August 17, 2003 2:19 AM   Subscribe

Decade of Rad: The 10 Eightiest Movies
posted by Espoo2 (63 comments total)
Where's Weird Science?
posted by jedrek at 2:34 AM on August 17, 2003

More importantly, where's Revenge of the Nerds????
posted by PenDevil at 2:58 AM on August 17, 2003

I would think Wall Street would be a shoo-in, but this is more of a "campy, pop-culture-y" look at the Badical '80s. The article was written by Seanbaby... What'd you expect?
posted by Down10 at 3:37 AM on August 17, 2003

What, no Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Blasphemy.
posted by Mwongozi at 4:28 AM on August 17, 2003

Rad's always been in my top ten fave movies list, but I've never even heard of half (literally) of the other movies on that list. I admire their intentions though. The 80s really were rad.
posted by Onanist at 4:38 AM on August 17, 2003

How can a list of rad 80s movies not include Valley Girl?
posted by jodic at 5:09 AM on August 17, 2003

Come on -- no Mannequin???
posted by drinkcoffee at 5:28 AM on August 17, 2003

No John Cusack flicks? Appalling! What about Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Or Twisted Sister videos?
posted by ashbury at 6:02 AM on August 17, 2003

in addition to the comprehensive list above, i have to chime in with Repo Man. i mean, really, is there a film that better captures the '80's? (beyond Better off Dead...)

i will, however, give points to any list that includes The Last Dragon. i mean 'who's the Shogun of Harlem? Shonuff" That is cinematic gold right there.
posted by quin at 6:16 AM on August 17, 2003

See, I'm glad to see that the likes Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club etc. haven't made it onto this list. They were great movies, really. Even the Karate Kid. But compare and contrast The Karate Kid with, say, Gymkata. Gymkata is really just something else. It makes you wonder what people were thinking, back in the day. You could give the kids from The Breakfast Club new haircuts and shoot the exact same movie today. But you try releasing a modern-day "Breakin'" with the expectation of profit.

I'm wondering if someone can remind me - we all know Top Gun - what was it's "evil twin"? I vaguely remember being a little kid, sitting in a friend's lounge room watching some macho fighter-jet movie circa 1987 - some lame take-off of the Tom Cruise classic.
posted by Jimbob at 6:16 AM on August 17, 2003

Yup. I think Breakin' and Breakin2 in the same list is a bit of a waste in real estate. Especially in a top ten list. I mean, no one doubts the sequel was wicked better... Back to the Future? Even more, not a single goddam slasher-flick? What? Nightmare on Elm Street?
posted by Busithoth at 6:21 AM on August 17, 2003

Krush Groove?
posted by feelinglistless at 6:25 AM on August 17, 2003

myself, i'm surprised by the lack of representation of the indomitable golen/globus empire, cannon pictures.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:28 AM on August 17, 2003

Top Gun - what was it's "evil twin"?

You mean Iron Eagle?
posted by Busithoth at 6:28 AM on August 17, 2003

Red Dawn
posted by donpardo at 6:30 AM on August 17, 2003

I don't know whether to be happy or sad that my parents never got a VCR until 1997.
posted by orange swan at 6:30 AM on August 17, 2003

Fair enough, the list pays lip-service to it - but no Thrashin'?

No, you be there!

Them were the days when you could advise people to SK8 or Die! without being mistaken for an Avril Lavine fan, and I can't help wishing they'd return (the days, not the Avril fans).
posted by backOfYourMind at 7:03 AM on August 17, 2003

Nothing on this list pre-1984 -- did it take four years of the Gipper for true 80s-ness to kick in?

It’s about how incredibly insane you would look if you tried to remake it today.

I was thinking that given these criteria, surely this should have made the list. But then I recalled that this kind of thing continues unabated.
posted by BT at 7:20 AM on August 17, 2003

I can't believe he didn't include D.C. Cab. Not only do you get yer Mr. T, you got Gary Busey, you got the Barbarian Brothers, you got BILL MAHER, for jebus' sakes.
posted by RylandDotNet at 7:20 AM on August 17, 2003

Someday they will build cities around Gymkata. Neighborhood covenants will require clandestine parallel bars hidden in alleyways to allow the secret gymkata neighborhood watch patrol to fight crime. Just you wait and see, nonbeliever.
posted by machaus at 7:24 AM on August 17, 2003

Weekend at Bernies doesn't seem to fit in very well with that list. That movie wasn't nearly as sucky as the others.
posted by willnot at 7:41 AM on August 17, 2003

It's missing a few crappy 80s movies. While Over the Top and RAD were some of my favorite movies growing up, the 80s also mean crap like Mannequin and Short Circuit and Red Dawn and One Crazy Summer.

