I have a tendency to refer to 1984 as a golden year in film. As it turns out, after actually going back and taking a look at the films of the year, it was really quite impressive. So, golden year, let’s show off your TOP 5: Movies of 1984.

Taking a look at what was out that year kind of blew my mind for a moment as I remembered all the great films. It really became quite hard to narrow it down especially when you have a list like this…

Reckless, Blame It on Rio, Footloose, Repo Man, This Is Spinal Tap, Children of the Corn, Splash, Police Academy, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, Romancing the Stone, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Sixteen Candles, Firestarter, The Natural, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Once Upon a Time in America, Streets of Fire, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, The Karate Kid, Top Secret!, Bachelor Party, Cannonball Run II, Conan the Destroyer, The Last Starfighter, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Purple Rain, The Philadelphia Experiment, Red Dawn. Dreamscape, Tightrope, C.H.U.D., The Brother from Another Planet, Amadeus, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Supergirl, 2010, Beverly Hills Cop, 1984, Dune, Starman, Johnny Dangerously

Without further ado lets get to the list, but first a quick note on my rules.

  1. Must be a movie I have seen
  2. Must be from 1984

Sadly while there are many movies from 1984, only a few were worth our time. With that in mind, I wanted to highlight some of the best movies of 1984.

Gremlins

My mom took me and some friends to see this when it came out back in the summer of 84. A great movie about a father who wants to give his son a really cool Christmas present, not realizing that what he has done has actually doomed the town they live in. As the fuzzy little Mogwai called Gizmo is acting all cute and friendly with Billy, there are 3 rules that must never be broken. 1) Keep it away from bright light, 2) Don’t get any water on it, and 3) Never, never ever feed it after midnight. Of course, it wouldn’t be a movie if these rules weren’t broken along the way. When they do, the town suffers as Little green creatures known as Gremlins run around causing chaos everywhere they go. They also have a knack for killing people in terrible ways. It’s a great movie to watch at Christmas.

GhostbustersGhostbusters

As one of my all time favourite comedies and movies it’s not really shocking that I would pick it. Three best friends lode their jobs at the University they were teaching at when they get a call to investigate a real live paranormal event at the New York Public Library. This sets off a series of events which put the team, now with a fourth member… he just found it in the wants ads, into the perfect position to help defend the city. New York is under attack as it turns out by Gozer the Gozarian, a Sumerian God of destruction. They wage a fierce battle atop the building of one characters “girlfriend”. The entire film is one long series of deadpan humour and sarcasm. Bill Murray shines here like no other as Peter Venkman. He is joined by Harold Ramis, Dan Ackroyd and Ernie Hudson making up this quartet of cinematic comedy power. If you don’t like this movie, you have no soul.

Revenge of the NerdsRevenge of the Nerds

What starts out as your typical 80’s comedy raunch fest turns out to be a little more than that. It’s the beginning of a new school year and as all the characters join the campus of the fictional school Adams College, the guys who think things will be different now they are at college soon learn that all the same bullying they knew from before is still present here. They apply for membership as Lambda Lambda Lambda, an all African-American fraternity who has their own rules used against them and agree to allow the “nerds” to form the Tri-Lambs at Adams. As the evil Alpha-Beta frat continues to try and shame them, the guys fight back using their brains along the way. As stereotypical as the film is with the nerd concept, it still has a pretty good message about hazing, bullying and underdog elements. Still a classic of the 80’s raunchy comedy genre.

Buckaroo BonzaiThe Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

It’s really difficult to explain and not sound dumb, but here goes. A world renowned neurosurgeon, particle physicist, race car driver, rock star and comic book hero. See, I’m not even making this up that’s who Buckaroo Banzi is. After he stuns the world with his oscillation overthruster invention which allows him to drive through solid matter by traveling through another dimension, he attracts unwanted attention as these things often do and the race is on as the remnants of an Alien invasion force that broke through in 1938 trying to free their comrades and invade Planet 10. The sad part is I have not been taking any drugs as I wrote those last few sentences. The movie introduced me to Peter Weller before he was Robocop. Also popping up is a young Jeff Goldblum and Clancy Brown…very young looking. For all it’s weird and strange ideas, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun.

TerminatorThe Terminator

I just got to rewatch this recently and forgot just how solid a movie is. A killer cybernetic robot from the future is sent back to 1984 to kill the mother of the future leader of the human resistance. The leader, John Conner, also sends back his most trusted solider, Kyle Reese, to take care of his mother and destroy the Terminator if possible. As Sarah Conner is hunted down, the Terminator causes damage, mayhem and murder everywhere it goes. This is the movie that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name. From the performances to the script and direction, it is almost a perfect movie. It’s solid sci-fi elements combined with a simple but interesting story that’s fun to watch and makes you think about the possibilities of our future. It’s just a shame that as director James Cameron got distracted by CGI effects (or the Titanic sinking) we may have had more great sci-fi like this. The effects are still pretty strong even in todays’ day and age of everything CGI.

So there it is, my list. There are so many more that I could have added but I wanted to go with what I think of as the best representatives of the group. If you are looking for something to watch this weekend, give some of these a shot.

If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!