Back to the Past? Inspirational Material For Unmasked

The 1980s are very “hot” right now. We have a new season of Stranger Things, new sequels for Blade Runner and Star Wars, and a new incarnation of Stephen King’s IT.

Even if the ’80s are before your time, the influence of that decade is everywhere. The music, TV, movies, clothing, and political conflicts of that decade shaped the world we live in now, the seeds planted there sprouting and blooming into modern pop music, “retro” aesthetics, countless TV and movie reboots and re-imaginings, and even wars “won” and “lost” that still simmer and affect modern ideology and discourse.

The upcoming Unmasked setting for the Cypher System is a teenage supernatural horror set in 1986. Think kids on bikes, small town mysteries, D&D in the basement, and high school horrors. (You download a free preview of Unmasked now, to get an even better idea of what it’s all about).

To get in the mood to play Unmasked, immerse yourself in these inspirational watching, listening, and reading materials from the mind of the creator, Dennis Detwiller. (This list also appears in Unmasked, which is on pre-order now!)


  • Back to the Future
  • Better Off Dead
  • The Breakfast Club
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Fright Night
  • The Goonies 
  • Gremlins
  • Heathers
  • Hiding Out
  • The Legend of Billie Jean
  • The Lost Boys
  • Lucas
  • The Monster Squad
  • My Science Project
  • Night of the Comet
  • Night of the Creeps
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • One Crazy Summer
  • Pretty in Pink 
  • Repo Man
  • Risky Business
  • Say Anything
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Some Kind of Wonderful
  • Weird Science
Illustration by Mirco Paganessi



  • Appetite for Destruction, Guns N’ Roses
  • Back in Black, AC/DC
  • Born in the U.S.A., Bruce Springsteen
  • Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits
  • Closer, Joy Division
  • Disintegration, The Cure
  • Doolittle, Pixies
  • Eliminator, ZZ Top
  • Hysteria, Def Leppard
  • Isn’t Anything, My Bloody Valentine
  • The Joshua Tree, U2
  • Let It Be, The Replacements
  • Licensed to Ill, Beastie Boys
  • Master of Puppets, Metallica
  • Moving Pictures, Rush
  • Murmur, R.E.M.
  • Nothing’s Shocking, Jane’s Addiction
  • Purple Rain, Prince and the Revolution
  • The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths
  • Remain in Light, Talking Heads
  • Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), David Bowie
  • Skylarking, XTC
  • Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi
  • Spirit of Eden, Talk Talk
  • Synchronicity, The Police
  • Treasure, Cocteau Twins
  • Zen Arcade, Hüsker Dü

You can also read Day One, an Unmasked short story by designer Dennis Detwiller. Unmasked will be available in stores in just a few weeks, and it’s available for preorder now, along with a free PDF preview!

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