I'm surprised Red Dawn isn't there, I mean the goddamned commies were going to invade any day in the 80s!
posted by mathowie at 8:40 AM on August 17, 2003

Seriously, the list needs a lot more Steve Gutenberg.
posted by mathowie at 8:41 AM on August 17, 2003


sums up the whole decade
posted by amberglow at 8:49 AM on August 17, 2003

Dude, Red Dawn was not crap.
posted by beth at 8:49 AM on August 17, 2003

The Last Starfighter?

Red Dawn was interesting... guerilla warfare seems a lot more justifiable when it's your country being occupied.
posted by bobo123 at 9:28 AM on August 17, 2003

What no They Live, Night of the Comet or Night of the Creeps?


And on a side note, when did Short Circuit become an American Movie Classic? They were showing it on AMC a few weeks ago and I thought to myself "Nothing with Steve Gutenberg should be considered a classic. Not even Cocoon."
posted by miss-lapin at 9:45 AM on August 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

Top Gun - what was it's "evil twin"?

I think you are thinking of Hot Shots but that wasn't in the 80s. 1991, actually.
posted by madman at 10:58 AM on August 17, 2003

Hmmm War Games to me might be argued as a good movie by some, but I recall it as pretty freaky, to watch it now, -- I feel a similar feeling to the kind I get when I see one of those old Pac Man Reese's Piece's commercials, from the period where the first craze video games were beginning to seep into chidren's commercials. " Beep beep whirrrrr - buy cereal!"

Some list of some sort should have War Games and especially Tron.
posted by RubberHen at 11:08 AM on August 17, 2003

yeah, they just don't make 'em like they used to.
posted by Hackworth at 11:18 AM on August 17, 2003

Gymkata is really just something else.

I bought Gymkata off the shelf of the local video store in 94; according to their records, I was the only one to have rented it in years. w00t.

The numbers lists movie release date and total box office earnings indexed by year. In 1985, Gymkata grossed about a tenth of the earnings of Desperately Seeking Susan and Care Bears: The Movie.
posted by eddydamascene at 11:23 AM on August 17, 2003

Two words (and 8 bits): The Wizard.
posted by mkn at 11:27 AM on August 17, 2003

I have to agree with DC Cab. You also had Mr. T, a crazed Vietnam Vet with a flamethrower, a kid from the country come to make it in the big was all there.
posted by nyxxxx at 11:45 AM on August 17, 2003

Red Dawn is so great for so many reasons.
  • Powers Boothe AND Harry Dean Stanton.
  • when they piss in the radiator
  • that the only African American character is killed in the first five minutes (during a history class, no less)
  • using the gun registration forms to round up all the weapons in town
  • the gulag/re-education camp in the drive-in
  • the stilted Russo-commie speak ("sports collective", etc.)
  • the production company name: Valkyrie Films
I saw it in my small Indiana hometown. The three guys behind me were shouting "Kill him! Kill the commie!" when C Thomas Howell kills the soldiers at the scenic overlook.
posted by donpardo at 11:51 AM on August 17, 2003

I loved Red Dawn. If only it were more like the Blue Lagoon, another fab 80s film not on the list.
posted by Nelson at 12:06 PM on August 17, 2003

Come on -- no Mannequin???

This was actually referenced to in the article... but
I think alot of these movies you guys mention didnt make it because the author was trying to put movies that would look ridiculous if made in this day and age. Back to the future, Nightmare on elm street, Top Gun and Bueller could all be made in some form today and not look ridiculous..... But try making a movie about kids dancing at the prom on BMX's these days.
posted by Espoo2 at 12:15 PM on August 17, 2003

Xanadu. What a way to break in the decade.
posted by adamrice at 12:52 PM on August 17, 2003

Wild Style.
posted by transient at 1:41 PM on August 17, 2003

Electric Dreams?
posted by feelinglistless at 1:49 PM on August 17, 2003

Aww geez, I was all ready to put on a Hypercolor t-shirt, some Gotcha shorts and a pair of checkered Vans slipons and take a trip down memory lane, and then I saw that the list didn't have Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the Wizard or the Neverending Story.

