#1275 Hellhole (1985)

A mid 80s take on the woman penitentiary movies, Hellhole maintains the gratuitous full frontal nudity aspect of the genre and is a complete miss as a horror movie.

But it does manage to find a somewhat interesting own tone, making it if not great, still one of the more tolerable exploitation movies out there.

80s-o-meter: 83%

Total: 38%

#898 Tango & Cash (1989)

In the beginning sequence lieutenant Ray Tango rides his Cadillac Allanté ahead of a fleeing 10-wheeler, does a bootlegger’s turn, steps out of his car and forces the 18 ton truck to a full stop with his .38, effectively launching the two henchmen through the windshield. The sequence may be loaned from Jackie Chan’s Police Story, but it still very effectively sets the tone for the following 100 minutes of class A action.

As you may have already gathered, Tango & Cash takes place deep in the alternative world of Hollywood action movies where no restrictions of the normal world apply what it comes to laws of the physics, chases, police stations and even the prisons. There is a good tradeoff to all this thought, as Tango & Cash offers a very entertaining 80s buddy cop movie with a high rate of escapism.

I don’t know how Stallone and Russell fared outside the sets – probably bad due to Stallone’s reputation at the time – but on screen their oil mixed in with water kind of chemistry works a treat, often bursting out in an entertaining way. The always stunning Teri Hatcher provides the visual treat as well as gives the movie its dame in distress motif towards the end.

Speaking of which, the movie is maybe mostly known for its lengthy end part where Tango & Cash ride their armoured custom truck to the enemy base, wreaking all sort of havoc – and this is where the movie unfortunately took a wrong turn that I never really cared for.

80s-o-meter: 94%

Total: 85%

#838 Bad Boys (1983)

There are a lot of pitfalls present when making a film about juvenile delinquents, and the movies more often than not turn into melodramatic sap rich in gringeworthiness. Bad Boys as a name certainly had an alarming clang to it, but to my surprise the movie not only offered depth rarely seen in its peers, but realism in a way that’s neither romancing nor fetishistically violent.

Young Sean Penn no doubt deserves a nod as he once again showcases his uncanny skill to create three dimensional characters in situations where a path of the lowest common denominator was available. Luckily the script also gives him a lot to work with, avoiding most obvious clichés of the genre throughout the movie – mostly.

While the ending is not bad, it seems to me that it’s by far the most mediocre part of the movie, effectively robbing Bad Boys away from being a complete triumph.

80s-o-meter: 82%

Total: 91%

#729 Lock Up (1989)

A rare late 80s Stallone movie that failed to break even in the box office, Lock Up is pretty much your typical mistreated prisoner vs evil wardner and his henchmen sort of film.

The movie constantly defies the laws of credibility with its cartoon-like archetypes, sadistic guards and the highly implausible, only-in-a-movie type of ending. It does get better after you accept the fact that the movie takes place in the parallel universum of Hollywood, after which you might find Lock Up a fairly entertaining movie with some memorable scenes like the montage of restoring the Mustang buried in the prison garage and the gruesome sewer showdown towards the end.

If prison movies like this are your thing, An Innocent Man – also released in 1989 – offers all that Lock Up is trying to achieve in a much more believable and entertaining package.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 72%