Guest Post!!~ I love 80’s movies, part cuatro- The Bad Ones

22 Mar

NerdLush friend, Jackie, is back with another guest post– this time she chimes in with her love for those 80’s movies that are so bad… you just have to love them!

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I love movies.

I will watch nearly any movie at least once. Okay, maybe twice, probably three times. I hold a special place in my heart for 80s movies. In fact, I have a rather large collection of movies that were made in the 80s. I hold an even deeper, more special place in my heart for BAD 80s movies. I don’t know why, but I just adore 80s movies with cheesy plotlines, bad acting and horrible special effects and costumes.

As I’ve grown older and re-watched some of my favorite movies I’ve noticed several things. First, I still adore bad 80s movies and probably love them even more as I’ve grown to appreciate them for what they inspire to be. Second, as a child I should have NEVER been allowed to watch most of these movies. Apparently, I was very unobservant as a child and did not seem to notice all the sex and sexual innuendos that was prevalent in many of these movies. I mean, really, what were my parents thinking allowing me to watch this stuff?! I’m assuming they knew I wouldn’t understand and wouldn’t question what I was seeing so what I didn’t know wouldn’t hurt me. Frankly, I’m appalled that I watched so many of these movies prior to being a pre-teen! I’ve gone off topic, so here are a few of my favorite bad 80s movies.

  • 220px-Howard_the_Duck_(1986)Howard the Duck (1986) – Who doesn’t recall this movie? An alien is accidentally transported to Earth after a new satellite goes haywire. This alien species happened to be a duck. I don’t recall the first time I ever saw this movie, but I do remember thinking, I totally want a duck friend. The guy was cool. He drank, smoked, swore and kicked butt! I failed to notice any sexual innuendos in this movie at all. I do remember feeling slightly uncomfortable when Lea Thompson gets into bed with Howard wearing only her underwear and a tank top. Watching this movie as an adult, I find the sexual innuendoes in this movie completely disturbing, the storyline ridiculous (I mean seriously, why is no one freaked out by a talking duck!) and I’m pretty sure that the band that Lea Thompson is in is really Jem and the Holograms. However, if I want a good chuckle and some mindless fun, I still turn to this movie.
  • MV5BMTQxNjAwNTczNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTgwODcxMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_Hiding Out (1987) – Again, I really don’t recall the first time I saw this movie either (this will be a recurring them), but I do believe I was in middle school. The reason I think this is because this movie caused me to have a small crush on Jon Cryer for a period of time. The movie is about a stockbroker who ends up being a witness for the prosecution regarding some mob activity. While under protection, the mob takes a hit out on him, kills the cops who are guarding him and Cryer’s character runs off, shaves his beard, cuts and dyes his hair and pretends to be a high school student at his cousin’s school. This really isn’t a horrible movie except for the really, really inappropriate love story between Cryer (who must be at least 30 in the movie) and a high school girl!!! I recently re-watched this movie and felt really dirty during the parts where they were making googly eyes at each other. I remember, as a kid, thinking his character, Maxwell Houser (yes, from a coffee can) was SO cool with his dyed hair, cigarette smoking and he lived in the school and could do whatever he wanted at night! Yeah, I didn’t have high standards when I was 11 years old.
  • House (1986) – This was the one scary movie I watched as a kid that really freaked me out. It took me years to locate and watch this again. This winter I discovered that Netflix had this movie and I forced my boyfriend to watch it with me (although I’m pretty sure he fell asleep at one point). The basic premise of this movie is that a Vietnam vet turned author moves into his recently deceased aunt’s house and must discover what is haunting this house. The subplot is that the main character’s son went missing when the family was visiting some time back and the author has never gotten over this incident. There were a couple of parts that really stuck with me over time. The first being that the monsters came out of the closet in a room upstairs. I mean, monsters in a closet, very cliché, but that was enough to freak me out. I’ve made sure all closet doors are closed since then. The second was a scene where some neighbor lady (who I now realize wanted to sleep with the main character) randomly dropped her child off to be babysat and the hand from one of the monsters was clinging to this kid’s back. The main character attempted to flush the hand down the toilet. Cue fear of monsters coming out of the toilet, I don’t even flush spiders down the toilet now!! And the last, spoiler alert, was that the main monster was actually a military friend of the main character who came back for revenge because after being seriously injured in Vietnam he asked the main guy to kill him, which he didn’t he just left him behind, causing the other guy to be tortured and murdered by the Viet Cong. I mean, seriously, that’s some messed up stuff which sticks with a kid. But when I re-watched this movie, I realized that the acting was really, really bad and the special effects were just horrid. I now look at this movie as being a very campy, cheesy horror movie that gets more chuckles from me that shock.
  • Over the Top (1987) – Oh, how I loved Sylvester Stallone in the 80s! I mean really, who didn’t, the man was in so many action movies. He was RAMBO and ROCKY for crying out loud!! He was also, Lincoln Hawk, a truck driver who after the death of his wife and the abandonment of his son, decides to try and win his son’s love back and stick it to his rich, snooty father-in-law. How is he going to do this? Well, win the arm wrestling championship in Las Vegas. Seriously, once Hawk has that brand new truck and the trophy surely his child will love him and forgive him for abandoning him in his time of need. I’m pretty sure when I first watched this movie as a child, on some level I knew it was ridiculous. I mean, seriously, an Arm Wrestling Championship??? This is supposed to be an action movie revolving around ARM WRESTLING!! Although, the coolest part of the movie (at least when I was 8) was when Hawk was arm wrestling and would turn his hat backwards and wrap his fingers over the top of his opponent’s fingers. You just KNEW he meant business when he did this and that he was going to win! Yeah, I’m ashamed to say that I wore my hats backwards for a while after this. I’m pretty sure I incorporated the hat turning into any play I did so I could seem tougher (or my Barbie could) and more badass. This is probably one of the few movies on this list that was actually appropriate for me to watch as a child!
  • Earth Girls are Easy (1988) Ah, Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and Downtown Julie Brown were all in this masterpiece! How can you not love a movie with such an amazing cast as this! I will admit I was much older the first time I saw this movie. I honestly think I may have been in my early 20s. But I just adore the ridiculousness in this movie. Basic plot summary is that Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans are aliens who crash land in Geena Davis’s pool shortly after she finds out her fiancé is a cheating pile of crap. Now when the aliens first crash land, they are hairy (like bigfoot) and brightly colored so to make them fit in, she takes them to her stylist Julie Brown and after apparently shaving them, they turn into hot guys. This movie has it all, bad storyline, weird alien love story, cheesy dance moves and even more importantly impromptu singing that really has nothing to do with the movie. I’m pretty sure Julie Brown (who also wrote this movie) just wanted to sing. I do have to admit, Jeff Goldblum was kind of a hottie in this movie.

