1.)The Beastmaster: I have to tip my hat to Brandon Michael Barker creator/owner of MANORMONSTER? STUDIOS (among other cool things you should really check out) on this one... He mentioned this as one of his favorite films of the 80's after he was kind enough to read my ramblings about my favorite 80's films. Anyway, my eyes literally bugged out of my head when he mentioned this film because it truly is an awesome movie of the 80's that I used to watch all the time growing up. It was always on the USA network, TBS or some other cable network as a weekend afternoon movie... I remember thinking it was so cool because I liked the Conan films and he was sort of like Conan but w/ animals and a huge empathetic heart(while still killing lots of people in cool ways). Some of the imagery from this film is burned in my brain too. There's this king w/ his eyes plucked out that looked super creepy to me as a kid and there are these Bat-like creatures that would crush people into bones and powder using there giant wings... It is kind messed up really, but in a really cool way. Anyway, this film has sort of slipped my mind over the years so it definitely needs to be on this list. So right on Brandon for the "interwebbiclenet" punch to the face!
2.)Solarbabies: This one goes out to my cousin Damien and fellow film fiend because he might love this film even more than I do... And I love this film! This is another one of those films that was always playing on a Sunday afternoon on some random cable station in the 80's and 90's. Skating was huge in the 80's, so was sci fi, and of course, global warming and climate change is always in fashion... the end result- Solarbabies... Honestly, this movie is super original... there is just all this weird stuff that is so cool going on... The kids get a hold of this glowing sphere called Bo-di( think of it like if ET were a sphere instead of an alien) and play hockey w/ it and then break dance w/ it and then... hit it real hard with a hockey stick...what more can you ask for... What more I ask! Plus, Jason Patrick was super cool and Jami Gertz is super hot AND this dude gets eaten by some kind of weird ant torture technology! In many ways this film is at the very height of everything the 80's film was and is to this day! Strange, Angsty, sci fi and teens in a pg-13 movie! And that being said, people don't really remember this film until you describe it to them and normally they are like "oh yeah... that movie was pretty cool." or " oh yeah that movie sucks dude and you suck too now get out of here... seriously, leave now... Dude don't say Solarbabies again...dude I mean it... I hate you." Either way it leaves a Quiet impression in the hearts of many. ( meaning Damien and me)
3.)Bad Boys: No!!! Not the other Bad Boys film w/ Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. I'm talking about some young Sean Penn and Ally Sheedy, "Bad as hell Boys!" This movie is about EXACTLY what the title says... Young men doing bad things and ending up in some kind of Boys school. It is a messed up Boy School though... They had cells like they were in prison. (I have never been to Boys School...so) This movie is super intense! There are car chases, shootings, so many different types of assaults I can't name them all and lets not forget love and revenge! The film has a huge heart to it too. It is very heavy and melancholy and extremely violent at times. But it is a truly awesome- forgotten 80's film, and you know what... And I'm not ashamed to admit this... It always makes me shed a few tears at the end. Sure, it has this super bad ass fight, but it's how the fight plays out that tug's at my heart strings... Because as the films closes we are reminded that these Bad Boys are simply just- boys trying to figure things out.
4.)Willow: This is another film that jumps on and off my top ten best 80's film list (I did a blog about that awhile back) and it's because it is a great film. It's one of these story by George Lucas films and is directed by Ron Howard. And as most of us have learned over the years George Lucas tells an incredible story, but his story's improve 10 fold when someone else directs them. Not to ever take anything away from Mr. Lucas he is one of my heroes. Anyway, his finger prints are all over this film, but it is shaped and molded beautifully by Mr. Howard. Here's what is really kind of cool too... There's a Star Wars connection... See Star Wars was originally going to center around "little people," That's right George Lucas wanted Luke to be a "little person." It of course was changed, but I think it is so cool that later on he came back to the idea because it is a very smart concept! It is a more literal portrayal of what human's can do if they put there mind to it. No challenge is too big, anyone can overcome! AND anyone no matter how small can make a difference! That to me is what Willow is about. When we first meet Willow he is literally small in stature but has big dreams... He doubts himself and he gets kicked around in his town. So when he finds Alora ( lost baby and future queen) his first instinct is to get rid of her... He doesn't want or need the responsibly. But by the time the movie ends he is everything he wanted to be and more... And he isn't scare to fail. This movie is all heart and it also has some awesome special effects and battle scenes! In fact, Willow was the first film ever to use "Morphing technology." This would later be explored even further in T2 and Michael Jackson's Black or White video. And it is yet another cool thing we owe to George Lucas and ILM. So I am here to remind you of how cool this film is, and tell you to watch it again! Or for the first time!
5.)Running on Empty: This movie is pound for pound one of the best 80's dramas... It is about a couple that is on the run from the Feds due to a war protest bombing gone wrong back in the 70's. But here's the heart of the story. while the couple is on the run they have a few kids who have grown up on the run too. This is the only life they know and Danny (River Phoenix) the oldest boy just happens to be a musical prodigy. He becomes torn between the life he knows and life he wants for himself. He has this huge sense of responsibly to his family and his father has learned to rely of him a great deal. The emotion in this movie and it's heart make it one of the best kept secrets of the 80's film. And the end is so good- if it doesn't make you cry a little or choke up... then you are a cyborg from the future who only cares about finding Sarah Connor.
