#1651 Underground Aces (1981)

An early 80s revamp of the 70s success comedy Car Wash, Underground Aces takes the same sort of concept to inside the parking hall of a high class hotel, the own kingdom of the parking assistants.

The movie works out pretty much as expected without much surprises along the way; the characters, including a selection of zany parking assistants, a rich middle-eastern sheik and sex crazed youngsters after the female guests of the hotel all feel straight out of mediocre early 80s VHS guidebook.

The movie is likely most notable for starring Melanie Griffith and Michael Winslow, for both of whom the rest of 80s luckily had better things in mind.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 54%

#1650 Gremloids aka Hyperspace (1984)

Spaceballs may be the best known scifi parody of the 80s, but three years prior to it came out Gremloids, a low budget space comedy with a Dark Lord with a silly gigantic helmet.

Instead of being a Star Wars parody like Spaceballs, the premise in Gremloids is actually quite darn hilarious: because of a navigation mistake Lord Buckethead and his gang of minions land on a small village on earth instead of ”galaxy far, far away”, and proceeds to find the princess and the secret transmissions no matter how much the town folk try to tell him he is sorely mistaken.

After the strong start Gremloids never quite takes the full advantage of its unique premise and the latter half of the movie is pretty much spent on an endless trench warfare between Buckethead and local army, making the movie at this time feel like a short film prolonged to feature film length. The ending of the movie still wraps up quite nicely, making Hyperspace easily worth watching through.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 72%

#1648 Under the Rainbow (1981)

It’s fun to watch one of those dreaded really bad movies of 80s, only to find out that it’s fame as one is highly exaggerated. It needs to be said though that Under the Rainbow is a dud. It’s a mess of a movie that mostly consists of scenes of little people acting and goofing off like they were circus clowns. But, the plot itself is easy to follow and seems to make at least some sense, and there’s something entertaining about all the hectic action similar to what’s seen in Get Crazy.

Under the Rainbow isn’t a Chevy Chase show and he never carries the movie, as he did with his forthcoming hits of the 80s. Although he is playing the lead here, it really feels as if he was playing a distant support role.

80s-o-meter: 5%

Total: 41%

#1647 Die Laughing (1980)

A horribly disconnected effort, Die Laughing throws in a little bit of everything into the mix without ever finding its own tone of voice.

How disconnected? It genuinely felt like watching an episode of some random late 70s afternoon TV series that just keeps aimlessly going on, and on, and one. The boring action is padded with even more boring sections of the main character performing songs in auditions – another aspect of the movie that felt totally artificial and plastered on.

Die Laughing can really only be recommended to those who want to relive the worst of the 70s television.

80s-o-meter: 12%

Total: 2%

#1646 Patti Rocks (1988)

You know that screw up of a friend you don’t want anything to do with, but who for one reason or another manages to get you involved in his affairs, ”just for this one more time”.

In Patti Rocks that guy is Billy, played by Chris Mulkey. Billy is unlikely many other lovable bastards often seen in movies in a way that he at times manages to hover over likeable, but more often than not comes across just obnoxious. He is the kind of a guy with his sexist jokes that would make me want to switch tables at bar, and kind of a guy who would accuse anyone doing so of not having a sense of humour.

But his friend Eddie seems to be able to stomach him, and drives him on a long road trip filled with sexist jokes to settle the score with a girl – Patti Rocks – he got pregnant.

80s-o-meter: 83%

Total: 40%

#1644 Runaway Nightmare (1982)

There’s only one thing wrong with being a renaissance man, and that is if you aren’t that talented.

This Mike Cartel’s movie, directed by Mike Cartel, written by Mike Cartel and starring Mike Cartel is one of these cases. It’s a messy, messy movie with no real focus what it really wants to be. The movie tries out quite a bit of different things, but fails on each and every one of them.

Runaway Nightmare makes me wish I had the will power to exclude all these kinds of exercises in movie making from my to-do list, but I’m still hoping there’s a gem to be found from that pile. Runaway Nightmare was not that gem, no by a long shot.

