As mind-nourishing as it is to watch clever films by respected directors, sometimes you just need to view some pure, unadulterated shit – the McDonald's of the film industry. And no one does deliciously naff films like the 80's. Film folk in this decade clearly had far too much money on their hands, and decided to compete for the most implausable plot imaginable. Ever since being thoroughly amazed by Earth Girls Are Easy (where a jazzily-attired manicurist falls in love with Jeff Goldblum the alien after his spaceship crashed into her pool) I have become something of a tacky 80's film connoseur. Here are a few seriously worth adding to your DVD collection, or, if you truly have excellent taste, merely re-watching.
First up is the classic John Hughes film about two self-described dorks who are pretty into science and unattainable girls, so naturally they attempt to combine the two. After scanning photos of various sexy ladies body parts, and connecting it all up with a doll they have just lying around, their beloved PC goes mad and causes sparks, smoke and multiple other special affects, and then whaddya know they've created a girl. Not just any girl, but a spandex-clad supermodel, who inexplicably is quite taken with them. She makes it her mission to help the boys become popular, which she achieves by magicking up new clothes, a sports car and fake ID – a valuable message for all the youngsters watching out there, I think. Despite both looking roughly thirteen, they make their way into a club, get progressively tipsy and decide to throw a party. Without totally spoiling the plot of the film I will tell you that it culminates with the party getting gatecrashed by MUTANTS. If that doesn't make you want to watch this now, then I don't know what will.
Choice Quote: ''Maybe it was a dream, you know - a very weird, bizarre, vivid, erotic, wet, detailed dream. Maybe we have malaria.''
Do you love Mean Girls? Silly question – 'course you do. In which case, you may want to take a seat, because I've got some heartbreaking news – it ripped off Heathers, big style. The main difference, apart from an infinitely superior wardrobe department, is that instead of writing in a Burn Book, this particular lady got her revenge on whoever pissed her off by killing 'em. Winona Ryder plays Veronica, the monacle-wearing protagonist, who hates her horrible and not-actually-that-hot friends, conveniently all named Heather.
After meeting local the bad-ass J.D. (quite clearly meant to be a Brando/ Dean type but he actually has the whiniest voice going) they fall madly in lust over a game of croquet which, naturally, progresses to a bit of a killing spree. Cleverly they disguise their assorted murders as suicides, so they get off dirt-free. Soon J.D.'s slash-happy ways start to disturb Veronica, and she wants out, but of course he's not having any of it. Shan't ruin the ending but watch out for a certain someone's middle finger getting shot off - it truly is a classic scene in cinematic history.
Choice Quote: Football season is over, Veronica. Kurt and Ram had nothing left to offer the school except for date rapes and AIDS jokes.
The thoroughly unrealistic story of this tasty little number is one of the all too often overlooked love between man and mannequins. Struggling artist Johnathan sculpted his vision of the perfect woman (artists make mannequins, right?) and it just so happens to be Samantha from Sex In The City. Years later, he spots his creation in the window of a department store, and is so smitten that he gets a job dressing windows in order to, er, spend more time with it. Lucky for him, this mannequin is in fact possessed with the spirit of an Ancient Egyptian princess (despite being thoroughly caucasian looking) and therefore is able to come to life when no one except Johnathan is around. How convenient.
Inspired by his 'love' for her, he becomes the best window dresser in town (artists dress windows, right? What else are they gonna do - paint?). Naturally his fellow colleagues notice he is unnaturally attatched to the dummy, but hey, he dresses windows so well that the majority of them are willing to let it slide. Not all are quite so forgiving, including his recently-shunned girlfriend, their rival department store's owner and, for some reason, the perenially pissed-off care taker, who utters the immortal line 'You are one sick puppy!'. Together, they scheme to expose his shady plastic-lovin' shenanigans, but not before some excellent fun-in-a-department store montages. I can't conclude without mentioning the frankly under-used character Hollywood Montrose, Johnathan's flamboyant sidekick, who sports an impressive array of statement sunglasses and more makeup than a Mac counter.
Choice Quote: Two things I love to do is fight and kiss boys!
The Lost Boys
Frankly, Twilight gave vampires on film a bad name - nowadays, they are percieved as being all sensitive, glittery and more than a little bit emo. Decades before Bella & Edward's frighteningly intense relationship captured the hearts of angst-ridden teens the world over, there were The Lost Boys. The Harley-riding, blood-sucking gang of impressively-mulleted vampires quite rightly enjoy terrorising Santa Cruz, and when a new boy arrives in town they decide to recruit him, why not.
After consuming some dubious-looking 'wine' (read: blood), Michael wakes up the next day with a dangly cross earring, chalky skin and a sudden aversion to sunlight. Only his pesky lil' brother is having none of it, and so recruits two young comic afficionados who, of course, know exactly what to do. They set about killing the head vampire - and anyone else who gets in their way - before it's too late for Michael and his obligitary love interest lady-vampire. Will they ever manage it? The odds are admitedly against them, considering they're pre-pubescent boys against a gang of full-on men that also happen to be vampires, but it's a family film - of course they do! Good always triumphs over evil, and all that jazz.
Choice Quote: My own brother, a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire. You wait 'till mom finds out, buddy!
This little bundle of cinematic joy contains everything I desire in an 80's film – extreme clothing, wonderful soundtrack, and an impromptu dance routine. The lovely Molly Ringwald plays Andie, who lives on the 'wrong side of the tracks', makes her own clothes and works in a record store (what a rebel). Naturally a lady so unique attracts an admirer, in the form of Ducky, by far the films best character. The boy has style to cobble dogs with and talks like something out of a 50's mobster movie, but alas, his love is unrequited – Andie only has eyes for the rich and popular Blaine, and in a quite unrealistic fashion, the feeling is mutual.
At first things seem to be promising for their burgeoning relationship, but the pressure piles on from the folk around them – family, friends, not to mention the unethically rejected Ducky - and, eventually, the shit hits the fan. You can learn of all the ins and outs when you watch it, which you ought to, because it is a truly wonderful film. I have just one teeny tiny little niggle – she quite clearly opts for the wrong guy. Really, who wouldn't plump for someone that strolled into their place of work, and just for giggles, did this..?