#34 Up The Academy (1980)

Before slowly fading into oblivion during the nineties, the Mad Magazine was an institution in USA starting already from the fifties, and peeking its popularity in the eighties. They were known for their cartoon parodies of TV Shows and movies and getting your movie parodied in the magazine was a huge honour.
Then they made their own movie. Or rather; gave Warner Bros rights to use their name and their mascot Alfred E. Neuman to market a comedy that had basically nothing to do with their magazine.
You already guessed it, the movie was a stinker. In fact, it was such a failure that Mad’s publisher William Gaines openly sent out apologies for getting involved and paid WB $30,000 to remove all references to MAD from the movies TV and home video releases. Similarly the actor Ron Leibman, who had a big role in the movie as the baddie academy officer, insisted his name to be removed both from the movie credits and all the promotional materials. Ouch.
Looking the movie back now it’s not a total disaster, but clearly the direction with the script was lost well before they started filming. It has some limited entertainment but falls short of funny and is one of those forgotten classics that deserve to remain that way.

80s-o-meter: 55%

Total: 31%

#32 All Night Long (1981)

George Dupler (Gene Hackman) is an unlikeable middle-aged man who has just gotten an inexplicable (well, atleast this movie doesn’t bother to tell you the reason) fit of rage at work place and thus demoted to a shop’s night manager. He soon finds out his ignorant knobhead of a son is dating his family friend’s wife Cheryl (Barbra Streisand) and it doesn’t take too long for this vixen to get his hands on George as well.

All Night Long goes fast from bad to worse with some related and some unrelated fill in scenes in between to a point where George has not only left his wife, is living in a dump, and being chased by the ex husband and hated by his son.
Surely this sounds like the situation is getting way too bad to resolve?

Well, fear not! In a true 70s movie style it all comes together magically in the last five minutes in an idiotic twist that’s only barely more reasonable than waking up and realising it was all just a dream.

80s-o-meter: 45%

Total: 17%

#31 Miracle Mile (1988)

Harry Washello (Anthony Edwards) answers a phone call by a chance telling him a nuclear strike is to go off in an hour. Should he warn the others? Will anyone believe? Does he?

So begins a frantic search for his date and a way out of the city and a chain of events that feel like a bad dream come true.

Originally written as an episode for Twilight Zone, Miracle Mile is a shortish 70-minute movie that carries well the tension from its first minutes to the very last ones.

80s-o-meter: 65%

Total: 87%