40 Facts About The '80s Movies We Love
Ah, the '80s, it feels like yesterday but would you believe it was 40 years ago that some of these beloved films came out? A golden age of cinema that was unmatched until the release of Breaking Dawn: Part II and its baby Renesmee. Here are some facts about one of the most magical times to go see a movie in theaters. Remember going to see a movie in theaters? What a time ...
1. Blade Runner
Blade Runner’s production was full of terrible woes, but one of the wildest was the T-Shirt War. See, at one point, director Ridley Scott made a dumb decision to mock British crews as overly polite, saying they all just nod and go “Yes, Guv’nor” which led to his crew making T-shirts to make fun of him, one of which was even worn by Harrison “I’m Han Solo” Ford.
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Man, the '80s really were Ford’s time, hunh? Raiders of the Lost Ark remains one of Ford’s most celebrated films despite its production also being rather hectic. Many things changed during the production, from cut scenes repurposed for the sequels to Marion Ravenwood being twelve during her initial relationship with Indy. But one of the wildest original ideas was to have Toht, the creepy Nazi douchebag, originally being a full cyborg, complete with a mechanical arm and glowing, Terminator-esque eye.
3. Empire Strikes Back
It’s just impossible to find a flick without Harrison Ford in it, isn’t it? Of course, there’s one place Harrison couldn’t be found, and that’s on the other end of a kiss with Leia. Originally, the brother-sister thing was more pronounced, with deleted scenes featuring more kissing between the pair of Force-bound twins.
4. Return of the Jedi
Speaking of the Force, did you know Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally gonna just come back from the dead? Kinda for no reason? Well, that’s how the film was going to go. Yoda did something similar in The Last Jedi, so at least this plot point was recycled a bit.
Had a sex scene. Yes, despite the entire film being about a man and his machine, the two originally got it on, which would foreshadow all those ads you get when you go to PornHub.
6. Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
Oh, another Ford joint. The Last Crusade, because it was a Spielberg-Lucas joint, was originally a lot more insane. Its opening was going to feature Indy fighting a ghost Baron, and the plot was going to revolve around the Monkey King. Instead, we got more Jesus, and who doesn’t love Jesus?
7. They Live
Was a documentary. According to its star Rowdy Roddy Piper at least. He claimed the film was similar to a mockumentary he once saw … and mistook it for a documentary. Of course, that doesn’t mean he-- oh, wait, no, he did once tweet that They Live is a documentary:
8. Beverly Hills Cop
Sylvester Stallone was almost the Beverly Hills Cop, but he had a problem with all of the, ya know, everything of it, and wanted to make it a borderline prosaic boring cop story, but that’s already most of his oeuvre anyway, so he was cut, and we got the comedy that plays every single night on Comedy Central.
9. Little Shop of Horrors
While the comedy musical is already pretty dark—it’s about a plant that eats people and also a dentist—the original ending featuring Audrey II killing everyone and taking over the world was a bit too dark for most, but luckily, you can still see grainy footage of it on YouTube.
10. Sleepaway Camp
Sleepaway Camp’s notorious ending, revealing that the killer was actually a trans woman the whole time, went down in history for being one of the most shocking horror endings of all times, and cementing the film as a sick-ass movie for trans girls to watch while drunk. The ending also required a college student (the actress for Angela does not actually possess a penis, so required a different actor) getting drunk as hell so he could pose naked pretending to be a 13-year old killer, and reportedly ended with him crying.
There was almost a sequel called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, which is … exactly what it sounds like.
12. The Last Starfighter
Nick Castle, who played Michael Myers in the original Halloween, also directed The Last Starfighter, as well as writing Hook, co-wrote Escape from New York, performed the Big Trouble in Little China theme, and directed Dennis the Menace.
13. The Land Before Time
Is about racism. The whole point of the film was supposed to show these dinosaurs coming together and overcoming their issues with each other—the reason they never hang out together is because of the bigoted teachings of their parents. Does that mean Little Foot’s mom was the type to talk about how the neighborhood is rough if she sees one raptor? Yes. Also, what does that make the T-Rex?
14. The Lost Boys
The vampire classic was originally G-rated. The characters were all a lot younger, and two of the characters were even named Peter and Wendy because, why not? But then Joel Schumacher came on and decided to make it darker, partially to mess with us, it seems, given what he would later do to Batman.
