Alamo Summer of '82: "Do You Want to Live Forever?"

Alamo '82 debuts with 'Conan the Barbarian'

"This a celebration of the greatest era of Hollywood," Alamo Drafthouse mainstay Zack Carlson announced, as he kicked off the Alamo's Summer of '82 series alongside Bryan Connolly via John Milius's Conan the Barbarian. Blood, sweat, and tears (although not Conan's): truly there is nothing better in life.

"It was long before the crash, the fall, the destruction we are now living among," continued Carlson, intro-ing the film to a SRO house of rabid fans of the Reagan administration the best year in genre cinema ever.

"Seriously, in 1982," Carlson continued -- and we're not arguing -- "so many incredible things happened on movie screens, and in audiences, and in so many lives. So many people really discovered what it is to experience joy, and sweat, and fear, and masculinity, and all of the things that you're about to experience again tonight."

Rumors of a massive super secret guest proved true, as Carlson announced the arrival of Arnold Schwarzbaum (late of the Home Depot, and looking quite a bit like Connolly).

Carlson then Skyped in screenwriter Drew McWeeny (aka Aint It Cool News's Moriarty) to discuss the pros (many) and cons (none) of former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's fittest hour.

Carlson to crowd: "How many people here found that their identities were formed either because of the '80s or because of the energy of the '80s?"

Crowd to Carlson: "Huzzah!"

We freely admit that, after seeing Conan the Barbarian at the age of 14, we went out into the woods, chopped down the mightiest, most masculinely phallic oak we could find, and carved our own gigantic "war hammer." (Seriously, we did.) Which, naturally, branded us as a complete freak to all the other kids on the block. For aeons, or at least until we moved to Austin, we felt exactly like the creation of Texan author Robert E. Howard's Conan series, alone and shackled to a tree of woe. No more. Such is the power of John Milius and the spirit of the Reagan Administration '82.

What is best in life? To have reserved seats at the Alamo, to crush the beers before you, and to hear the lamentations of the servers. (Who you should tip, generously.)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Summer of '82, Conan the Barbarian, Alamo, Zack Carlson, Bryan Connolly

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