Get ready for an 18 hour marathon of pure 80’s nostalgia. Sit back, grab your snacks and drinks of choice and veg out!
Having grown up in the best decades that have ever been, these being the 1980s and 90s, I have a huge fondness for nostalgic movies, music and pop culture from those great decades.
I thought I’d have an 80’s movies day and pick a selection of classic movies from that decade. I could have picked the obvious choices that everybody thinks of like The Goonies, Dirty Dancing, Back to the Future and Ghostbusters, but I’d rather pick a more varied choice.
These are movies I am fond of and grew up with and to some people they may never have seen or heard of them, but if you get a spare couple of hours it’s worth shoving one of these great movies on.
We’ll start with some easy viewing first with an absolute animated classic from 1982…
8am – Flight of Dragons
- Year – 1982
- Director/s: Arthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass, Katsuhisa Yamada, Fumihiko Takayama
- Starring – James Earl Jones, John Ritter
When I was younger this forgotten about animated film was on every year throughout the 80’s and into the early 90’s, but I haven’t seen this film in a very long time and it’s virtually impossible to get on official DVD release in the UK.
The Flight of Dragons was made in 1982 and is loosely based on combining Peter Dickinson’s natural history book of the same name and Gordon R. Dickson’s novel The Dragon and the George.
The movie centres upon a quest to stop an evil wizard (Ommadon) who plans to take over the world by using dark magic. The major theme in the story is the question of whether science and magic can co-exist. This is told mostly through the experience of character Peter Dickinson who has been drawn into the magic realm from the 20th century.
The voice talents include the brilliant as always James Earl-Jones as the evil Ommadon and John Ritter playing the main protagonist Peter Dickinson.
10am – Stand By Me
- Year – 1986
- Director- Rob Reiner
- Starring – River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Will Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, Keifer Sutherland
A superb 1986 ‘coming of age’ comedy/drama movie based on a novella by Stephen King called ‘The Body’. The film gets its title from the Ben E. King song of the same name. The film tells the story of four boys from a small town in Oregon who go on a hike across the countryside to find the dead body of a missing child.
Brilliantly cast and starring starring Will Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell and Kiefer Sutherland as the main bad guy.
12pm – The ‘Burbs
- Year – 1989
- Director – Joe Dante
- Starring – Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman,
I preferred Tom Hanks in his early career as a comedy actor (think ‘Big’, ‘Money Pit’ and ‘Turner & Hooch’). Here he is at his finest.
The ‘Burbs is great black comedy film that pokes fun at suburban environments and their eccentric dwellers. Basically a handful of neighbours suspect their new neighbours are devil-worshipping maniacs who have killed one of the missing residents of the cul-de-sac.
2pm – Rocky IV
- Year – 1985
- Director – Sylvester Stallone
- Starring – Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire Brigitte Nielsen
This is probably the most ridiculous of the six Rocky films, but it’s also my favourite. Written and directed by Stallone, the story is about the ‘evil’ Soviet Union and their best boxer who make an entrance into professional boxing with their best athlete Ivan Drago (Lundgren), who initially wants to take on World Champion Rocky Balboa (Stallone).
His best friend Apollo Creed (Weathers) is having none of Drago’s bullshit and decides to fight him instead, but is literally beaten to death in the ring. Enraged by this, Rocky decides to fight Drago in the Soviet Union to avenge his friend and defend the honour of ‘Merica. The movie is worth watching for the cheesy robot that features and for the best movie montage of any movie. “Draaaaaaggggoooo, Drrrraaaaagggoooo!”
The ’87 Movies Suite…
These next four movies that I have chosen, just all happen to be from the year 1987. It was a good year for movies!
4pm – Planes, Trains & Automobiles
- Year – 1987
- Director – John Hughes
- Starring – Steve Martin & John Candy
To be honest I would say this is my all time favourite 80’s movie and maybe even my all-time favourite movie. I love John Hughes movies (see previous post) and this is pure gold.
The film has everything you need in a family fun film – perfect cast (including the cameos) and characters, humour, warmth, the locations, action and a lot of heart. I think I can relate to this film because I’ve endured quite a few travelling woes in my time with having my family scattered around the country.
The film stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a high-strung marketing executive, who meets Del Griffith, played by John Candy, an eternally optimistic, outgoing, overly talkative, and clumsy shower curtain ring salesman who seems to live in a world governed by a different set of rules. They share a three-day odyssey of misadventures trying to get Neal home to Chicago from New York City in time for Thanksgiving dinner with his family.*
There is one scene where a frustrated (Martin) says the most ‘F’ words in one sentence in any movie. It’s actually the only bad language in the whole movie.
* Taken from 10 of the Best John Hughes Movies
8pm – Predator
- Year – 1987
- Director – John McTiernan
- Starring – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Bill Duke
Another of my all time favourite movies. If you are watching 80s action then somewhere in there has to be an Arnie movie. It was a toss up between this, The Terminator or Commando. I chose Predator because I think it is is one of Arnie’s best movies and is exactly how a sci-fi/action/horror movie should be.
It stars Arnie as the leader of an elite special forces team who are on a mission to rescue hostages from guerrilla territory in Central America. Little do they know that they are being secretly stalked and hunted by titular extra-terrestrial antagonist, who is way more technologically advanced in weapons and cloaking devices.
It has a great plot, great selection of actors and great effects for its day. Great sound effects and music. A cool bad guy. It has loads of over the top action sequences, it has a guy who goes mad in the jungle and so, so many great quotable lines.”Get to the chopper!”
Can you believe the actual Predator was originally going to be played by Jean-Claude Van Damme? I can’t either!
10pm – Robocop
- Year – 1987
- Director – Paul Verhoeven
- Starring – Peter Weller, Ronnie Cox, Nancy Allen
A cyberpunk action film set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan, in the near future, RoboCop centres around police officer Alex Murphy (Weller) who is brutally murdered by a gang of criminals and subsequently revived by the megacorporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) as a superhuman cyborg law enforcer known as RoboCop.
This film works so well. The story is great, it’s ultra-violent like a comic book and it’s how a sci-fi action movie should be. Kurtwood Smith is convincingly cast as the gang leader Clarence Boddicker and so is Ronnie Cox who plays it brilliant as the evil corporation VP and his creation ED-209.
The scene where Emile crashes into the toxic waste silo and starts melting, is a scene that will stick with me forever! God knows why they made a reboot of it in 2014, which absolutely sucked!
Midnight – Evil Dead 2 (Dead by Dawn)
- Year – 1987
- Director – Sam Raimi
- Starring – Bruce Campbell
Our last film of the day and time for something scary. Okay, it’s a comedy horror, but it’s pretty scary too! The movie is kind of alike a better remake of the original and is about Ash (Campbell) who is a lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holds up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack. Loads of great scenes in this film especially when Ash’s hand gets possessed which results in him cutting it off with a chainsaw. Bruce Campbell just revels in this part and doesn’t take it too seriously. Groovy!
Watch out for 90s Movies Playlist – Part 1 and 80s Movies Playlist – Part 2 coming sometime in the future.