80s-o-meter: 58%

Total: 11%

#1640 Illegally Yours (1988)

Something feels amiss or disconnected throughout Illegally Yours. Perhaps its the nagging feeling of the movie being miscast on most parts, or Peter Bogdanovich’s direction not delivering the story in a convincing way or maybe its the story of a young handsome college dropout nerd stalking his old school love and getting tangled in a trial and murder mystery that just does not click.

There’s a lot to be loved about the movie, and various events and characters have a certain charm, but in the end it’s just somehow much less than the sum of its parts.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 61%

#1639 Blades (1989)

Blades – a silly movie about a killer lawnmower loose in a golf course sounds 100% like a Troma Entertainment production.

Or does it? Compared to the zany Troma movies of the earlier 80s, Blades feels almost playing it safe and trying to cater for some big enough niche audience: the creative anarchy is missing, but on the other hand Blades is actually quite well-rounded movie with some real budget and effort put into it. Even so that the silly machine antagonist feels like a faux pas, and the movie could have fared much better if it didn’t want to be so much tongue in cheek.

While the lack of a good baddie makes Blades a disappointment, it’s still an easy to watch and enjoyable disappointment for the most parts – especially if you are a golf aficionado. It was especially the shaky golf pro lead who was written as a counterweight for typical movie male characters that made Blades feel interesting and fresh.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 65%

#1638 Assault of the Killer Bimbos (1988)

Ok, so the name here sounds much worse than what the movie actually is.

Assault of the Killer Bimbos is more like an early, rough version of Thelma & Louise. Actually, to them actually contemplating to sue its production team. Truth be told, Assault of the Killer Bimbos is no Thelma & Louise, but some of the similarities here are uncanny.

But Assault of the Killer Bimbos is really a feel good comedy, and actually not a bad one at that.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 75%

#1637 Big Man on Campus (1989)

Big Man on Campus is one of those movies with a super annoying character that you genuinely hope would start growing on you so that watching through the movie would not turn into complete torture. Here that character is a degenerated hunchback living in a bell tower in a campus where he gets discovered by two students and their professor, played by Tom Skerritt.

Ok so it does take quite awhile, but when the wild man starts to take his first clumsy steps into the civilised world the movie stopped rubbing me the wrong way, and I found myself finally rooting for the character.

Big Man on Campus has multiple weak moments that should have ended in the cutting room floor, but luckily the crudest and most boorish humour is absent, making it actually quite tolerable comedy.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 70%

#1634 Almost You (1984)

Listed as a 1984 movie by IMDB, and a March 1985 release according to Wikipedia, Almost You is a small, little known drama comedy of a love triangle (or a square, depending on how you count).

Griffin Dunne and Brooke Adams are a disgruntled New York yuppie couple who get emotionally tangled with a nurse, whose actor boyfriend gets involved in the mess for some reason. All the characters are quite obnoxious and highly unrelatable, the plot feels phoney and the movie subjects us to watch through all of these superficial characters having one of the most dull dinner parties ever with a dialogue written and acted with an blatant intention to be witty, making this inept repartée even more painful to follow.

Almost You is a love movie that fails to make one emotionally, drama that fails to move and a comedy that fails to make one laugh – leaving very little to love about this movie.

80s-o-meter: 84%

Total: 8%

#1633 Dr. Alien aka I Was a Teenage Sex Maniac aka I Was a Teenage Sex Mutant (1989)

An intentionally campy sci-fi comedy, Dr. Alien is one of those movies that could have gone either way gambling on trying to be fun and weird. It’s more often than not when these kind of comedies end up just awkwardly weird.

People getting into playing this sort of movie know what they are subscribing to, and Dr. Alien pretty much delivers what it promises, ending up in the ”better” end of the spectrum – again, for those who know what they are looking for when watching an 80s high school sex comedy.

80s-o-meter: 82%

Total: 69%

#1631 Beer (1985)

Beer is a satire picking fun out of advertisement agencies selling brew to the the masses, and one particular agency that hires three average joes to become their spokespersons.

The movie balances well with being witty and making the right observations to pick fun of, and being light to watch and entertaining. The fictive events don’t seem too far fetched and the three leads with distinctive personal traits (and problems) are all someone you could imagine starring in a beer commercial in an alternative reality.

