Movies – 1980s

Aliens (1986)

“Get away from her, you bitch!” Director James Cameron’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s original 1979 outer space nightmare sees Sigourney Weaver return as Ripley. She is found adrift in space, having woken up from suspended animation 57 years after the events of the first film. Bizarrely, after 57 years asleep, she still needs a cigarette when(…)

All Of Me (1984)

In Steve Martin’s fourth collaboration with Carl Reiner, Martin plays an idealistic lawyer, half of whose body is possessed by the spirit of Lily Tomlin’s dead and unpleasantly crotchety millionairess. It’s an uneven effort, but Martin provides a feast of physical comedy as he simultaneously walks and talks as half-man, half-woman. Roger Cobb Steve Martin (…)

All The Right Moves (1983)

Ambitious high-school football player, Stef Djordjevic (Tom Cruise) and his girlfriend (Lea Thompson) dream of winning the college scholarships that will enable them to leave their depressed Pennsylvania steel town, but Stef’s ambitions are threatened by his hard-nosed sports coach. Already a respected cinematographer, Michael Chapman made his directorial debut with this authentic portrait of small-town life. Indeed,(…)

Alligator (1980)

Sleazy pet store owner Luke Gutchel (Sydney Lassick) has been dog-snatching puppies for the illegal research experiments of unscrupulous pharmaceutical executive Slade (Dean Jagger). A baby alligator flushed into the Chicago sewer system has grown to enormous size by feeding on the carcasses of pets injected with a growth hormone. Detective David Madison (Robert Forster)(…)

Allnighter, The (1987)

It is graduation time at California’s surf-side Pacifica College – the culmination of four years of sun, sea, surf and occasional study. Before donning their caps and gowns, though, these gilded youths plan one final dusk-to-dawn party. For roommates Molly, Val and Gina, this is the first night of the rest of their lives. An attempt to turn(…)

Alphabet City (1984)

A drug dealer decides to give up his life of crime when the gangsters he works for order him to burn down the tenement building in which his mother lives. However, the mobsters do not take kindly to being defied, and he faces a battle to protect his family from recriminations. The most mainstream movie directed(…)

Altered States (1980)

William Hurt made his film debut in this sci-fi/horror flick, playing Dr Eddie Jessup, a college professor who conducts experiments with hallucinogenic drugs and a sensory deprivation tank full of lukewarm water in order to tap into the existence of early man. At first he sees sex as a mystical experience, then imagines himself crucified(…)

Amadeus (1984)

Amadeus had all the markings of a pretentious little art film – After all, how could a biography of Mozart not seem dull? But nothing could be further from the truth . . . Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died mysteriously in 1791. Thirty-two years later a mediocre, forgotten composer named Antonio Salieri attempted suicide and was dragged(…)

Amazon Women On The Moon (1987)

Five directors contributed to this scattershot collection of bawdy sketches satirising everything from dating to late-night TV via B-grade sci-fi movies and advertising. The anthology is assembled in the spirit of Saturday Night Live and while some of the gags are clever and inspired, the majority fall flat. A myriad of cult performers invest the only sporadically(…)

American Flyers (1985)

The threat of a terminal genetic condition sparks the reconciliation of two brothers (Kevin Costner and David Grant) during America’s toughest bicycle race in the Rocky Mountains. Much more earthbound than its title suggests, this tale of rival cycling siblings competing in an endurance race is complicated by David Grant’s antagonism towards his sports doctor older(…)

American Gigolo (1980)

When John Travolta dropped out of American Gigolo everyone said he was ruining his career.  But Travolta took a walk and Richard Gere stepped into his Georgio Armani suits. Travolta made the right decision . . . Julian Kay – the gigolo in American Gigolo – is a smarmy and immoral male prostitute with cool talk, swinging hips, and(…)

American Pop (1981)

American Pop is the animated story of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music in the 20th century, starting in 19th century Russia and moving through four generations. The story begins in Russia, where young Zalmie’s father is killed for defending the torah against blazing Cossacks. The sequence(…)

American Werewolf In London (1981)

The archetypal wolf fable, An American Werewolf in London overshadowed equally good The Howling (1981) with Oscar-winning SFX and its classic man-to-wolf transformation. Two American students, David Kessler (David Naughton) and Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne), are attacked by a werewolf while touring northern England. Goodman is killed but Kessler survives a brutal mauling after being rushed to a hospital by(…)

Amityville II: The Possession (1982)

A “prequel” to the 1979 hit finds another family falling prey to supernatural forces at the infamous Long Island home. A patchy, somewhat tiresome, reworking of the same haunted house theme that served the initial outing. There are some effective chilling moments, but the story does not hold up for a satisfying conclusion. The acting(…)

Amityville III: the Demon (Amityville 3-D) (1984)

After exposing a pair of phoney spiritualists based in the notorious Long Island town, journalist Tony Roberts laughs at the legend and moves into the famous cursed Amityville house. Almost immediately, strange manifestations occur, resulting in unexplained deaths among his workmates and family, and he eventually uncovers a gateway to hell in the cellar. Decent(…)