5 Things I Hate Most About 1980's Cinema


I've recently come to the conclusion that I despise 1980's cinema. What most people love about the films of the 80's I have hated since I can remember. E.T. is considered a classic by today's standards, but I found it to be terrifying as a young child and even today I wet my pants at the thought of the extraterrestrial that so many people love. So, after little thought (it all came to me so quickly and naturally that I needn't ponder for too long what my selections will be) I have compiled a list of the top five things I hate about the 1980's film industry. I'm almost positive everyone will disagree with me. Good.

5. Chevy Chase
The Vacation franchise (Vacation, European Vacation, Christmas Vacation, and later, Vegas Vacation) was enough to convince me as a child that Mr. Chase was one of the un-funniest men in Hollywood. The Griswolds were one of the most obnoxious, uncultured and unnecessary families Hollywood had seen and having them go on vacation in the first place was a horrible idea. Who wants to go to Walley World anyway? Not I says the annoyed five-year-old child--that's me. Vacation grossed over $61 million domestically and placed eleventh as the year's bestselling film in 1983. America doesn't only make mistakes over seas. Chase also starred in many other embarrassing comedies from the eighties such as the brainless Caddyshack and Caddyshack II, Three Amigos and other films that no one can (or should recall): Under the Rainbow, The Deal of the Century, Spies Like Us, Funny Farm, etc. Perhaps I'd be able to forgive him for his transgressions as another reason to hate the 1980's, but his choices for films in the 90's and recent films have been poor. He's been reduced to voicing animals in major box office flops like The Karate Dog and Doogal. He never could live up to his brilliance on Saturday Night Live.

4. Franchises of the 1980's
Police Academy (six installments in the 80's!), Caddyshack, Revenge of the Nerds, Porky's, Indiana Jones, Vacation, Back to the Future, Crocodile Dundee, Ghost Busters, Lethal Weapon, Poltergeist, Beverly Hills Cop. I don't even think today's franchises could live up to the awfulness of the Reagan era. And let me make this clear right now: I do hate Indiana Jones, Back to the Future and Ghost Busters. I have since I was little and I have never found myself enjoying any of them upon many viewings.

3. Oscar-winning and Oscar-snubbed Films
Though I love 1980's Ordinary People, Raging Bull should have taken home the statuette that night. That formula (this won, but this should have won) is pretty consistent throughout the decade.
1985: Out of Africa won, but The Color Purple should have won.
1989: Driving Miss Daisy won, but Field of Dreams should have won.

Many critics will also argue E.T.'s snub (losing to Gandhi) and Raiders of the Lost Ark's snub (losing to Chariots of Fire). I won't, however.

2. Teen/College Comedies
The most painful, raunchy, idiotic comedies about the shenanigans of high school and college-age kids prevailed in the 80's. Animal House proved to be the quintessential college comedy by showcasing perversion, drinking, and sex as the main elements of college. It was probably accurate back then and it certainly is now, but there's only one difference: none of those things are funny in real life. I have yet to identify with any such of these movies like Porky's, Revenge of the Nerds and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (probably the first successful teen comedy) and I don't plan on attempting to delve any further into a genre that repulses me, objectifies women and promotes chauvinism in lighthearted manners. No thank you.

1. The Brat Pack
They were too cool for school and too cool for me. Or at least they thought they were too cool. The Brat Pack dominated the 1980's and embodied the next generation of the era. The teens they were playing were the teens that were lining up to theatres to see Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. They were the coolest of the coolest, and played the angstiest of the angstiest. I try to avoid these annoying characters at all costs.

My Top 10 Favorite Movies of the 1980's
1. Amadeus
2. Stand by Me
3. Au revoir les enfants
4. Ordinary People
5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
6. The Land Before Time
7. Willow
8. The Shining
9. Spoorloos
10. Heathers