#1294 The Breakfast Club (1985)

One of the definite teen movies of the 80s, the setup in John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club bears resemblance to the 12 Angry Men (1957). Both movies present us a group of people with seemingly little in common forced to a small room by an external power.

But in The Breakfast Club the roles of the individuals are much more pronounced and relatable for anyone who lived through the high school: there’s the jock, the snobb, the geek, the juvenile delinquent and the weirdo, species of different cliques that usually don’t interact in their day to day life, and when they do, they find out just how much in common they really have.

The Breakfast Club leans on clichés a bit more than it needs to in order to make its point, but even if if the movie may be dated, its themes are definitely not. And that is a sign of a classic movie.

80s-o-meter: 93%

Total: 94%

#1293 Stars and Bars (1988)

A somewhat annoying art expert married to an annoying spouse while working for annoyingly demanding boss is send to deep south to purchase a painting from an annoying eccentric hillbilly family whose annoying unmarried son living at home does annoying things to prevent the sales.

The only thing not annoying here is the head of the family, played by Harry Dean Stanton who plays the only character in the movie with some dimensions written into it, and Stanton has the acting chops to make his character likeable despite all of its weird personal traits.

80s-o-meter: 60%

Total: 42%

#1292 Kansas (1988)

If you find an 80s movie nobody has ever heard of with your favourite actors in it, your warning bells should go off. Changes that you’ve just found a long lost treasure are very low, and it’s much more likely that you’ve just encountered something that everyone involved wished they’d never been part of.

While Kansas is no treasure, it is actually a decent piece of cinema depicting a guy crossing his path with a bank robber and soon finding tangled into something that might lose him his love, freedom and even life.

Andrew McCarthy performs his trademark dazed out everyday guy routine while Matt Dillon delivers yet another chilling role as the fugitive with psychopathic personal traits.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 83%

#1291 Nam Angels (1989)

The best part of the home video revolution of the 80s was the parade of totally outrageous movies that would never made it to the silver screen, but make for top notch entertainment.

Nam Angels is one of the purest examples of this; a remake of the 1970 movie of the same name that maintains the same ridiculous of premise of a gang of Soldiers teaming up with a motorcycle club and riding through the jungle of Vietnam to find a gold treasure.

The result is an entertaining piece of trashy guilty pleasure that is best served off an old rental VHS copy.

80s-o-meter: 92%

Total: 101%

#1290 Hot Moves (1984)

Hot Moves is your pretty typical early 80s teen sex comedy where a few losers work together to get laid.

For the utter trash it is, Hot Moves is surprisingly likeable with the movie showcasing summery Venice Beach as an endless party one would really love to be part of. The movie’s minuscule running length of just 80 minutes is full of obvious padding with long clips of filled footage of the 1984 Venice Beach added in, but luckily those clips are also somewhat entertaining to watch as sort of a time capsule of the era.

80s-o-meter: 82%

Total: 62%

#1289 Black Eagle (1988)

In short: an useless action movie shot in the republic of Malta, starring Shô Kosugi (from the Ninja trilogy fame) and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Instead of relying on your typical Hollywood ninja mythology that Kosugi usually does well, Black Eagle is more of a poor mans rendition of your typical Bond movie of the era; all the secret agents, military secrets and special gizmos are here, but the movie itself is a bore and without much thrills. The cinematography looks dull and the team fails to find any interesting, movie like aspects from the location (excluding those cool caverns), and the long awaited martial arts showdown between the leads in the end is anticlimatic, to say the least.

80s-o-meter: 65%

Total: 14%

#1288 Platoon (1986)

A war movie written and directed by Oliver Stone based on his own experiences in Vietnam, Platoon soon established itself as one of the definite war movies of the era, along with the greats like Full Metal Jacket and Born on the 4th of July.

The casting is superb, with numerous a-list and upcoming actors making possibly the most memorably roles of their careers. Charlie Sheen in the lead role does particularly a great performance as he goes through a remarkable metamorphosis from a green-behind-the-ears rookie to a hard boiled infantryman while being relatable for the audience to vicariously share the experience.

Platoon earned Stone his first ever Academy Award, and the movie itself would go on to bag another three Oscars for Best Movie, Best Sound and Best Editing.

80s-o-meter: 67%

Total: 95%

#1287 Brain Damage (1988)

Frank Henenlotter, the mastermind who brought us the cult classic Basket Case is back with Brain Damage, a similar horror movie with a similar premise of a creature controlling their owner, coupled with similar kind of eery, modern day horror story atmosphere.

Although Brain Damage is the lesser known of the two, I did enjoy it more, thanks to the up to date visuals and improved production values. The movie suffers from obvious padding and repetition, but the individual (often gruesome) ideas in the movie are hilarious and have earned Brain Damage the cult movie status as well.

A recommended underdog horror comedy despite its obvious shortcomings.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 81%

#1286 Windwalker (1980)

Movies about the indigenous peoples of the Americas of the past are often hard to watch for the way they are portrayed in them; even the movies that aren’t hostile but try to show affection towards their subjects rely very heavily on stereotypes and often view the Native Americans as spiritual beings capable of supernatural powers.

While some of that supernatural mumbo-jumbo is definitely present also in Windwalker, it’s luckily much more an vicious and pitiless action thriller following a family of a Cheyenne tribe on the run from Crow warriors, rather than some spiritual trip into the wildness.

To the credit of the team behind the movie, all the parts are being played by native speakers of both languages, and subtitled in English, which is something that is very rarely seen in major movie releases like this. The violence pictured in Windwalker is similarly realistic and harsh, with fights often over with a single swing of a club.

