“the fantastic cinema, once at the forefront of adventurous filmmaking, became curiously bland. It was as if every trace of the shadowy and sinister had been banished from the screen. The new fantasy film largely projected uninteresting visions of mindless optimism, reflecting a society that seemed to be experiencing a psychotic retrogression into childishness.
The guilty men behind this noxious trend were Spielberg and Lucas, whose anodyne films seemed to deliberately avoid any psychic depth, and relentlessly focused on the bright shiny surface of things.
The huge success of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind was really the death knell of (independent, horror, SF) film. The Lucas/Spielberg film factory churned out safe, unchallenging fantasies of Manichean simplicity, a dreary twelve year old boy’s vision of the universe where machines are neat, girls are icky, and everything moves really fast and explodes.
The brave new world imagined by the Lucas/Spielberg team was strangely devoid of any eroticism, as squeaky-clean and wholesome as a 1950’s TV show – the ultimate reaction to the revolutionary tendencies of the 1960’s and early 1970’s, and the very antithesis of the black imaginations of such subversives as Polanski or Bunuel.
As such, the Lucas/Spielberg phenomenon was the barometer of the new social conservatism that dominated the decade yet to come.”
– Nikolas Shreck