The 8 Best 80’s Movies
It happens all too often in my house.
“What are you watching?”
“What the heck is this?”
As my tweener daughter walks past the flat-screen and throws a look of confused disgust in my direction. She can’t believe I’m watching something other than the Kardashians on TV.
“But wait!” I say. “You should watch this. It’s a classic. Haven’t you heard of….”
“…Why are all those guys crammed into a telephone booth? And is that Abraham Lincoln? This looks stupid. I’m going to go watch Vampire Diaries”” As she walks away to go plug into Netflix.
Kids these days. They have no appreciation for good movies anymore. It’s not their fault though. They’re used to films today being so jammed full of high definition and CGI that it’s hard to go back and watch anything that isn’t. I’m sure watching old movies from the 80’s is as jarring t them as watching old black and white films, or technicolor depending on your age.
But the old adage still rings true. They just don’t make them like they used to.
As such I’ve compiled a list of 8 of the most awesome 80’s movies every kid from 1998 needs to watch. Why? Because the 80’s was such a different time than the one we live in today. A better and more simpler time if I may, forever gone. But these 8 awesome movies can take you back better than any time machine as examples of what kids today missed out on. Let these movies take you back to a time when Ronald Reagan was President, Saturday Night Live was awful, and nickel arcades were a thing. These aren’t the BEST movies from the 80’s. But they are the ones that best represent everything that was totally rad in the decade.
How many have you seen?
Dishonorable Mention 1 – Police Academy (1984)
I really don’t want to include this film. I hate Police Academy. I actually hate ALL the Police Academy movies. I never understood them and never thought they were funny in the slightest. Think of the Police Academy movies as part The Naked Gun and part Animal House without the funny. The film has the distinction of being one of the few movies Roger Ebert ever gave ZERO stars in his reviews. But adults in the 80’s loved them and the franchise was so popular they made 6 of them within the decade.
I refuse to take responsibility for a lot of what happened in the 80’s.
Like a backed up New York City sewer, this film is overflowing with so many bad 80’s cliches it’s hard not to include it on this list as one of the defining movies of the decade. The premise centers around a group of one dimensional stereotypes who enlist in the police academy to begin their careers in law enforcement. You have the cool and smug ladies man Mahoney played by walking 80’s stereotype himself, Steve Guttenburg. Jones, who was a walking sound effects board and one of the few highlights of the film worth watching. Hightower was overly large. Baby faced Tackleberry was the gun nut. Cadet Thompson had the power of invisibility. She only appeared in the first movie and was utterly forgettable. Women weren’t written well in the 80’s. Case in point, the soft voiced Hooks who would always find a way to become overbearingly loud and bitchy at least once in each movie. Blonde bombshell Callahan’s gag was her large breasts (NSFW) and drill instructor mentality. To keep the fraternity theme going the super strict Dean character was provided by Lt. Harris. And finally Commandant Lassard was a Leslie Nielson rip off in every way minus the humor.
Police Academy will always be a constant reminder of all the tasteless and crude things from the 80’s we wish we could forget. Things like man perms and the super short shorts men felt comfortable wearing at the time, to headbands and wood paneled cars. The worst of the worst is the introduction of the gay blue oyster bar full of leather clad Village People which somehow made an appearance in every sequel. There was goofy gun play, tacky sexual innuendo everywhere, and like every good 80’s movie you had your obligatory car chase accompanied by the smoothing sounds of a saxophone. Katy Perry must have had Police Academy in mind when she brought the sax solo in her 80’s themed video for the song T.G.I.F.
I can’t help but think of a police cruiser scoring insane air off a small hill during a chase in Police Academy whenever I hear that solo. I’m surprised she didn’t get Tackleberry himself to jam away for the video shoot.
Like I said, goofball movies like this were all over the 80’s. Stripes, Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, and Caddyshack were some of the other famous examples of the slobs vs. snobs setup that packed theaters back in the day. Regardless of which Police Academy movie you had the misfortune of watching the set up in them was always the same. Mahoney would act like a schumck as he hit on a bimbo while Jones would recreate the sound of something like a a microwave to distract the bad guys long enough for Tackleberry to barge in through a wall dual wielding double grenade launchers to arrest them. Hightower would lift something large next to the diminutive Hooks who was probably shouting something crazy. Then Lt. Harris would walk in to yell out “MAHONEY” as the punchline. That’s Police Academy in a nutshell. All 7 of them. OMG they made 7 of them? I know I said there were 6 but those were all the 80’s Police Academies. The last one, Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow, was released in 1994. But the 90’s don’t play and that decade finally put this series down for a much long overdue death.
Did you Know? Kids were so crazy for Police Academy in the 80’s that a cartoon and line of toys was developed around it in 1988? The cartoon lasted two seasons.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10