80s-o-meter: 8%

Total: 70%

#1285 Opposing Force aka Hell Camp (1986)

Ok, so the premise in Opposing Force is interesting: there’s a group of trainees attending what’s called the toughest ever bootcamp where the attendees are put to a p.o.w. camp run by other soldiers. But as the events soon start escalating out of hand, it becomes clear to all that the commander of the camp has been blinded by his power and acts purely out of sadistic pleasure.

This is where the good news end, as the next to nothing in the movie really clicks into place. The dodgy execution is coupled with completely forgettable and charism free acting work by the lead Lisa Eichhorn, and Tom Skerritt, usually a strong actor is totally lost in his role of imprisoned Major Logan.

80s-o-meter: 90%

Total: 40%

#1284 The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)

A Mexican Corrido De Gregorio Cortez is sung in the memory of Gregorio Cortez, a Mexican vaquero and a father of four who was allegedly a victim of a miscarriage of justice the led into the biggest manhunt in the history in USA during 1901.

Being based on real life events – or rather, an interpretation of them – I did enjoy how The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez plays away from your typical western clichés both in its characters and storytelling.

80s-o-meter: 27%

Total: 69%

#1283 The Visitants (1986)

A young high-school student snatches a ray gun from his eccentric neighbours who turn out to be extra-terrestrial couple finishing up their long assignment on earth.

The Visitants is a shoe lace budgeted sci-fi spoof that despise its humble roots manages to entertain, and both the over-the-top theatrical acting and pseudo 50s-80s style works well, reminding me that of the LucasArts classic puzzle adventure Maniac Mansion.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 71%

#1282 No Dead Heroes (1986)

Similarly to Troma’s War, No Dead Heroes makes for an attempt for the biggest amount of bodies seen on the screen. But, without any humour aspect to it.

Everything about No Dead Heroes – like USA army officials being controller by microchips planted by KGB and jungle firefights with invincible heroes just walking and spraying enemies with bullets – sounds like tons of fun, but actually nothing here really is.

No Dead Heroes ends up plain ridiculous, implausible and far fetched, and could have saved the situation by taking all of its ridiculous aspects one step further, ending up outrageous instead of lukewarm and wishy-washy.

80s-o-meter: 90%

Total: 20%

#1281 Cry Wilderness (1987)

If you wanted to learn the ABCs of how not go about shooting a movie, Cry Wilderness should be the first movie to watch.

The story does not make any sense – nor it is it of any interest to anyone – the big foot might be the most off putting thing ever seen on the screen and the movie even misses its opportunity to showcase any great wildlife scenes. It looks dull in 70s kind of way, and definitely older and more outdated than its 1987 release year would suggest.

Cry Wilderness is abysmally bad, but not the least in an entertaining way.

80s-o-meter: 60%

Total: 1%

#1280 Troma’s War (1988)

Inspired by the action movies of the late 80s, Troma’s War makes an attempt for the biggest kill count ever on the silver screen – and likely pulls it off as well.

This is in many ways Troma Entertainment’s most well rounded cinema that despite the outrageous setup seems to make an attempt for wider audience and to me the movie is a complete mess, lacking the usual creative madness and underdog feeling that makes some of Troma’s films classics in their own niche.

The problem is that the late 80s action movies are already so over the top when it comes to kill counts and invincible heroes that the satire here lands very short. Endless scenes of the same extras falling down on the ground in various locations fail to entertain beyond the first few minutes of the film.

80s-o-meter: 82%

Total: 27%

#1279 September (1987)

Woody Allen has usually the skill to make his movies about intellectuals work by being totally conscious what the audience seems on the silver screen is likely to come across as pompous and then fully going along with all of it and seasoning up the situations with his impeccable comedic skills.

But September is not a comedy. It’s a drama shot like it was a play, and it never gets past the pompousness, dryness and pretentiousness often associated with dialogue heavy adult relationship dramas.

The story goes that Allen was not happy with the first version of the film and reshot September again with another crew.

Maybe third time would’ve been the charm.

80s-o-meter: 60%

Total: 24%

#1278 The Killing Time (1987)

The average murder thriller has unexpected charm to it! The Killing Time has absolutely nothing exceptional going for it, and the plot is frankly put quite implausible.

But the atmosphere, setting and the characters won me over, and I did enjoy The Killing Time all the way to the paint-by-numbers finale.

The Killing Time is totally disposable entertainment without any additional layers to it that would warrant a rewatch, but it’s certainly entertaining enough to gain my recommendation – especially if you are a fan of Kiefer Sutherland’s work.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 84%

#1277 Romantic Comedy (1983)

When I first saw Arthurand then watched it again a gazillion times – I looked forward to seeing Dudley Moore’s other comedies of the era.

So far nothing has quite reached what Arthur had to offer, and Romantic Comedy is no exception. It’s pretty generic early 80s – well, romantic comedy – With neurotic adults not knowing whom they should commit to.

The chemistry between Mary Steenburgen and Moore is weirdly off throughout the movie, but it’s all fortunately by design, as the ending reveals.

80s-o-meter: 71%

Total: 54%

#1276 Odd Jobs aka Summer Jobs (1986)

Odd Jobs is an on even, small budget comedy of a bunch of college students first trying to get summer jobs before forming their own moving company.

As much as I root for the underdogs, Odd Jobs just doesn’t have what it takes to make for a memorable comedy, and although the single ok moments in the movie are many, as a whole it ends up a dud.

80s-o-meter: 61%

Total: 50%