Same goes for the supporting cast. Rip Torn is great as always as the eccentric director and Loretta Swit is a natural as the advertisement agency exec to whom easy profit always justifies the means.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 79%

#1628 Not for Publication (1984)

Not for Publication is advertised as a movie by the director of Eating Raoul, but in reality it’s pretty different from Paul Bartel’s more outrageous comedies. In fact, the movie feels more like something out of Blake Edwards’ pencil.

More mainstream than Bartel’s other movies, Not for Publication is a satire about sleazy tabloids and political corruption that never quite finds its target and as such fails to make one laugh.

Although a frustrating movie to watch (you keep on wishing things would finally start to click – they never do), there are single good moments here and I feel there’s a decent movie hidden here somewhere that Bartel might have found by streamlining and rewriting the manuscript one more time from the scratch.

80s-o-meter: 65%

Total: 48%

#1627 Yes, Giorgio aka Bravo, Giorgio (1982)

Written as a vehicle for Luciano Pavarotti, Yes, Giorgio portrays a fictional tenor called Giorgio touring in America.

Giorgio is a big man child with superstition to ever singing at Metropolitan Opera, and so he desperately seeks the love and care of a female doctor. A world class singer, in private life he is something of a half-grown, with the inner life of a 5-year old: he throws tantrums when things don’t go his way, and gets into food fight with the opposite sex.

The only thing Yes, Giorgio has going for it are its opera numbers. But really – you’d be much better off watching any of Pavarotti’s opera performances on VHS, than to sit through this drivel.

80s-o-meter: 71%

Total: 9%

#1626 Buddy Buddy (1981)

Whenever there’s a movie starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in a same movie, you know you’re in for a treat.

Buddy Buddy is in its cinematic style very 60s, but in a beautiful, and somehow comforting way; it’s like meeting an old friend, although you’re pretty sure you’ve never met before. It is also something of a testament to the extraordinary chemistry between Matthau and Lemmon: while there’s nothing exceptional about the movie and its script, its the seasoned actors that make the movie exceptional. With other actors in place Buddy Buddy wouldn’t have been much of a movie.

Even the fact that Matthau does not for a second pass for a vicious professional assassin does not take the fun out of the movie: you still want to go with the flow and accept it all – just to have these two fine gentlemen entertain you for the next 90 minutes.

80s-o-meter: 21%

Total: 78%

#1624 Nobody’s Fool (1986)

Ok, I’m not even going to hide the fact that I’ve always had bit of a man crush for Eric Roberts. So, I therefore can’t blame Rosanna Arquette in the role of Cassie falling for him as well.

I was a bit puzzled about the plot in Nobody’s Fool and it was only after I accepted that this is a fairytale taking place in the movie la la land that I went along it all. And once you buy the concept the movie and the character of Cassie are actually quite endearing.

And speaking of Cassie, there’s something about her character that I was looking to learn about even more, but the often superficial and caricature like strokes don’t seem to fully capture.

80s-o-meter: 84%

Total: 76%

#1623 The Baltimore Bullet (1980)

It would seem that most of the pool hustler movies have also a strong scoundrel theme to them. So is the case also with The Baltimore Bullet.

The movie is pretty much unknown and does not hold a candle to the iconic hustler movies, but it’s a nice little exercise made better by the inclusion of a strong female protagonist, and Omar Sharif as the heinous pool shark.

A plus for the movie for actually depicting solid pool tricks, mostly performed by the actors themselves.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 61%

#1622 Truckin’ Buddy McCoy (1982)

There was apparently something alluring about the name, the premise and the VHS cover art of Truckin’ Buddy McCoy as it apparently turned out as one of the enduring favourites in the home video stalls for many years.

And admittedly there was a promise of a easy, mindless entertainment in the name as I saw it for the first time. But really, there’s nothing much going on here. There’s a truck driver who turns his new truck into bachelor hideout, drives around picking people up (in reality he just runs through outskirts of Los Angeles throughout the movie) pondering if he should get back with his girlfriend.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 21%