Like the 1986 zombie/alien invasion film Night Of The Creeps, Stranger Things features a teen outcast who pines for a popular girl, much to the chagrin of her belligerent-yet-perfectly-coiffed boyfriend. In both stories, popular girl and outcast team up into a formidable battle couple who bring the pain to the monsters with a variety of weapons. But the strongest parallel lies with Police Chief Hopper (David Harbour) a hard-living cop with a troubled past who stumbles onto a case no one will believe, exactly like Tom Atkins’ detective hero in Night of the Creeps! The hard-edged lawman Hopper is too forceful a character for just one movie reference, however…
6) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Does the name Police Chief Hopper sound like it should be familiar? You might be recalling Lieutenant Lefty Enright in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 who was played by Dennis Hopper! The shout-out is undeniable because like Lieutenant Enright, Chief Hopper is forced to take the law into his own hands against the villains threatening his town.
5) Dan O’Bannon
One of those villains whom Hopper must contend with is a shady highway patrolman named O’Bannon who is named in tribute to Alien screenwriter Dan O’Bannon. Like Alien, Stranger Things features a military-industrial complex with sinister designs on an alien creature and O’Bannon is at their beck and call. That’s not the only similarity, however.