Thursday, January 18, 2007

13 80’s Movies You May Have Forgotten

I came across Secret Admirer the other day on TV, and it reminded me of all the movies I enjoyed in the 80’s that weren’t as popular as Pretty in Pink or Sixteen Candles. Therefore, I thought it was a perfect topic for a Thursday Thirteen. Here is a list of movies from the 80’s that I enjoyed that weren’t written by John Hughes.

In the coming weeks, stay tuned for 80’s horror movies and my favorite movies of the 80’s, as I continue my 80’s rewind!

1. Secret Admirer (1985) – This movie revolves around the age-old tradition of teenage love letters, and what would happen if one found its way into the adult world. As you can imagine, chaos ensues. Secret Admirer stars C. Thomas Howell (What the heck ever happened to him, anyway?) and young Kelly Preston who looked like she was really enjoying playing the bitchy popular girl. A definite renter!

2. Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1985) – A young Sarah Jessica Parker plays Janey, a girl new to Chicago. She befriends Lynn (Helen Hunt who is freaking hilarious in this role). The two share a passion for dancing and become obsessed with winning a dance contest on Dance TV! I love this movie!! It also costars a 12-year-old Shannon Doherty, and a very hot Lee Montgomery. (Where is he now?)

3. Blow Out (1981) – This is a fabulous thriller! John Travolta stars as a sound effects man who while outside recording nature sounds, records the sound of car having a blow out. He rescues a passenger from the car, and later discovered that he had accidentally recorded much more than a blow out. This is a must-see!!

4. Gleaming The Cube (1989) – This is the first movie in which I ever saw Christian Slater! He plays a bleached blond skateboarder who takes it upon himself to investigate his brother’s apparent suicide. With the help of his skate boarding friends, they work to bring his brother’s killers to justice. This is a great guilty pleasure!

5. Heathers (1989) – Speaking of Christian Slater, this is an outstanding movie if you love dark comedies. Christian plays Jason Dean, a new kid in school looking for a Bonnie to his Clyde. He finds that in Veronica (Winona Ryder). The two team up and begin offing the popular kids at school and making them look like suicides. It doesn’t sound funny, but it is. It really, really is!!

6. Just One of the Guys (1985) – While gender swapping in movies has been overdone, few have the charm of Just One of the Guys. Terry is a frustrated writer, and becomes annoyed when her article doesn’t make the cut for a school contest. She thinks it’s because she’s a girl. So what does she do? She enrolls in a rival school and submits her article as a boy. Hijinks ensue. And, this movie has the greatest eighties villain of all – William Zabka (of Karate Kid fame).

7. Xanadu (1980) – I don’t know that I would classify this as a little known movie, but I know it was a flop. I, however, loved it, and still do. Olivia Newton-John in a roller skating musical?! Who could resist that?! It would take waaaay too long to attempt to explain the premise of this movie, but in a nutshell, Olivia plays Kira, a muse who inspires Sonny to open a nightclub. How is that for summing it up? The great thing about this movie is the music. I have the soundtrack on vinyl, cassette and CD!

8. Used Cars (1980) – This is such an underrated film. It is a comedic masterpiece, and has one of the best driving set pieces ever put on film, plus an extremely climactic ending! The characters in this film are slimy used car salesmen, led by Kurt Russell, but you can’t help but love them. Jack Warden plays the Fuchs brothers. Luke Fuchs owns the lot with the good guys, and Roy Fuchs, his evil twin, owns the lot across the street. Roy desperately wants to take over his brother’s failing business, and it is up to Kurt Russell and friends to save the lot from Roy’s evil clutches. If you guys haven’t seen this movie, you must! Rent it! Check it out from the library! Whatever! But put it on your must-see list!

9. Quicksilver (1986) – What would an 80’s list be without a Kevin Bacon film? Since there are so many, it wasn’t difficult to find one that was a little less known than others. In Quicksilver, Kevin plays Jack, an ex-stock market whiz who becomes a bike messenger after losing his shirt (and his nerve) in the market. It has great bike scenes, and it’s a surprisingly touching movie as Jack tries to regain his nerve and self-respect in order to help a friend.

10. Grease 2 (1982) – Another flop makes my list. I had to put this one on here. It’s the first movie in which I ever saw Michelle Pfeiffer. And some movies are just so bad that they are incredibly entertaining. I don’t even want to embarrass myself by telling you all how many times I’ve scene this one, but who could resist such musical gems as “Let’s Score Tonight” and “Reproduction.” You can’t beat that!

11. Lucas (1986) – As a former 80’s girl who had a crush on one of the Coreys (Haim), I had to include the best movie of his career. This is a very touching portrayal of a nerdy boy (we can all relate to that on some level) who hopes to gain acceptance in high school by not backing down against the school bullies. Lucas attempts to make the football team by befriending a new popular girl. Unfortunately, he falls in love with her while she falls in love with his protector (Charlie Sheen), the school football star. It’s a great movie that touches on the difficulties of growing up. That’s what makes it timeless. (Note: This is Winona Ryder’s debut film.)

