#1635 War Cat aka Angel of Vengeance (1987)

There’s a group of survivalists living in a desert that after clashing with a motorcycle gang decide to make a game of human hunting out of one of the females. Needless to say it does not go as planned as she decides to fight back instead.

War Cat revisits the often seen human hunting / female revenge concept, and does not bring anything that new to the mix. It does perform as expected, so those who are fans of the genre will find something here to spend easy 90 minutes with.

80s-o-meter: 82%

Total: 61%

#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%

#1632 Carny (1980)

I’ve always been a theme park aficionado, and as such I’ve a soft spot for carnivals and fairs, and similarly themed popular media. It was therefore a delight to see Carny during its first 30 minutes.

By that time many good and interesting things had taken place, and both Gary Busey’s and Jodie Foster’s interesting characters, and their relationship was established successfully. But as the carnival takes off from the town with Jodie Foster with it, so does the plot, going into all sorts of needless directions, none of which as interesting than what the movie had already going in its first minutes.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 52%

#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%

#1630 A Man for All Seasons (1988)

Apparently Charlton Heston would have wanted to star in the 1966 version of A Man for All Seasons that took home six Oscars in that year’s Academy Awards.

To the extend that to rectify this wrongdoing he would go on to direct his own made-for-TV version some 20 years later where he this time around stars in. Based on a play by Robert Bolt of the life of Sir Thomas More, this newer version of A Man for All Seasons still maintains the great wit and charm of the original.

Historical dramas – especially the made for TV ones – aren’t my cup of tea, but in this genre A Man for All Season definitely holds its own, thanks to its strong manuscript.

80s-o-meter: 2%

Total: 70%

#1629 Round Midnight (1986)

A fictional tale loosely based on African-American jazz musicians’ life and influence in late 50s Paris, Round Midnight feels an exercise too keen on substance and being accepted as a cool cat piece of French cinema.

Although I understand the intention for going for an atmosphere that can be sold to American cinema goers, it all frankly feels far too clichéd to be taken seriously: dark, smoke-filled rooms, a gloomy and dark Paris where it always rains, and characters (despite of battling with serious personal problems, like alcoholism) that feel naïve caricatures instead of actual persons.

The musical pieces composed by Herbie Hancock and performed by a bunch of skilled musicians are the best aspects of the movie, hands down. As I enjoyed the jazz pieces, but not so much the interludes between them, I could not but to think that for the selected fictional style of the movie it would’ve been better to go all in and make Round Midnight a full musical instead.

80s-o-meter: 17%

Total: 54%

#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%

#1625 Barbarian Queen (1985)

I had always hard time telling Amazons and Barbarian Queen apart. Both are made in the mid 80s, are shot in Argentina with Argentinian crew, have a very similar posters (and logos!) drawn by Boris Vallejo and have basically the same premise of beautiful and strong female crew of fighters battling in iron bikinis.

Here’s the bad news: after seeing them both now, I still won’t be able to remember which one is which. There are certainly other similar movies like Deathstalker that will probably make it even harder for me to tell each movie apart, but these two are just too darn close for me to ever remember.

Notes to the future self: Barbarian Queen is the one with the much more exploitative tone to it, and the one that feels much more like 80s actors larping sword & sorcery.

80s-o-meter: 89%

Total: 51%

#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%

#1621 Over-sexed Rugsuckers from Mars (1989)

An indie scifi comedy of aliens made out of silly putty who cross breed humans and a vacuum cleaner and then urinate to a bottle, making a hobo fall in love with the vacuum.

Well, there you pretty much have it.

These kind of lame film school exercises were never my cup of tea, and the same goes for Over-sexed Rugsuckers from Mars. There’s some attempt to humour that felt fresh and imaginative, but really – a movie should not be the form for delivering a few one-off jokes buried inside 80 minutes of uninteresting fill material.

80s-o-meter: 61%

Total: 8%

#1620 Hamburger: The Motion Picture (1986)

If 80s movies in the vein of Police Academy are your thing, Hamburger: The Motion Picture might be your ticket.

No, it’s nowhere near funny or potent comedy, but the style is pretty much the same. The movie pokes fun out of fictive fast food chain and their education facility that takes things a bit too seriously, and too far.

And yes, of course there is a quite flawed but loud authority running the show. Or rather, trying and failing.

80s-o-meter: 79%

Total: 73%

#1619 Foxfire Light (1983)

Romantic drama does not invoke my interest, especially if it looks like a made for TV movie. But Foxfire Light did feel a bit more interesting to me after I learned that Leslie Nielsen – mostly known for me from his comedy roles – stars in it.

Contrary to all the expectations Foxfire Light actually works as a movie, and all the complex relationships shown here do have that soap opera setup for them, but with much more depth added. It’s easy entertainment, but something that still manages to have an actual heart.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 70%

#1618 Popeye Doyle (1986)

Popeye Doyle is not actually a movie, but a movie length pilot for a TV series based on early 70s The French Connection starring Gene Hackman.

Like most people, I watched Popeye Doyle due to Ed O’Neill playing the lead part, but O’Neill really does not bring anything of himself into the role, like he famously did with Married With Kids, and multiple other comedies that followed. There’s nothing really that bad about the pilot, but it’s just so uninspired and average that it never manages to capture the attention.

The series was never picked up by broadcasting companies, which in hindsight was a blessing in disguise, especially for O’Neill himself.

80s-o-meter: 61%

Total: 30%

#1617 Lianna (1983)

Look, I don’t know about the history of movies about homosexuality to say how much Lianna was ahead of its time upon its 1983 release – if any – but at least to me the movie felt quite genuine and earnest in its depiction of a housewife suffering from codependency, who then finds consolation and a love interested in the opposite sex.

Earnest in the sense of how the movie depicts the getting out of the closet and the relationship in a quite realistic manner, and as well how Lianna’s codependency is not fixed with getting out of the closet – it just finds a new object, and it’s only when Lianna starts to learn being alone and being comfortable with herself that the growing as a human begins.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 79%

#1616 The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980)

Politically incorrect in multiple ways these days, The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu depicts a quirky asian mastermind criminal, played by Peter Sellers, chased after a quirky inspector, also played by Sellers.

Movie feels visually and thematically old beyond its years – like something made in the 60s – and there’s only little value in viewing it these days. The Fu Manchu character has its moments, but anything that you see here is better made in for example the later Austin Power movies. Clearly made for a showcase for Sellers’ versatile character actor skills, neither of the character he plays here are amongst his best, and in many ways feel like a mix of some of his other roles.

The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu is probably the most remembered for being Sellers’ last movie, before his untimely death at the age of 54.

80s-o-meter: 50%

Total: 47%