Thursday, August 21, 2014

1985: Guilty Pleasures

Lots to see here as this was a very good year for fun crap.

It's not really that great, but Roger Moore's swan song as 007 is just entertaining enough (having Christopher Walken as the bad guy helps lot) to make me enjoy it... Though it has a lot to do with nostalgia.  Lot's of nostalgia.

My favorite of the series, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment is really, really stupid as the recruits (the ones they could get to appear at least) are given their first assignment (clever title, eh?) which is to clean up a rotten neighborhood being terrorized by Bobcat Goldthwaite and his gang.  The usual gags ensue and against my better judgment, I find it pretty damn funny.

I enjoy this rather cheesy Stephen King adaptation produced by Dino DeLaurentiis.  Based on his novella Cycle of the Werewolf, Silver Bullet is an agreeably silly werewolf movie with some nice f/x (though the werewolf looks more like a bear than a wolf) and a fun turn from Gary Busey who for once is the voice of reason in a movie.

The most enjoyably sleazy of  the Friday the 13th films, this fifth entry has more cheese than you can stand with a dumb Jason impersonator plot; a scene where a cute chick does the robot dance before getting skewered, the loosest definition of mental illness I've ever seen (stuttering counts now?  damn!), a massive body count and an oddly washed out look that seems to be prevalent in some other lower budgeted films from this year.  It's quite the crap fest.

The most gloriously cheesy of the Rocky films, this has Sylvester Stallone single handedly winning the Cold War by winning a boxing match against Dolph Lundgren.  Stallone is cheesy as ever, the training montage is awesome (Sly carries a tree yup a snowy hill) and Dolph makes for a nicely intimidating villain.  It's not as good as the third movie, but it's one of the most hilarious Stallone movies out there.

 And to finish, a quartet of Cannon goodies.  As I said, 1985 was the best year for the company, though more than likely not in the way they intended.

First off is the wonderfully insane second Hercules movie from Luigi Cozzi.  Herc must retrieve Zeus' lightning bolts in order to save the world along with battling an old rival.  That';s about as coherent as I can make it as the movie is 85 minutes of sheer weirdness.

Charles Bronson is back again in the third Death Wish film which is the cheesiest and probably most entertaining, along with the fourth one.  Paul Kersey is back in New York after his Los Angeles detour in the second movie and now he's fighting the most over the top street gang imaginable in order to save a neighborhood.  Tons of cheese and violence along with some really bad acting.  What more could you want from a Death Wish sequel?

Speaking of really bad, King Solomon's Mines.  Loosely based on the H. Rider Haggard novel, it stars Richard Chamberlain as hero Allan Quatermain, Sharon Stone as the love interest and John Rhys Davies in a nicely hammy villainous role.  Herbert Lom is also on hand as a bad guy and the entire film is chock full of bad f/x, bad acting, cheese and stupidity.  It's the sort of thing you kind of have to see for yourself.

And last but not least, the ultimate Chuck Norris movie!  Invasion U.S.A. is a simple tale of one man fighting off a Russian invasion of Florida, led by Richard Lynch.  While Lone Wolf McQuade is the better movie, this one is Chuck's most memorable with tons of cheesy action scenes and Chuck strutting his stuff.  It's quite bad in a very good way, though the reporter character grates on the nerves like nobody's business.

Coming soon: The Best of 1985

1 comment:

  1. The curiously washed out look that you mention is probably due to a notorious batch of botched film stock that was sold in the mid 80's. Aliens is possibly the most famous casualty of this grainy stuff. Yep, in the mid 80's James Cameron had to just bite the bullet and shoot with what he had, you've gotta love the pre 1990's "just make the movie dammit!" attitude.

    I actually think that Friday the 13th part 5 has LESS grain than Part 2 and 4. Everything about part 5 is sloppy as hell, yet the image quality is quite nice and well-lit. The director (and or whoever wrote the movie) didn't put any effort into the setups and framing, though.

    Also, 1985 was the year that the 80's really became the 80's. I tend to think of 1980-1984 as the New Wave years which had a lot of exciting and rather idiosyncratic stuff. The 70's lingered during this period, too (a lot of beige and dudes with feathered waves of hair, check out the Karate Kid bad guys). 1985-1991 was when we seemed to shift into the modern aesthetic, for good or for ill.


About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.