#1815 Criminal Law (1988)

Criminal Law turned out to be a solid late 80s thriller involving a young yuppie defense attorney for whom winning has been everything, until freeing an accused man he begins to have second thoughts about.

I originally assumed Criminal Law to be a courthouse drama with a thriller twist to it – the movie does open with a court case – but really most of the action here happens elsewhere. That being said, the theme of truth, judgment, law, and justice is present throughout the movie.

Young Kevin Bacon and Gary Oldman (in his first role with an American accent) make for a dynamic duo, and it’s especially Oldman’s portrayal of a successful lawyer on top of his game that resembles Christian Bale’s role in the American Psycho.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 76%

#1814 Krush Groove (1985)

I’ve now watched the majority of the 80s hiphop movies, and the verdict is that there’s two definite time capsules of the era that no-one interested in the culture should skip. The other one is Beat Street, and Krush Groove here is the other.

Set in the bustling New York City scene, the film revolves around the trials and tribulations of Russell Walker, a young music producer trying to make a mark in the fiercely competitive world of hip-hop. With an impressive ensemble cast featuring iconic artists like Run-D.M.C. & Jam Master Jay, LL Cool J, Kurtis Blow, Sheila E. and Beastie Boys, the movie pulsates with the rhythm of the era’s hip-hop music.

While both films capture the essence of hip-hop, Krush Groove leans towards entertainment and the music business side of the movement and celebrates the emergence of hip-hop as a commercial powerhouse, encapsulating the rise of hip-hop in the mainstream.

80s-o-meter: 94%

Total: 95%

#1813 Call Me (1988)

The 1988 thriller Call Me depicts a young woman getting allured by a mysterious caller and getting involuntarily involved in a case of murder and a wad of missing cash.

Leaning more into erotic tones and mystery, Call Me might not offer the heart-pounding action of a thriller, but it compensates all this with pure ambiance and enigmatic allure that kept me engaged to the experience right to the end.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 76%

#1812 Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984)

Released only seven months after the first one, I was expecting Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo to be more of the same cringe and badness than the first installation, so I really, really wasn’t looking forward to watching this sequel.

To my positive surprise this second part puts much more effort into the musical dance numbers and makes them much more entertaining in general. Also, the production team seems to have found much more street dance talent this time around, much for the benefit of the movie.

The movie is in many ways much more over the top and there seems to even be a plot line this time around, and I have to admit that I actually enjoyed watching this one.

80s-o-meter: 92%

Total: 75%

#1811 Breakin’ aka Breakdance (1984)

Ah, the youth musicals.. Cue an endless source of cringe.

This goes with Breakin’ as well. This depiction of a young rich girl wanting to get into street wise dancing team and the breakdancing street people is a non-stop stream of life being oh-so-hard.

Dance numbers that might’ve saved the movie are quite underwhelming, and the body popping demonstrated by the leading duo looks like as if I was improvising in front of a camera. This is to say, it’s no good.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 22%

#1810 Bad Manners aka Growing Pains (1984)

Partly road movie, black comedy and coming to age story, Bad Manners seems to try and abandon a lot of avenues, but never quite gets very far in any.

This is one of those quirky comedies where everyone is just outright weird, which soon becomes plain stupid, and renderers the viewer indifferent about the events on the screen.

The movie gets a few points of its edginess, but everything else here is just horribly messy.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 22%

#1809 Fortress of Amerikkka (1989)

Resembling more of a video game than a movie, Fortress of Amerikkka follows an alternative reality in a small rural town somewhere in America where corrupt Sheriff and crazed militia group fight for the power and terrorise the citizen.

Like many other movies distributed by Troma, Fortress of Amerikkka is more of a experience that has a little bit of everything low brow and exploitative, and of course lots of bad acting and naked skin just for the heck of it and as an action movie it’s just a bit entertaining than it really deserves to be.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 71%

#1808 Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985)

Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart is a subtle little indie like movie following short period of life and events of two generations of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco.

Although the geographical location, ethnic background and challenges in life are quite alien to me, the movie still succeeds to make at very relatable, successfully inviting the viewer to their living room for a short period of time that felt that it was over too soon.

80s-o-meter: 55%

Total: 65%

#1807 Bad Girls Dormitory aka Bad Girls (1986)

Bad Girls Dormitory starts off as any sleazy women prison exploitation movie out there: someone innocent gets jailed, they go to prison with a sadistic warden, corrupt staff and strict picking order between the prisoners. Catfights and topless shower scenes aplenty.

Compared to the other similar sleaze out there, Bad Girls Dormitory landed somewhere in the lower rank, with shoddy production values and with the whole movie looking like it was shot in a backstage of an empty restaurant.

