Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Netflix '80s Fix: A Farce, Flashdancing, and Flesh-Eating February

February 2014

Netflix added some great '80s films to it's lineup on Feb 1 and I'm looking forward to passing them along to you! For those of you who missed the January Fix, check it out because many are still available. If you are a Leslie Neilsen fan, your February just became a laughfest. Plus, zombie fans should enjoy that a George Romero film has been added. Also, a few "squashed" sequels have been added that might be worth watching since their predecessors are no where to be found.

I'll also be listing more '80s favorites in the "Watch It Again, For The 80th time" section and a couple more "Overlooked & Underrated" titles to check out. And finally, I'm starting another special segment this month called "The Horribly Entertaining Challenge." Can you manage to sit through some of the most horrible, cheesy, campy cult films of the '80s? Can you find some entertainment in a marathon of muck? If you can, then you will win the monthly challenge! But first, let's start with the new stuff...

The Naked Gun (1988)
Rated PG-13 Add to queue
While seeking his partner's ruthless killer, incredibly thick police officer Frank Drebin finds an equally dim-witted love interest and stumbles upon on a sordid plot to off Queen Elizabeth.

I could easily put this movie on a 24-hour loop and never tire of it. I've seen it 30 times at least and still find jokes that either I didn't remember or totally missed in all those times watching it.


Flashdance (1983)
Rated R Add to queue
Alex works as a welder by day and a stripper by night, but she dreams of training at the local conservatory and becoming a professional dancer. Meanwhile, she navigates a romance with her boss at the steelyard.

This is one of those '80s films that the soundtrack probably has a better legacy than the film itself. But if your only reason to watch is for the dance scene featuring "Maniac," it's still worth it.


She's Having a Baby (1988)
Rated PG-13 Add to queue
High school sweethearts Jake and Kristy Briggs try to settle into married life, but they soon hit some bumps as Jake's not completely sold on the idea of giving up his freedom, and Kristy decides to go off birth control without telling Jake.

This is a John Hughes film that most people forget about (not sure if that's a good thing or bad.) Not sure if I've ever seen it, but the Netflix reviews seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Airplane (1980)
Rated PG Add to queue
In this classic, joke-a-second parody of disaster movies, traumatized former combat pilot Ted Striker, an airplane passenger, is forced to land the plane when food poisoning strikes the crew and there's no one else on board who can do the job.

Easily, one of the most quotable films of all time. As with the aforementioned The Naked Gun, so many jokes are crammed into this 90 minute classic that it's easy to find new ones every time you watch. The 1982 sequel is also available.

Crocodile Dundee 2 (1988)
Rated PG Add to queue
Outback legend Mick "Crocodile" Dundee (Paul Hogan) reunites with his lady friend, American reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), for another wild adventure. This time, Sue is kidnapped by international drug kingpin Luis Rico (Hetcher Ubarry) in Australia's bush country. The unflappable Mick must summon all of his outback survival tricks to rescue her.

I know I'm in the minority when I say this, but I enjoy #2 as much as the original. For the record though, I've never seen #3 and probably never will based on what I've heard.

Cocoon: The Return (1988)
Rated PG Add to queue
In this sequel to the huge hit Cocoon, the seniors who exited Earth in exchange for eternal youth return to terra firma to visit with the loved ones they left behind. Meanwhile, their alien hosts plot the rescue of a cocoon retrieved from the ocean floor by a troublesome oceanographer (Courteney Cox). Don Ameche reprises his Oscar-winning role along with Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Gwen Verdon, Maureen Stapleton and Jessica Tandy.

I'm a HUGE fan of the original film. Not sure if I've ever seen the sequel, but I do plan to watch this month. The reviews appear to be decent even though it appears they replaced Steve Guttenberg with Courteney Cox.

Day Of The Dead (1985)
Rated NR Add to queue
The third chapter in writer-director George Romero's zombie saga finds scientists and soldiers hiding in a bunker to escape a world overrun by the undead. The two groups butt heads, but infighting takes a backseat when zombies invade the facility.

I'm definitely not zombie expert by any means but an 82% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes says alot in my book.




Watch It Again For The 80th Time...
Coming To America, The Great Outdoors, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Beverly Hills Cop (sequels too,) and Footloose are still currently available.

Overlooked and Underrated...

Amazing Stories (1985-86)
Rated TV-14 Add to queue
Produced by blockbuster Hollywood director Steven Spielberg, this glossy anthology series presents supernatural tales of horror, fantasy and science fiction that frequently involve disturbing visions, unexplainable miracles and unlikely heroes. In addition to showcasing the talents of renowned directors Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and Robert Zemeckis, this show also boasts appearances by Kevin Costner, Kiefer Sutherland and Tim Robbins.

Really like this series (which often scared me as a kid.) The pedigree of directors and actors might be unmatched for show that lasted just 2 seasons of 45 episodes. I found it last year and plan to continue more through the series this year.

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Rated G Add to queue
Based on the novel Basil of Baker Street, this film follows crime-fighting mouse Basil and his sidekick, Dr. Dawson, as they help a toymaker who's been kidnapped by the evil Ratigan. The duo traps Ratigan, but are they in time to stop his evil plan?

Recently watched this with my boys and was just as good as I remembered. This one seems to get lost in the Disney catalog and its really a shame.




The Horribly Entertaining Challenge
Can you find enough entertainment in this horrible film to watch it in its entirety??

Miami Connection (1987)
Rated R Add to queue
The year is 1987. Motorcycle ninjas tighten their grip on Florida's narcotics trade, annihilating anyone who dares to move in on their turf. Martial arts rock band Dragon Sound has had enough and embarks on a wave of crime-crushing justice.

How could you NOT be enticed by a "martial arts rock band" and "motorcycle ninjas?" This movie is one of those "it's so bad, it's good" types in my book. I watched it right before listening to the Cult Film Club podcast review last year and had a blast with it. But will you share in my enjoyment?


More '80s titles are available this month on Netflix, so feel free to comment with any you've recently rediscovered.