Entertainment

Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Movie Anniversaries: Spring 2022

Catwoman, Caesar, E.T., and Iron Man are all in films celebrating anniversaries this spring.

Iconic films abound in this round of film anniversaries.
Image: Various

Birthdays come every year, but since your favorite films only celebrate landmark anniversaries every so often, we like to acknowledge them here at io9. And so, just as we did last year, every few months we’re going to let you know which major sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and genre movies are marking significant anniversaries in 2022. If you think of the years this includes (1957, 1977, 1982, 2002, etc.), you can just begin to imagine how many legendary films have milestones coming up.

And so, without further ado, here are the major sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and genre movies celebrating anniversaries between April and June 2022.

Which movies are celebrating their 90th anniversary in 2022? (1932)

Tarzan standing by a tree

Johnny Weissmüller as Tarzan.

Tarzan the Ape Man (April 2) – There have obviously been tons of Tarzan movies made over the years, but arguably the most influential in the series is this 90-year-old entry, the first one in which actor Johnny Weissmüller played the character. It’s also the film where the iconic yell originated.

Which movies are celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2022? (1947)

Santa and Virginia.

The original Miracle on 34th Street.
Image: Fox

Miracle on 34th Street (June 11) – Maureen O’Hara and John Payne start in this Oscar-winning holiday film that’s been remade multiple times but never quite with the innocence and charm of this original film. Yes, Virginia, you’re now 75 years old.

Which movies are celebrating their 65th anniversary in 2022? (1957)

Frankenstein standing in the woods.

Christopher Lee as Frankenstein.
Image: Hammer Films

The Curse of Frankenstein (May 20) – Star Wars stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee star in this Hammer Films Frankenstein flick that kicked off a whole series, not just of Frankenstein films, but Hammer monster movies.

Which movies are celebrating their 60th anniversary in 2022? (1962)

A man and a woman in The Tale of Zatoichi

The Tale of Zatoichi
Image: Dalei Studios

The Tale of Zatoichi (April 12) – The legacy of Zatoichi, the blind swordsman, began with this 1962 film which was the first in the series.

Also: Jack the Giant Killer (June 13), The Phantom of the Opera (June 25)

Which movies are celebrating their 55th anniversary in 2022? (1967)

Blofeld with his cat talking to Bond.

Blofeld and Bond in You Only Live Twice.
Image: MGM

Casino Royale (April 13) – No, the Daniel Craig movie did not come out 55 years ago. You’re not that old. This is the first Casino Royale, the James Bond parody that tried to be an official Bond film but wasn’t and therefore is regarded as having an ominous place in the franchise’s history. And, interestingly enough, it was released exactly two months before

You Only Live Twice (June 13) – Sean Connery’s fifth James Bond film which saw the first reveal of the villainous Blofeld and, for a time, was thought to be Connery’s last installment. It wasn’t though and now is regularaly considered to be one of the better Bond films.

Which movies are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2022? (1972)

A man holding an ape with a chain around his neck

Caesar’s in trouble in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
Image: Fox

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (June 30) – The fourth of five original Planet of the Apes movies, Conquest is the one where we see Caesar grow up and begin his revolution to take over the world. It’s genuinely well-regarded for its crucial additions to the overall story, though isn’t as beloved as the original film.

Also: Beware the Blob (June 21)

Which movies are celebrating their 45th anniversary in 2022? (1977)

The medal ceremony at the end of star wars.

This movie looks good. Has anyone seen it?
Image: Disney

Star Wars (May 25) – Is this one any good? We heard it’s good. Did they ever make any sequels?

Also: Jabberwocky (April 15), For the Love of Benji (June 10), Exorcist II: The Heretic (June 17), The Rescuers (June 24)

Which movies are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2022? (1982)

ET flying across the moon.

E.T. flew into theaters 40 years ago.
Image: Universal

Conan the Barbarian (May 14) – Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones star in one of the best epic fantasies of all time. Many have tried to reach the heights of this original masterpiece, but even its OK sequel doesn’t come close.

Poltergeist (June 4) – For our money, one of the best horror films ever made. Plus, it’s a big blockbuster on a scale horror rarely, if ever, sees. We revisited it a few years back and were blown away.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (June 4) – While the first Star Trek film is notable for bringing the hit franchise to the big screen, this more exciting, epic sequel really gave it event-movie status. Ricardo Montalbán as Khan is an all-timer sci-fi villain and that cliffhanger ending is as audacious now as it was then.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (June 11) – Talk about a great few weeks at the movies 40 years ago. Conan, Star Trek, Poltergeist, and a creepy little alien who liked Reese’s Pieces that stole the hearts of the entire world. Steven Spielberg may have invented the blockbuster with Jaws, but he became a master with this perfect film.

