This one will really tug at the heart-strings of all you '80s movie buffs, so let me get right down to it.
Red Dawn: Obviously a sadder induction than expected with Patrick Swayze's death this year, but it does not detract from the film's appeal. Nostalgia makes us forget that this movie is over two hours long, features a dozen characters & is a tad melodramatic. Also, despite being about the common man winning the fight, they cannot succeed until a soldier joins their fight. Even so...WOLVERINES!
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: This cult classic has been diagrammed by every weirdo with an internet connection (my brothers!), so a plot summary is unnecessary. What is interesting to note about the film, however, is how it teased a sequel in its closing credits. This is really more of a joke about the film's serial nature, but good luck explaining that to any twenty-something watching it for the first time!
Beverly Hills Cop: The film that put Eddie Murphy on the map was nearly a Stallone vehicle. No, really. The original draft was a straight-action film starring the iconic actor, but he dropped out to do Cobra. What we ended up was a fun, sarcastic movie that proved that some films only work once, not three times!
Police Academy: Speaking of not working three times, how about a film that popped out seven sequels, a live-action series and a cartoon show. The original film is a good example of how you put together all of the cliches for an 80s comedy. It also made a star of Steve Gutenberg, although that did not stick.
This is Spinal Tap!: The film that every rock band- and most people that play Rock Band- love is celebrating an anniversary this year! This set-up the prototype for a series of films by Christopher Guest that would make people laugh for many years and still do. It dared to turn up the awkwardness level to 11!
Top Secret: If you have not seen this gem of the Zuckers' film catalog, you owe it to yourself to do so! In a rare comedic role, Val Kilmer plays an avatar of Elvis Presley's movie character that entertained people for 20 years. The whole film is a combination of both an Elvis parody (see the songs and swagger) and a WWII spy film parody! I defy you to find another film like that, let alone one that features Peter Cushing with a giant eyeball. Seriously, watch this movie!
Sheena: Lastly, a film that is most notable for reminding us of how hot one woman can be. Tanya Roberts is so hot in this movie that you can almost forget that the zebras are merely painted horses. The plot...is really not all that important. You get a topless scene with Tanya Roberts- do I really need to sell you on this?
I also have to give a shout-out to all of the other big movies from 1984, including Purple Rain, Starman, Sixteen Candles, The Terminator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Romancing the Stone, Night of the Comet, Repo Man, The Last Starfighter, Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom, Gremlins, Ghostbusters, C.H.U.D., Bachelor Party, Firestarter and Silent Night, Deadly Night.
Why couldn't I have been cognizant of films then? Dammit!
Up next, a look at the films of 1989. Can it get close to matching this?