Hindsight is 20/20 but we’re still scratching our heads to understand who thought rape, sexual assault and blatant racism were hi-larious during this MTV soaked decade. Here are nine movies (out of many) that have not stood the test of time, or even their initial runs.
A group of teens from the 1950’s decide to lose their virginity the ONLY way they know how… in a group? By paying a sex worker in a run down nightclub? This movie is the pinnacle of “boys will be boys.” The BOYS also peep on their female classmates while they’re showering and one of them, Tommy, sticks his dick through a peep hole converting it into a glory hole for some good ole’ fashion 1980’s fun!
In real life Tommy would be charged with indecent exposure and have to register as a sex offender. Can you believe they made four of these films with the last one released in 2009?
If acting coaches in LA telling women to dye their hair, and change their name so they sound more Latina to get parts doesn’t bother you… how about a man leading a double life by dressing up as a woman to land a soap opera role that he feels he is owed, because he can’t get any male roles. When life’s too tough as a white man, don’t worry! Just put on a dress and usurp the limited roles for women.
Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
You want to root for the nerds, it’s THEIR revenge but holy shit! This is the movie that teaches women who were already scared of frat boys to also be on high alert for the seemingly nice guys. Apparently they’re out to trick you into having sex, taking nude photos of you, and then using said photos for a charity event by exploiting your body in front of the whole school. The main nerd Lewis takes the quarterback Stan’s knock off Darth Vadar mask to trick Stan’s girlfriend, Betty, into having sex with him. That’s some next level dark side shit!
Everything the nerds do in this movie outside of their killer musical number would have them royally cancelled. Watching the movie now I find myself rooting more for the jock Alpha Beta house and Ogre! NERDS!
Sixteen Candles (1984)
This classic coming of age film begins with Molly Ringwald, as Samantha, getting felt up by her grandma on her birthday…and it just gets crazier from there. You have Long Duk Dong, an Asian foreign exchange student saying lines that would become stereotypes for decades to come. Then there’s the “dreamy” Jake Ryan, who admittedly refers to his drunk and passed out girlfriend by saying he could “violate her 10 different ways if he wanted to.” Cool J-Ry, way to have some restraint. Instead of putting his PASSED OUT girlfriend in a safe space, he lends her out to a pervey freshman to gain intel about Samantha. The freshman and passed out girlfriend have sex but not before he shows her off to his friends.
Police Academy (1984)
Because being sexist and harassing your co-workers is hilarious! But, what’s more fun is hiring a sex worker to filate your boss and mentor while he’s giving a speech. Apparently consent doesn’t matter and that may be why they made six of these films!
Soul Man (1986)
It doesn’t take a Ted Danson (remember when Becker did blackface?) to know that this movie is wrong! It’s centered around C. Thomas Howell, who plays Mark Watson, a spoiled rich kid who gets accepted to Harvard Law School but is worried he won’t be able to pay for it because his dad is spending too much money on himself! What? He’s not just shilling out money to his adult son? Gasp!
This wouldn’t happen if he was Lori Loughlin’s son! However instead of getting a job, a loan, or exploring ANY OTHER reasonable option he decides to apply for a scholarship. With all of his family’s wealth and privilege there just isn’t a scholarship that will pay for all of his schooling. Maybe get two scholarships then? He decides the best solution is to use tanning pills sorry, blackface, to pull a Rachel Dolezal and steal an African American scholarship. Apologies if you’ve just thrown your computer across the room. Oh, he also falls in love with an African American student named Sarah who is the very person he stole the scholarship from. Fuck you Mark!
Short Circuit (1986)
Apparently 1986 was the year of white people pretending to be people of color! Enjoy this sci-fi classic where a white actor, Fisher Stevens, pretends to be a South Asian scientist complete with accent for 98 minutes. Johnny 5 may be alive, but this film is not woke.
Apart from literally growing horns to indicate that he’s horny and going to a brothel, this lecherous ghost with the most tried to marry Lydia Deetz against her will! Making the high schooler a literal child bride to the dead. Also known sex offender Jeffrey Jones plays Lydia Deetz’s father, so no wonder she feels more comfortable with a dead Alec Baldwin playing surrogate dad. Alec will just leave you cruel phone messages instead.
Say Anything… (1989)
This movie focuses on a DEEPLY codependent boy, Lloyd Dobler, who is half a step away from becoming Mark Wahlberg in “Fear.” Diane Court has worked her ass off to be the valedictorian and has big plans to study abroad in London. Her father has embezzled money to help give his daughter a better life and is thrown in jail for it by the IRS. What has Lloyd done? He has zero plans but to turn a teen summer romance into his life’s mission by hanging on and following Diane around. Where you gonna sleep in London Lloyd? Diane’s dorms? How’re you gonna make money? You don’t have a work visa! Lloyd Dobler might be a good summer fling, but if he really loved you he wouldn’t hijack your life and opportunities.
Luckily films have become more sophisticated since the 80s and we now can all enjoy great films like “Shallow Hal,” “Chasing Amy,” and “The Love Guru.” Oh, dang!