What I did not see coming thought was that in the third act Bad Girls Dormitory turns from below average prison exploitation to actually quite good and entertaining action movie. If the movie had relied only on this aspect, the movie could have been something of a gold nugget instead of the kind of turkey it is.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 45%

#1806 Miss Firecracker (1989)

I’ve seen my fair share of 80s comedies that classify themselves quirky. You know, the ones where every character is off just a little. The problem is that this quirkiness, meant to create memorable characters with lovable peculiarities often falls short and the characters feel forcefully written and acted, and often come across plain annoying.

Miss Firecracker gets all of this right. With its cast of a young girl (Holly Hunter) dissatisfied of her life and wanting to change the course of her life by entering a local beauty contest, and her two cousins Delmount (Tim Robbins) and Elain (Mary Steenburgen) with equally interesting traits to them the movie is just plain entertaining and soothing to watch.

80s-o-meter: 54%

Total: 93%

#1805 Walking the Edge (1985)

Walking the Edge is a revenge / vigilante movie portraying an asian housewife seeking revenge against the killers of her family, and finding an unexpected ally in Forster, a taxi-driver who gets dragged into the action against his will.

The leading duo is an interesting, strange couple that never seem to mix in a believable way; I would not be surprised if the two leads did not get along behind the scenes as the always seem to be unhappy sharing the same space.

The film’s vigilante theme is a standard fare in every possible way, but with Robert Forster delivering a surprisingly charming performance as the reluctant hero with an unlikely love interest to the unlikely killer, not bothered by the complete lack of chemistry between the two.

80s-o-meter: 65%

Total: 61%

#1804 The Fan (1981)

I recently watched The Seduction, a movie quite line The Fan with a handsome stalker of an admirer tormenting the female lead with his clumsy attempts to get their attention.

Both movies, released in the early 80s at first seem to be inspired by the public stalking cases that caught public attention during the era, but interestingly the original novel that The Fan is based actually precedes these cases.

Besides all this The Fan is a drag, an utter disappointment of a movie and a thriller, with very little to give 40 years after its first release; skimming the movie now through again for a review I can’t come up with one single positive thing to bring up about it.

80s-o-meter: 61%

Total: 11%

#1803 Confessions of a Serial Killer (1985)

Based on the true story of Henry Lee Lucas, Confessions of a Serial Killer follows the interrogations of a serial killer speaking openly to the investigators about the horrific acts performed before getting caught.

The documentary style works well and the depictions of killing just for fun are quite devastating to watch, and especially the suspension in the last part of the movie is almost too much to take in.

80s-o-meter: 65%

Total: 72%

#1802 Miami Connection (1987)

Dubbed as the lost action movie of the 80s, and released fully restored in Bluray in 2012 with a showy marketing efforts, Miami Connection manages to live up to expectations with its zany plot of motorcycle ninjas battling with drug lords and picking a fight with a rock group specialising in Taekwondo themed music. Truly something that could have only written and released in the 80s without any self irony.

The musical aspect of the band Dragon Sound with mullets and ’stashes ad libbing unbelievably catchy songs like ”Against the Ninja” and ”Friends through eternity, loyalty, honesty” (sic) adds another awesome level to the movie, and right from the first song we hear them playing it’s quite clear that the viewer will be entertained here, no matter what the plot is: this is all about the atmosphere.

Miami Connection is the kind of a movie that would have not gotten good reviews or following when it was originally released, but the sheer amount of 80s style truly makes it a priceless treasure for any fan of the era.

80s-o-meter: 98%

Total: 90%

#1801 Making Mr. Right (1987)

Making Mr.Right’s story revolves around a driven public relations executive (Ann Magnuson), tasked to transform a socially awkward android (John Malkovich) into a marketable household name and trying to connect with androids even more complex creator.

Drawing its humour from complexities of relationships, identity, and human connection, the movie manages to make mostly best out of its utterly silly premise, although most of the head dropping clueless android gags fail to really amuse.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 64%

#1800 Last Resort (1986)

Last Resort is one of those silly and totally harmless comedies of the 80s that could have been almost entirely forgettable without the strong cast of Charles Grodin, John Ashton and Jon Lovitz starring in it. There just never was anyone better than Grodin to portray your average white collar American who when faced with huge adversities keeps on talking softly and agreably while building up thrilling amount of anger behind his polite smile.

There are also some gags here that genuinely made me laugh, like being stuck in a bungalow walls so paper thin that anyone can hear them speaking; upon discussing with his wife if they should make love they decide to pass on it, concluding the night by telling they love each other, to which their son replies that he also loves them.

Also the Lovitz’ character of a bartender not getting one word Grodin says to him, and often popping to scenes uninvited is a recurring gag that eventually managed to made me snicker.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 74%