As if.
posted by cmonkey at 2:00 PM on August 17, 2003

It's lists like these that make me glad that, as a youngin' (21), I barely remember the 80s. Oh yeah, and Fark also has quite an extensive discussion of this list.
posted by Grod at 2:24 PM on August 17, 2003

posted by i_cola at 2:50 PM on August 17, 2003

Yes! Iron Eagle. Thankyou.
posted by Jimbob at 3:15 PM on August 17, 2003


In all seriousness--the commentary track for the special edition of the Krull DVD is worth the price of the disc. The combination of a B-list director and several C-list stars makes for a heady mix of tragedy and comedy.

(Yes, I just admitted that I own the Krull DVD and listened to the commentary track.)
posted by Prospero at 4:24 PM on August 17, 2003

I think you'd be hard pressed to get away with Soul Man, Turk 182, or The Day After in any other decade.

And I'm with you dp, Red Dawn is the most awesome 80's movie ever. C. Thomas Howell drinks deer blood? Wolverines, yo!
posted by emptyage at 4:25 PM on August 17, 2003

There's a great short film (previously noted on mefi I think) called eighties ending that sums them all up pretty well.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:33 PM on August 17, 2003

The Day After was a miniseries, not a film. Doesn't count, unless you want to add Shogun to the list.
posted by nyxxxx at 4:37 PM on August 17, 2003

This is why P2P can be good. Rad has been out of print on VHS for-EVER. I fondly recalled it from my youth and wanted to see a copy, and the only ones available were old rental copies being sold on eBay for mucho dinero. I finally found a copy on Kazaa or something, and I was happy again.

They didn't keep the preview for the Dirtbike Kid featuring Peter Billingsley though, which is regrettable.
posted by smackfu at 4:45 PM on August 17, 2003

I'm now tempted to go rent it - there's a place here in Austin called I ♥ Video that has all kinds of old stuff on VHS. They even have stuff like Electra Woman and DynaGirl.
posted by RylandDotNet at 5:52 PM on August 17, 2003

Um, that's probably ElectroWoman, not Electra - totally different character there.
posted by RylandDotNet at 5:53 PM on August 17, 2003

i've been looking for a copy of "License to Drive" (featuring BOTH of the Corey's) for years..... Maybe I'll check kazaa.... :)
posted by Espoo2 at 5:58 PM on August 17, 2003

Oh, and I guess I could try I love video.... since I'm in austin... thanks ryland.
posted by Espoo2 at 5:59 PM on August 17, 2003

My girlfriend would like to add... Beat Street
posted by cyrusdogstar at 6:32 PM on August 17, 2003

ciderwoman: that short film is excellent.
posted by grum@work at 7:18 PM on August 17, 2003

These are the quotes from our Favorite 80s Movies!
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:15 PM on August 17, 2003

I still have a copy of SolarBabies in shrinkwrap.

I fear for the future.
posted by Dagobert at 12:15 AM on August 18, 2003

None of the soul swap movies of 1987-1988? Big, Like Father, Like Son, Vice Versa.

None of the water-oriented movies of 1989? Deep-Star Six, Leviathan.

None of the big-budget fantasy films of 1986? Legend, Labyrinth, Ron Howard's Willow, which came two years too late.

No Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins or Gleaming the Cube? And what of the dumb teenager movie (the prototype for American Pie) laid down by Porky's and its myriad of clones? Or the Police Academy movies?

And, damn, that's just from memory. I'm frightened.
posted by ed at 4:00 AM on August 18, 2003

i am still rather surprised that the apple -- the worst and most bizarre of the catalog for the 1980s aip, cannon pictures -- did not make the list. this might be because it looked unbelievably ridiculous even then.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:57 AM on August 18, 2003

pxe2000: The Apple came out in 1980. So it's borderline 80s. I think the musical everyone is fond of dismissing is Walter Hill's Streets of Fire -- a not bad-looking movie that was one of the first to use high-speed stocks (with neon everywhere), but a bore nonetheless.

And one word: Ishtar
posted by ed at 11:17 AM on August 18, 2003

I'm glad that Rad made it on, but what about The Goonies?
posted by starscream at 12:27 PM on August 18, 2003

Hey now, them's the Blasters in Streets of Fire. It gets props just for that.

Plus the stripper in Torchy's is Marine Jahan, Jennifer Beals' body double from Flashdance.
posted by donpardo at 5:18 PM on August 18, 2003

For anyone who watched the Eighties Ending short (funny, by the way), what the hell is that song at the end with all the whoas and oo's and ohs?
posted by Sinner at 8:07 PM on August 18, 2003

It's Tarzan Boy by Baltimora. Their only hit.
posted by ssmith at 6:04 AM on August 19, 2003

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