My friend Michael runs the wonderful Cinema Du Meep site and Facebook pages. He is also the host of the excellent Retro Movie Love Podcast (highly recommended). He is a kindred spirit for me and a dude who knows movies well and loves them dearly like I do. Check him out!
By 1985 I was 10 and already a solidified Movie fanatic. I had endless choices of Movie options in New York City, and having easy access to a brand new top loading VCR gave me more fuel for the Movie fire that raged within my heart. My love for going to the Cinema always did take precedence over watching a Movie at home so I ended up seeing so many Films in the Theater during that great year.
Here are 5 or more that I caught in their initial Theatrical run that time seems to be not so kind to....
HEAVENLY BODIES - Release date: February 1, 1985 - From Producers Sales Organization
A Canadian aerobics picture! I’m obsessed with it. And so should you be. It’s kind of the best Movie ever made. And it’s about aerobics. Cynthia Dale is super cute as the lead. She was one of the girls in MY BLOODY VALENTINE. Every time I watch that great Slasher Movie, I can’t help but think she should have totally been the lead. At least she is here. I also dig the very 80’s soundtrack. I can listen to it over and over. And do!
PERFECT - Release date: June 7, 1985 - From Columbia Pictures
Yes! There’s another Movie about aerobics I loved in 1985. Slammed by critics and ignored by audiences, PERFECT, in reality, is much better than you think it is. And Jamie Lee in many ways lives up to what the title suggests. I still love her greatly. Also… James Bridges is one of the most underrated Directors ever.
I’m sorry, I like schmaltz sometimes. When it’s done right, that is. I think most people shrugged this one off as cheesy. I think Peter O’Toole is great. Always Oscar worthy. He never got one. That thought immediately makes me sad… In happier news, I love that CREATOR is a College-set Comedy. Vincent Spano is charming. Virginia Madsen is charming. Mariel Hemingway is charming. Even David Ogden Stiers, ostensibly the villain of the piece, is charming. I also love the Score. It’s soooo 80’s. I want to hug it right now.
Studio Movies can often be underrated. I think Studios sometimes forget what they can produce when they have the right talent behind the wheel and let them do their thing. Jon Landis will not immediately be known as the Director of INTO THE NIGHT, but he will always be remembered by me as the guy who Directed INTO THE NIGHT. I LOVE Movies set over a night, and although 1985 produced the finest example of that possibly ever: Martin Scorsese’s AFTER HOURS, Jon Landis’ Film cannot be forgotten. I watched it over and over in my younger years. I always got something new and fun from it.
Joe Dante will forever be known as the Director of GREMLINS, but I have to say I wasn’t disappointed by his follow up, EXPLORERS. It hit me totally at the right time. I was 10 in 1985, and I had Movies like this and GREMLINS. How perfect of a time was it for me! EXPLORERS wasn’t a financial success for Paramount and I feel like Joe Dante isn’t totally happy with it since it wasn’t his final cut that ended up in Cinemas, but every time I watch it I’m totally transported to 1985 and I have absolute fun with it every time. 1985 Movie kids dare to make their dreams come true. I love that.
Even though this is Cannon, there are no Ninjas or missiles in this Movie. I swear!
Instead, you will get a Rock ’n Roll musical drama that is quite touching. Yes! A touching Movie from Cannon! They did it from time to time and this one really sticks with me. Also, Jill Schoelen is in the Movie. You can’t go wrong…
More underrated gems:
GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN
HEAVEN TRIPLE FEATURE: HEAVEN HELP US, THE HEAVENLY KID, SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN
JAMES SPADER DOUBLE FEATURE: TUFF TURF & THE NEW KIDS
LOST IN AMERICA
MY AMERICAN COUSIN
OUT OF CONTROL
THE QUIET EARTH