As a child of the 80s, I grew up with leg warmers, Punk rock music and Rubik’s cube. But nothing, and I mean nothing, beats the awesomely bad 80s movies.
Movie makers were just figuring out that kids (not just adults) were willing to spend their money at the movies in the 80s.
And with this new-found fountain of revenue came a level of courage that made the movie producers unafraid to make ridiculously bad movies. I couldn’t be more grateful.
Now that I have kids of my own, I find myself wishing they were just a bit older so I could share with them these awesomely bad 80s movies of my childhood.
And, to be honest, I’m shocked at just how bad and inappropriate a lot of the content is.
And yet, I’m wishing to watch these movies once again.
Unfortunately, my sons just aren’t old enough yet. But good things come to those who wait.
And wait I will. This post contains affiliate links.
Space Camp: For five typical teens, NASA’s space camp promises to be a fun wayto blow off the summer. But when a space shuttle exercise misfires, they find themselves launched into orbit, facing the adventure of a lifetime. Now, the only way back to Earth is to take command of the ship and control of their destinies, before time and oxygen run out!
You’ll be shocked at the actor powerhouses in this film — Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Larry B. Scott, Leaf Phoenix and Tate Donovan.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Before Sarah Jessica Parker was taking NYC by storm, all she dreamed of was dancing… in this movie at least. Janey (Sarah Jessica Parker) is a shy good girl. Lynne (Helen Hunt) is a cool rock chick. But when the two friends scheme to get Janey on television’s biggest after-school dance show, they find themselves on a wild adventure filled with cute boys, hot dancing, prudish nuns, mean rich kids, parents that just don’t understand, and girls doing what they know best…just having fun.
In the days when HBO only showed 10 films a month over and over again, my brother and I spent one summer watching this movie over and over again. It was the ultimate guilty pleasure as a kid.
Mannequin: Jonathan Switcher (Andrew McCarthy) has certainly been living up to his name. A frustrated artist, he switches from one dead-end job to another, never managing to hold on to any of them. But all of that changes when a mannequin he created for a department store window comes magically to life! Gorgeous and statuesque, this fiberglass femme fatale (Kim Cattrall) helps Jonathan turn his career around, inspiring him to be the best window dresser in town. But she soon discovers that the real world isn’t so easy, when they run into competitors who want to put them out of business for good!
Revenge of the Nerds: In this hilarious satire on college life, a group of misfits led by Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards decides to start their own fraternity after being rejected by every house on campus. Bullied by the jocks on campus, these misfits resolve to fight back for peace and self respect.
Grease 2: Michelle Pfeiffer stars in this musical about a brainy Australian student comes to Rydell High School and tries to win the heart of the top Pink Lady in this sequel to the 1970s hit film.
If you haven’t seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to watch it just to see Michelle Pfeiffer sing “Cool Rider.”
Weekend at Bernies: It sounded like a great weekend away at their boss Bernie’s beach side pleasure palace. But when working stiffs Larry and Richard (Andrew McCarthy and Jonathon Silverman) arrive to find a their murdered boss they’re forced to concoct a crazy scheme to avoid being blamed by pretending he is still alive.
Teen Witch: Louise (Robyn Lively) is a shy misfit with a huge crush on (and no chance of dating) Brad (Dan Gauthier), the hunky star of the high school football team. And when Louise discovers on her 16th birthday that she’s descended from Salem witches, she uses her new-found powers to become the most popular girl on campus! But when sparks fly between her and Brad, how can she be sure it’s true love and that he’s not simply spellbound?
Breakin’: A struggling young jazz dancer (Lucinda Dickey) meets up with two break-dancers. Together they become the sensation of the street crowds. Features ICE-T in his film debut as a club MC.
There is no other reason to watch this movie than the awesome break dancing. This movie paved the way for the legion of urban dancing movies that followed.
Real Genius: When a group of crazy college geniuses put their heads together, almost anything can happen. Chris (Val Kilmer) is the top brain who just wants to party, Mitch (Gabe Jarret) is the 16-year-old whiz kid, and Lazlo (Jonathan Gries), America’s number one brain, literally lives in a world of his own … Chris’ closet. Supposedly hard at work on a lab project, they still find time to turn the dorm into an ice-skating rink, dismantle a nerd’s car and reassemble it in his room, and throw a beach party in the auditorium complete with a lagoon and bikini-clad beauties. When the geniuses discover that their unscrupulous mentor Professor Hathaway (William Atherton) has had them working on a secret weapon for the military, they plot an elaborate revenge.
Better Off Dead: After his girlfriend (Amanda Wyss) ditches him for a boorish ski jock, Lane (John Cusak) decides that suicide is the only answer. However, his increasingly inept attempts bring him only more agony and embarrassment. Filled with the wildest teen nightmares, a family you can’t help but identify with and a host of wonderful comic characters. And don’t forget