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  • Johnny Dangerously (1984) Michael Keaton as a mobster, what is not to love about this movie? This movie actually had a pretty great cast, Michael Keaton, Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner, Maureen Stapleton, and Peter Boyle! These are all some great actors. I’ll be honest, as a kid, I had NO idea that this was actually a parody movie. I really thought that this was a real drama type movie about gangsters. The main premise is that Keaton takes up with mob in the 30s as young man to help support his mother who has medical issues; meanwhile, his kid brother becomes a DA who is out to shut down organized crime. This is another movie that had sexual innuendos up the wazoo and really wasn’t appropriate for a young child to watch. But I loved this movie anyway. Some of the scenes that really stick out are every scene with Joe Piscopo when he would go “My mother/father/sister did _________ to me once. ONCE”. Usually the character was punched, hung from a door or shot. I don’t know why, but that line always cracked me up. The other scene was when Keaton and Henner were on the run and kept changing clothes as they were driving and would peel the paint off their car. At one point they were dressed as nuns and driving a car with rubber ducky paper on it. This just cracked me up. I still laugh when I watch this movie, it is ridiculous, unrealistic but amusing as all hell! At least to me.
  • mac1Mac and Me (1988) – After the success of E.T., this movie came on the scene. The story line is similar, young boy befriends a lost alien. Only this time the boy is in a wheelchair and the alien is the baby of a family (who were inadvertently brought back to Earthy by NASA where they then escape) and has become separated from his parents. Besides the fact that this movie was an obvious rip-off of E.T., it was ridiculous in regards to product placements. I know E.T. had the whole Reese’s thing, but this movie had so much advertising for Coca Cola and McDonald’s that I’m pretty sure they may have actually written the movie. The aliens are creepy and awkward. They do not wear clothes and give the viewer the feeling that they are all walking around naked (this is only reinforced when at the end of the movie they are all fully clothed), this is very uncomfortable. The acting is substandard and for some reason, there’s a spontaneous dance scene in a McDonalds. There is, of course, a happy ended where the aliens are sworn in as American citizens and totally accepted into society. Despite all of that, I loved this movie as a kid. I wanted my own baby alien that could take me on an adventure. In fact, I showed this movie to my nephews when they were around 10 years old and both of them LOVED this movie. They recognized how ridiculous it was but for some reason, it just warms your heart and you can’t help but adore and root for the little alien.

Honestly, I could keep adding movies to this list. But these are the top bad 80s movies that I really think you all must see at least once. I’m always open to suggestions for more bad 80s movies to watch.

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2 Responses to “Guest Post!!~ I love 80’s movies, part cuatro- The Bad Ones”

  1. Our Nerd Home (@OurNerdHome) March 22, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    RAD! ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rad_(film) ). We’re pretty obsessed with 80’s movies, and right now that is topping our list. I mean… good guy “Cru Jones” (what?!) has to take down BMX bad boy Bart Conner with the help of Lori Laughlin. And there is a BMX dance scene, set to the song Send me an Angel. It doesn’t get much better/worse.

    • elizabeth ann March 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

      Ha! well… we’ll have to add it to our watchlist. did you read the other 80’s posts?

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