6.) Mosquito Coast: This is one of Harrison Ford's greatest films... I and many people have probably never seen it and maybe not even heard of it? It is about an inventor who becomes obsessed w/ Nuclear destruction and American excess. He decides that he is going to move his family to somewhere in Central America to start a new life. This film is so cool and so out there. As a kid I loved this it because it was so suspenseful and interesting and so far from the way I was growing up, but I totally related to the kids. The man builds this giant ice machine and begins to trade w/ the locals and has all these conflicts w/ drifters and this Preacher who's belief's and values are dead opposite from Ford's character (Allie Fox). It is a very intense and off beat type of movie and doesn't end very happy, but it is a great film. I also read once that it is Harrison Ford's favorite film he has ever done. Check it out! (good luck finding it though... I think it's out of print? ps: I own it:) I'm a jerk)
7.) White Water Summer: This is a personal favorite that I am constantly trying to find on DVD. It is about a kid from the city who sort of lives in his own world, who goes to "rough it" in the wilderness with this intense- ass camp guide/instructor(Vic), played incredibly by Kevin Bacon! I do not bull shit you when I say that if you haven't seen this film YOU NEED TO ASAP! Find it somewhere and watch it. The tone is super intense and uncomfortable as hell. Vic is such an asshole, but you empathize w/ him and sort of understand why he acts the way he does. Sean Astin plays the city kid and he actually narrates the film, and it is actually one of his best performances. The Boys basically become men by working together and using Vic's way of doing things as well as their own, but not before some messed up stuff happens to bring everyone together. Go watch this film and when you do please come back here and tell me your thoughts. (cool sound track too)
8.) The Monster Squad : Okay... Hopefully some of you have seen this film... If you haven't think Goonies meets the Universal Monsters. I love this movie. It seriously isn't Halloween in our house w/ out it! See in our house we watch horror films all of October and quite a bit throughout the year, time permitting. Anyway, the kids maybe aren't quite as good of child actors as the Goonies kids, but they do commit well to there roles! And there are a lot of great and memorable lines. The plot is solid and has some pretty cool special effects for the time period. Also, the look of the universal monsters were updated( I think mainly because it wasn;t a universal film) and I think they are the coolest versions of Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein's Monster, The Mummy and My favorite The Creature/ Gillman. The make up was done by Stan Winston and it is some of his finest and most subtle work! And did I mention that they refer to sex as being "dorked" and testicles as "nards?" Yeah, that's what I thought... I'm just being real... Watch it!
9.) Teen Wolf: Written by Jeph Loeb... This film is so much fun to watch. I am sure this is one that isn't as "Quiet" as some of the ones I have mentioned, but I have a feeling it just needs to be on here. Let's put aside the fact that I love Michael J. Fox in damn near anything and just reflect on the fact that a WereWolf plays basketball and surfs on top of vans and everyone just acts like it's perfectly normal. That is all that needs to be said!
10.) Waith: This movie is just weird as hell and bad ass! I used to love this film when I was a kid. It's dark, gritty and doesn't ever fully explain itself, which is why I love it some much. Let me try to explain the plot... Okay, so this dude and this girl are together and then the dude is killed by a huge asshole and then he comes back as another dude and has this cool alien-like car that he kills people w/... Do you want to watch it yet? Plus, Charlie Sheen is in it, and he has Tigers Blood. It is just a really messed up film that was on random cable stations all the time when I was a kid (normally late at night), and I liked it because it sort of felt like I shouldn't be watching it, but it was just passing enough to where it was probably okay-but might keep me up at night after I watch it? So anyway give this film a chance. I think you will like it. It's a kind of bad kind of good type of film.
11.) Masters of the Universe: I know someone will be pissed about this one, but I loved the hell out of this movie as a kid. Oh Matt's sick at home in the 80's... Hmmm what should he do- Watch Masters of the Universe - check! This movie is almost nothing like the cartoon, but that it what is so cool about it... See, today everything has to be kid friendly and have the little jokes for the adults in there too, but MOTU was kind of balls out. It was dark and had a lot of violence and blood in it... This is a classic PG-13 style film. And it's a cool 80's sci-fi film too! They basically use a synthesizer to time travel and that is so 80's the koolaid guy just moon walked through my wall at 88 miles per hour! (I don't know what that means, but it just feels right) Anyway, this movie is pure metal and because of that it makes number 11 on my list of 10, because 11 is one more than 10:)
Honorable mentions: Some kind of Wonderful, Chances Are, Better off Dead. Legend, D.A.R.Y.L...These films almost made the list and they may tomorrow:)
So there they are... 10 Quiet Classics from the 80's! Tell me what you think and please mention some films that I didn't! Thanks for reading!