12. Baby Boom (1987) – This film really takes the urban yuppy theme from the 80’s and runs with it. Every woman wants to have it all, and Baby Boom delves into whether or not that is actually possible. Diane Keaton plays a corporate executive known as the “Tiger Lady.” She is on the verge of becoming partner with her company when she inherits a baby from her English cousin. Now, she must figure out how to juggle motherhood and corporate life. The movie definitely heads into fairy tale land, but it still ends on a great note. Plus, I love Diane Keaton in just about anything.

13. Night of the Comet (1984) – Okay, this is another one of those completely implausible guilty pleasure movies. A comet passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, creating a brilliant light show. The last time this comet passed by was over 65,000,000 years ago – about the time the dinosaurs disappeared. Anyone see where this is going? You got it! After the comet passes through, the only people to survive are those who were protected behind steel walls and didn’t see it. These people would be – a cheerleader, a valley girl, and a truck driver. Why not? Now they have to figure out what happened to everyone and figure out how to survive. But watch out for all those zombies! Okay, this really sounds ridiculous, but it’s entertaining. I promise!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Mo and The Purries said...

Baby Boom is one of my favorites -- Diane Keaton in that movie is hilarious!
Oh -- one you missed: Adventures in Babysitting! ("Don't f*ck with the lords of death" --- "Don't f*ck with the babysitter!")

Great list! I must admit, I've never seen #13: night of the comet. Sounds just like something I would love (or something I would WRITE!)

Happy TT!

Mine's up at
It’s A Blog Eat Blog World

Desert Songbird said...

Great list! It's not a little known movie, but I've always loved "Better Off Dead." I adore John Cusack, and that newspaper delivery kids is flippin' hilarious - "...twoooooooo dollars. Twooooooooo dollars!"

Unknown said...

Baby Boom made me want to move to Vermont and have a house with a wrap around porch! I loved this list

Anonymous said...

I didn't see any of those! I think I spent that entire decade without seeing very many movies.

Anonymous said...

I loved Night of the Comet! and Lucas! and Just One of the Guys! and Gleaming the Cube! and Secret Admirer!

Oy, I feel old.

Anonymous said...

I remember some of those. Some fondly (Heathers) and some cringingly (Night of the Comet - another good recovering-from-surgery-and-heavily-medicated movies).

And yes, it seemed like in the 80s you couldn't swing a cat without hitting a John Waters movie!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the 80's an only remember 2 movies on that list.

Unknown said...

Ok Im a dork too then! I love Grease 2!

Anonymous said...

Great list! I loved Secret Admirer, Gleaming the Cube, and Just One of the Guys. I'm not a big fan of Grease 2 at because I love Grease so much! Do you remember Can't Buy Me Love starring none other than Mr. McDreamy Patrick Dempsey? I think it was in the 80's. I love movies and this was an interesting list. My 13 is up:
Please check it out.

Desert Songbird said...

Finally got my TT up.

Lexa Roséan said...

yes I think I had forgotten all of those aunt clara ish of me
The Witch Dr is IN

Celfyddydau said...

Great list. The only one I know I saw was Baby Boom.

Amanda said...

I've only seen Grease 2 of those... I wonder if they'll ever have 80s night on TV!

Lisa said...

Unfortunately I still remember some of these. Happy T13

Haley-O (Cheaty) said...

Omigosh! I can't believe I have not seen any of those but Heathers and Grease 2! What have I been missing!

Carina said...

Okay, I must be younger than I thought I was, because I don't remember those. When I think eighties movies I think Real Genius, War Games, Labyrinth, Princess Bride. Good TT though!

Peg said...

What fun! Man, I totally LOVED C. Thomas Howell back then...*sigh*

Crazy Working Mom said...

Great list.

I love the movie, Lucas!

Julie in Texas said...

Wow! You had a bunch on your list I had never heard of and I was a teen in the 80's that loved movies!

Baby Boomer is probably one of my favorites.

Have a great day!

Jill said...

the only one that I remember watching is Grease 2!! The other one don't seem familiar to me, but I watch a lot of movies, so...
My tt are up!!

Anonymous said...

Heathers & Night of the Comet are all-time favorites.
I remember Blow Out & Xanadu too.
Thanks for the flashback moment.
Have a fabulous week,

PJ said...

The only ones that I've seen are Girls just wanna have fun and Grease 2. I also liked Adventures in Babysitting and Soul Man.

My TT is at The Urban Recluse

Sparky Duck said...

Ive seen 4 thru 13 and Heathers is still in my top 25 all time.

Scribbit said...

Where was I in the 80s?? I haven't seen one of those. Not even the first Grease. Or Splash. Or Breakfast Club. Or Pretty in Pink. I must have been asleep.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, #2 is great!

Bubba said...

Night of the Comet!!!! I used to watch that one perpetually...there are a couple of guilty pleasures on your list.

My list is up at Happy TT!

Sadie said...

I know EVERY WORD to Grease 2.

I had my first kiss at Lucas.

And I love Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Just One of the Guys.