Blade Runner (June 25) – Oh, you thought spring 1982 peaked with E.T.? Think again. While E.T.’s release did decimate the box office returns for not just this Ridley Scott film, but the next one on our list, history has been kind to the visually stunning sci-fi epic starring Harrison Ford. And heck, E.T. didn’t get a sequel three decades later, did it?

The Thing (June 25) – Yes, John Carpenter’s The Thing and Blade Runner were released on the same day, two weeks after what would become the highest-grossing movie for about a decade. However, the world’s appetite for sci-fi was wrapped up with that alien so it took years for fans to come around to this excellent, gory, super fun remake starring Kurt Russell.

Also: Silent Rage (April 2), Basket Case (April 7), The Sword and the Sorcerer (April 23), Forbidden World (May 7)

Which movies are celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2022? (1987)

Darth helmet pointing his schwartz

Darth Helmet in Spaceballs.
Image: MGM

The Chipmunk Adventure (May 22) – This animated adaptation of the popular children’s cartoon is my wife’s favorite animated movie ever. So I’ve seen it more times than I care to admit and, honestly, it’s pretty damned good. Chipmunks racing around the world in hot air balloons searching for diamonds, what’s not to like?

Harry and the Hendersons (June 5) – When I think of the late 1980s, I immediately picture the titular character in this John Lithgow comedy. I don’t know why. Just something about a family living with Bigfoot always creeped me out, even though the film isn’t that creepy. (It’s a little creepy.)

Predator (June 12) – It’s the simplest, cleanest idea. A killer alien comes to Earth to hunt humans and a group of soldiers finds themselves in its crosshairs. Add to that an all-star cast, lead by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and some of the coolest visual effects people had ever seen up to that point, and you had an instant franchise starter.

Spaceballs (June 26) – For decades, Mel Brooks was making some of the best comedies around. Films that not just hold up today, but have in some cases improved with age. One example of that is Spaceballs, the brilliant Star Wars send-up that looks about 35 years ahead of its time in a present with more Star Wars than ever.

Also: Project X (April 17), G.I. Joe: The Movie (April 20), Creepshow 2 (May 1), The Witches of Eastwick (June 12)

Which movies are celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2022? (1992)

Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.

Meow.
Image: Warner Bros.

Alien 3 (May 22) – Alien 3 is a very formative film for me because it’s one of the first films I can recall that taught me about disappointment. As a belated 12th birthday present, my mom took me and a bunch of friends to see the film because I loved Aliens so much. No Newt, no Hicks, Ripley dies, I did not like it and still don’t. But I should probably give it another shot.

Batman Returns (June 19) – As excited as I was for Alien 3 in 1992, Batman Returns was on another level. I, like everyone, watched the original Batman so much I wore out my VHS tape. And when its sequel hit theaters, it didn’t disappoint. Weirder, darker? Sure. But still fun as hell.

Also: Rock-a-Doodle (April 3), FernGully: The Last Rainforest, (April 10), Sleepwalkers (April 10)

Which movies are celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2022? (1997)

Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich in Fifth Element.

“Multipass”
Image: Sony

The Fifth Element (May 9) – It’s easy today to look back at Luc Besson’s wild sci-fi adventure film and be like “Oh, yeah, sure,” but at the time it was unlike anything anyone had ever seen. It’s Blade Runner by day, with really exciting action and humor. I’m anxious to revisit it for its upcoming anniversary.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (May 23) – Summer blockbusters are generally one of two things: hugely awesome or equally disappointing. And coming off a film that was certainly the former, The Lost World was definitely the latter. Just a flat version of the original film that was desperate for some more personality around Jeff Goldblum.

Batman and Robin (June 20) – Jesus, we’re really getting into the “disappointing” phase of this list, huh? Batman and Robin, our pick for worst Batman movie, is just a mess. A film so misguided that it ended the franchise for more than a decade. But, it’s still a Batman film, so it’s notable.

Face/Off (June 27) – John Woo. Nicolas Cage. John Travolta. Face/Off was then, and is not, an incredible action film with sci-fi elements and it never disappoints.

Also: The Saint (April 4), Anaconda (April 11), Volcano (April 25), Austin Powers (May 2), Hercules (June 27)

Which movies are celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2022? (2002)

Spider-man fighting green goblin.

Up, up and away web.
Image: Sony

Jason X (April 26) – Straight up, I don’t care what anyone else says, Jason X is my favorite Friday the 13th movie. It’s dumb, it’s gory, it’s inventive, and I love it. I wrote all about it a few years back.

Spider-Man (May 3) – Thanks to Spider-Man: No Way Home, this is now the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At least for a few weeks until Patrick Stewart’s Professor X from 2000’s X-Men is introduced. But nevertheless, Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man was the mega-blockbuster that made Hollywood trust superheroes again and paved the way for modern movies.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (May 16) – We all have our memories of Attack of the Clones and mine, at least 20 years ago, were good. Largely because I had a great experience in the lead-up. The movie doesn’t hold up but some elements of it are still ringing true today.