Robin Williams almost became the Joker. He went as far as accepting it before Nicholson decided to hop on the choo-choo to insane town:
While no one is exactly sure who directed Poltergeist, with producer Steven Spielberg allegedly doing a lot of it, one thing is for certain—there are real bones in that pit. Yes, despite the issues with it being deeply immoral and unsanitary, the pit at the end of the film is filled with actual human bones.
E.T.’s medical scene—in which doctors examine E.T.—was filled with non-actors. They were all doctors from the nearby University of Southern California. Spielberg thought they would sound more natural saying all of the jargon, which is why he hired an actual robotic gigolo for A.I.
18. Fatal Attraction
In the original ending, the girlboss originally killed herself.
19. Blue Velvet
Despite being one of the more horrifying films known to mankind, Blue Velvet was inspired by an actual event Lynch had—seeing a naked woman walking down the street; horrified, the young Lynch cried and then decided to make all of us cry too.
20. Revenge of the Nerds
Seth Rogen has decided this fantastically horrifying film deserves a remake and is working on one. Here’s to hoping all of civilization collapses first.
"Maniac," one of the most famous songs from the most famous scenes of that film, is about an actual maniac—about a serial killer.
22. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Kevin Bacon actually pays wedding D.J.s not to play Kenny Loggins' "Footloose" when he goes to weddings.
24. Die Hard
The only reason Die Hard exists as it is because of the time the screenwriter was driving home, and a piece of trash flew towards him. At that moment, believing it was an actual fridge and not just the box, all the screenwriter could think of was how he shouldn’t have fought with his wife, giving us John McClane’s entire arc. All because of one trash-ridden truck.
25. Friday the 13th
As you might know, the first film doesn’t feature Jason in it at all—but his mother. Perhaps more surprising, that film—and the second film—don’t feature his iconic mask. He wouldn’t get that until the third flick, by which time everyone was all in.
26. Weird Science
Weird Science was written in two days and was primarily made so that John Hughes could get Universal to finance the less sexy-sounding Breakfast Club.
27. The Breakfast Club
That wasn’t enough for Universal, though, and they wanted a Porky’s-esque scene to be added of either the teacher or the kids spying on a woman swimming naked. Hughes agreed and then never even wrote the scene.
28. Back to the Future
Yes, while the actual film is a wild ride, the original was wilder, featuring Marty McFly as a video pirate who met Doc Brown, living in an abandoned theatre, before using a nuclear bomb and a fridge to travel back in time.
29. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
There’s an unofficial/official sequel to it called Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League, written by future Ready Player One writer Ernest Cline, who then referenced it in RPO.
While Aliens famously was given to James Cameron because writing “Aliens” but then drew a line through the s to make it a $, his work didn’t stop there—he even recorded the hisses, screams, and breathes for the Alien Queen.
31. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Despite the film being a wholly contained narrative about one day in the life of some idiots, there’s an entire television show that is about as bad as you’d think.
The original film was actually, much like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars, harkening back to older films, in this case, supernatural comedies like Abbot and Costello Meet the X.
Is a remake. The original 1932 black and white film was about Chicago Italian mob boss
Al Capone Antonio Camonte, not about how cocaine gives you superpowers.
34. Do the Right Thing
The climax of this film has the protagonist start a riot … which led film critics to claim the movie itself would lead to riots, which hey, wouldn’t be any different than most Super Bowls.
35. The Thing
There’s an alternate, cleaner television cut that removes gore but adds narration, even explaining backstory and history for the crew that gets all Thingified.
36. This is Spinal Tap!
Many people think it’s a real documentary, with people having even told Rob Reiner he should’ve picked a more famous band to make a documentary about despite it being, ya know, Spinal Tap. Among the fans of this “documentary”? Ozzy Osbourne, who thought it all seemed a little bit tame.
37. The Terminator
Despite the fact that the Terminator is supposed to be the world’s best killing machine, OJ Simpson was once in the running for the role—but Cameron didn’t think he was believable as a murderer. Which, to be fair, a jury agreed with.
Is a remake. Yes, despite being a comedy, it follows the exact plot of Zero Hour, a 1957 film that had so much of its original script used they had to pay for the rights.
39. The Goonies
Despite being one of the more kid-friendly films, The Goonies was still an '80s movie so at some point had to feature a sex scene. This one? Data using electricity to get leeches off the girls, inadvertently giving them orgasms.
40. Big Trouble in Little China
Was almost a Western. The film originally began with Jack in a Western town, looking for Chinatown. But that one bit seemed a bridge too far, so they brought it into the present day and made him a trucker because really aren’t the truckers the cowboys of our time?
Top image: Universal Pictures