in the background can be heard 1966’s Color Dreams by the Deep on the jukebox. It bears mentioning that the drinking hole they are visiting looks a bit like Owen’s bar from 1985’s Silver Bullet. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comEleven Didn’t Start The Fire The flashback scene where we learn what Eleven’s true purpose is to the Department of Energy with Dr. Martin Brenner is similar to Firestarter – even the sensors strapped to the young girl’s head look like the setup from that 1984 film adaptation. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comCarol Anne? We have another nod to Poltergeist with Will calling out to Joyce for help which sounds quite a lot like when Carol Anne was calling for her mother through the television in the 1982 film – although in Stranger Things it’s not the TV set but the wall where Joyce hears her son’s voice coming from. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comThe Overlook Will’s voice emanating from the wall of the living room leads us to a pretty strong visual reference to 1980s The Shining when Joyce snatches up an ax in an attempt to free Will from the wall. Thankfully, while this scene is incredibly tense, it is not as frightening as when Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) was trying to get to his wife from the classic Stanley Kubrick film. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comThat’s A Nasty Mutt We get a nice visual confirmation of how much the Duffer Brothers enjoy the works of Stephen King when Sheriff Hopper revisits the morgue and points out the State Trooper guarding Will’s body is in fact reading Stephen King’s Cujo, which by the way was originally released back in 1981. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.comCarpenter Moments before the end of episode four, Sheriff Hopper finds out that maybe Joyce isn’t crazy or in denial. Something doesn’t feel right about Will Byer’s corpse. When he opens the body up the realization of what we see feels a bit like a moment from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but it’s Hopper’s startled reaction that is reminiscent of the autopsy scene in John Carpenter’s The Thing from 1982.

Of course these are just the eighties references that I happened to pick up on when I watched Stranger Things: Chapter Four – The Body and would love to read what I might have missed and you were able to spot. Why not share them in the comments?

Check out our other rundowns of 80s references in Stranger Things:

Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers
Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street
Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly

All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Four: The Body” | News | Geek.com

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