Minority Report (June 21) – Every year that we get further away from Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s Minority Report, you get the sense that its premise, of a system that predicts you’ll commit a crime before you do, is getting closer than ever.

Also: Frailty (April 12) The Scorpion King (April 19), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (May 24), The Bourne Identity (June 14), Scooby-Doo (June 14), Lilo and Stitch (June 21)

Which movies are celebrating their 15th anniversary in 2022? (2007)

Remy flying through the air.

Remy in Ratatouille.
Image: Pixar

Spider-Man 3 (May 4) – Tobey Maguire’s last spin in the Spider suit (until last year) is admittedly pretty crappy. However, that we’re still using memes from it (James Franco in the diner, Tobey dancing, etc) shows just how much it tapped into popular culture.

28 Weeks Later (May 11) – While not quite the stunner of the Danny Boyle original, 28 Weeks Later is a great example of how a small, good idea done well can spawn a franchise. Killer, running zombies don’t hurt either. I mean, they do, but you know what I mean.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (June 15) – As fans patiently await the return of the Fantastic Four (again) to the big screen, you can’t help but think how pumped people would be today to see the story in this very bad film—featuring not just the Four but Silver Surfer, Galactus and others—in the modern MCU.

Ratatouille (June 29) – Come on. What can you say about Ratatouille? That Pixar made a movie about a rat that puppets a human to cook and turned it into an award-winning, timeless masterpiece? It deserves to be celebrated not just on this anniversary but every day.

Also: Grindhouse (April 6), Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (April 13), Pathfinder (April 13), Next (April 27), Shrek the Third (May 18), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (May 25), Day Watch (June 1), Hostel: Part II (June 8), 1408 (June 22), Evan Almighty (June 22)

Which movies are celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2022? (2012)

The cast of the Avengers.

Avengers assemble.
Image: Marvel Studios

The Cabin in the Woods (April 13) – Though the stink of Joss Whedon can be felt on this excellent horror film, it’s still an excellent horror film. Surprising, funny, gross, I’ll never forget the first time I saw it, had no idea what was going to happen, and sat there in awe of how wild things got.

The Avengers (May 4) – Yes, 10 years have passed since the Marvel experiment finally came together. And while the franchise has only gotten bigger with subsequence films, it was this 2012 (again, Joss Whedon) movie where audiences first experienced the joy of Marvel’s unique brand of episodic filmmaking. And the success changed movies forever.

Prometheus (June 8) – Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien franchise after decades away was hugely hyped, but in the end mostly fizzled. Still, this headier sci-fi take on the franchise has certainly won fans in the years since.

Safety Not Guaranteed (June 8) – Before he directed Jurassic World and almost a Star Wars movie, Colin Trevorrow helmed this lovely little sci-fi film about two reporters (Jake Johnson and Aubrey Plaza) who investigate a classified ad placed by a man (Mark Duplass) who says he can time travel. It’s so great.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (June 27) This vibrant Oscar nominee about a young girl traversing a brand new world filled is poignant, stunning and has largely been forgotten in the decade since its release. That’s a shame.

Also: Sound of My Voice (April 27), Dark Shadows (May 11), Battleship (May 18), Men in Black 3 (May 25), Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1), Piranha 3DD (June 1), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22), Brave (June 22), Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (June 22), Ted (June 29)

Which movies are celebrating their 5th anniversary in 2022? (2017)

Wonder Woman standing on a poster.

How has it only been 5 years, Diana?
Image: Warner Bros.

Colossal (April 7) – Anne Hathaway stars as a woman who realizes that if she stands in a certain spot, she becomes spawns of a giant, real-life Kaiju on the other side of the world. Colossal is a complex, entertaining film that really should get more love than it does.

Sleight (April 28) – If Iron Man was a young Black man living in Los Angeles who did magic tricks, it would be Sleight, the debut feature of J.D. Dillard. Dillard has since made Sweetheart and may be working on something Star Wars-relatedand you can see his talents beginning in this one.

Alien: Covenant (May 19) – Alien: Covenant is what happens when audiences largely reject a film in a still lucrative franchise, so the filmmaker course corrects in a sequel. I despise this movie but I know there are rabid fans out there. I salute them.

Wonder Woman (June 2) – How has it only been five years since Patty Jenkins wowed us with arguably the best DCEU movie to date? This movie was so good and such a hit it just became part of popular culture to an extent that I’m truly stunned it was only released five years ago. Time flies.

Also: The Fate of the Furious (April 14), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (May 12), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26), The Mummy (June 9) Cars 3 (June 16), Transformers: The Last Knight (June 21), Okja (June 28), Despicable Me 3 (June 30)


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Adam Bradshaw

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