#1784 Lookin’ To Get Out (1982)

Here’s a movie and a concept that has aged badly.

Lookin’ To Get Out is a rascal comedy about two gamblers who get into debt and evade to Las Vegas to try to make it big. It’s one of those comedies where the comedy part means stupid and implausible – not something to make one laugh. Both of the lead characters quite unlikeable and really I could not care less how they ended up since the whole movie feels completely like a charade.

Jon Voight and Burt Young are both excellent actors, and should have used their time better in some other endeavour.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 27%

#1783 Little Miss Marker (1980)

I don’t know how great of a movie the original 1934 Little Miss Marker starring Shirley Temple is, but based on this 1980 version I really can’t see anything that warrants a remake – other than the team’s interest in nostalgia, that is!

More bizarrely, the movie is not even brought to the current day. But maybe the story of a gambler giving her daughter as a collateral to bet on a horse race would not fly today as it already seems quite implausible in the 1940s. But so does everything else in the movie, especially the love relationship between the characters played by Walter Matthau and Julie Andrews, and the denouement of them forming a family of some sorts.

On the positive side Matthau is probably the best actor of the era for the role, and his trademark grumpy tone makes his slowly evolving attachment to the now orphaned girl quite touching at best.

80s-o-meter: 5%

Total: 37%

#1782 Cross My Heart (1987)

Cross My Heart is a captivating comedy of a two people going to their third date having put on a perfect dating facade for so far. Maybe a bit too perfect, as they both are about find out a lot of new things about the other – and of themselves.

The movie is a two person show between Martin Short and Annette O’Toole, and both provide big grins for the viewer. It’s especially Short whose movies of the era always surprise me how great physical actor and a comedian he was at the very top of his game.

80s-o-meter: 92%

Total: 76%

#1781 Going Berserk (1983)

This year we’ve witnessed the big breakthrough artificial intelligence breakthrough, and no doubt soon it will be easy to prompt any actor do you whatever you like, and to eventually even ask AI to manuscript and play a movie from 80s that never existed.

Going Berserk feels like an early AI attempt to produce a comedy, but getting most aspects all wrong; the humour is not funny, plot does not really connect and feels more like a multiple unrelated segment, and actors like John Candy and Eugene Levy look familiar, but the result feels badly out of character or residing in a wrong movie. It is especially painful to see Candy delivering one unfunny line after another, or getting into raunchy language.

Made in 1983, Going Berserk is not made by AI, but an example of human stupidity in action instead. But, maybe we can harness AI in the future to rewrite and fix this movie to the standard that better suits John Candy.

80s-o-meter: 78%

Total: 25%

#1780 Night Patrol (1984)

Released in 1984, Night Patrol is a cop comedy not inspired by Police Academy, but rather by the crazy comedies like Airplane! and Police Squad.

But even more so, it seems to be heavily influenced by the craziness The Gong Show where the lead Murray Langston performed regularly as The Unknown Comic, and the movie also in many ways feels like a product of 1970s. Most of the comedy is downright stupid, insulting, chauvinistic, even racist – there is even one completely detached black face segment in the movie – and the same uneven segment after segment approach goes for the whole film.

Movie’s strongest suits remain The Unknown Comic itself and small word play gags most likely written in by Langston himself. While nowhere near as inventive as the ones that made ZAZ movies famous, they did manage to occasionally produce a chuckle or two.

80s-o-meter: 71%

Total: 28%

#1778 King of the Mountain (1981)

As I watched King of the Mountain with a ruggedly handsome rogue driver wearing a leather jacket and boasting a wild curly hair, I could not to think this is where the iconic TV series drew its inspiration.

Some petrol heads race on the iconic Mulholland Drive over the Hollywood Hills and young Steve manages to beat them all, and breaks the old record by an eccentric mechanic Cal, who used to rule the hills. In a more interesting subplot there’s bunch of Steve’s musician friends in the brink of success who have to sell themselves short to make it big in the business.

Car racing movies where aplenty in the era, and for me this movie did not really do anything exceptionally well, or in a way that would stick with me. Anything you see here is bettered in multiple movies preceding or succeeding King of the Mountain.

80s-o-meter: 76%

Total: 42%

#1777 National Lampoon’s Movie Madness (1982)

Advertised in the poster as the spiritual followup to the vastly popular 1978 Animal House, Movie Madness is nowhere near the same quality. As in: absolutely nobody remembers this movie.

An anthology of three short films, every one less funny than the one preceding it, Movie Madness is a horrible misfire from the director Henry Jaglom who clearly grasp even the basics how to put together a mainstream comedy.

The only even remotely interesting aspect of the movie is seeing young(er) Christopher Lloyd playing a role in the last segment.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 2%

#1776 Bulletproof (1987)

If I see the name of Fred Olen Ray on a movie I know what I’m going to see will be entertaining. Many times hilariously bad, but always entertaining. And Bulletproof might be the most hilarious of them all. Plus every other imaginable superlative.

I honestly can’t tell if Bulletproof is an action comedy spoof akin to Hot Shots!. The movie manages to include every single Hollywood action cliché: there’s the rogue cop lead, tons of bad dialogue and kill lines and all latin American Marxists, Russian communists, arabs, ie all of the American’s favourite enemies of the era. And it is all such over the top and ridiculous that the movie will leave one entertained laughing – or scratching their head in disbelief.

This is amplified furthermore by the fact that the lead role is played by Gary Busey who just comes across plain goofy jumping around the scene and grinning like a madman. I do love Busey and having him in the movie like this is honestly just first topping on a cake. The second? His character in the movie is called McBain.

Yes, actually.. McBain.

80s-o-meter: 101%

Total: 90%

#1775 Alien Private Eye aka Space Detective (1989)

Something of a cult classic, Alien Private Eye starts weird until it turning into pretty much basic B-level action movie. The plot goes that there’s a guy from a faraway planet that resembles earth visiting earth and working as a private detective. There’s also a drug spreading from his planet called Soma, the alien he has pointy ears and he has some kind of wearable shooting suit in the end.

Aaaand this is pretty much as much as there’s scifi in this movie. Not much of the scifi aspect is backed in any way, and the movie could have very well done without the forced intergalactic connection.

As the weirdness fades away and we are left with the B-movie remains, that action is not bad at all, but everything before that is just so jarring that I won’t be looking forwards to seeing this movie again any time soon.

80s-o-meter: 78%

Total: 31%

#1774 A Change of Seasons (1980)

As you can tell from the poster, A Change of Seasons tries to get the masses interested in it by blatantly advertising a hot tub scene of Bo Derek in it.

Well, that scene does exist, but little of worth anyone interest follows. We have Derek once again picking up an older gentleman, and his wife trying to be a swinger also by starting a relationship with a semi hippie nature type. And everything that follows is just downright ridiculous. With no real characters to work with, Anthony Hopkins just ends up walking around confused producing one silly line after another in scenes that seem downright forced.

A Change of Seasons is classified as a comedy, but really there’s nothing side splitting here, and the comedic aspect is just overall silliness and unrelated persons performing nonsensical lines. If you really, really have to see Bo Derek, my advice is to pick up 10 (1979) instead.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 13%