National Lampoon’s Animal House is hilarious – it’s not even an opinion, it’s a fact. Following a house full of screw-ups, we see Otter, Boon, Bluto and Hoover guiding their pledges Flounder and Pinto to how to party their way through life. While school administration and girlfriend Katy try to get the boys to grow up, they double down on their wild antics, making disrespect an art form. Maybe they’re “animals,” but they were so cool. In this episode of “’80’s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents” podcast, film authorities Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, look at the college comedy classic through the modern lens and show how a movie from 1978 laid the groundwork for who Gen X would become. Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.
When Joel Schumacher took over The Lost Boys (1987) from Richard Donner, he changed nearly everything in the script, creating a metaphorical fairy tale encapsulating several issues facing teens and families in the mid-80s. Can you name them all and do you agree that’s what Schumacher was trying to say? Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Y, apply a modern lens to the horror comedy that gave us the Two Coreys and reveal insights you never saw coming.
Ghostbusters is one of the most beloved films of the ’80s. It’s a horror-comedy classic that had all audiences running to see it in theaters — especially kids. In fact, the film helped create the model for how to make and capitalize on a blockbuster, fueling bigger merchandising profits with a toy line. The film gave children cute quotable lines, such as “We came, we saw, we kicked it’s ass!” What else were kids picking up from this beloved, adored film about paranormal exterminators? In this episode of the ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcast, ’80s Movie Guide founders Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, identify and discuss the surprising, unintentional messages being delivered to ’80s youth. Also on iTunes and Stitcher.
What is The Shining about? Is it about a clairvoyant child? A haunted hotel? Cabin Fever? Reincarnation? Mental illness? Or, the evil that lies within us, that can be coaxed out if we’re not vigilant? Of course, all of the above. But, as is appropriate for this film, the devil is in the details. Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is about domestic abuse. Before the ’80s, a husband could beat his wife regularly and would not be arrested. In this episode of ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents, Gen Z host Tara McNamara explains how The Shining is a shining example of the horrors going on in households in 1980 and Gen Z host Riley Roberts shares a warning to every parent should hear about the chilling reality and darkness being experienced by teens today.
Note: In the podcast, we refer to a theory that didn’t come from us but we couldn’t remember the website. Rob Ager did thorough research and you can find his video here: http://bit.ly/30KCbj7
Color us black and white – it’s almost Halloween! It’s this time of year when parents think of sharing with their kids the one ’80s horror comedy that seems appropriate – Beetlejuice! And, in the ’80s, the Tim Burton classic was considered a children’s film with special effects makeup and monster creations all wrapped up in a wacky comedy. (Doubt it was considered a kids film? There was an cartoon series spinoff featuring our lovable demon and young teen Lydia adventuring around the Netherworld.)
The film is a bit problematic in regard to kids and teens. On this episode of our podcast ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents (listen here or on Stitcher, iTunes, and BlogTalkRadio), movie critics Tara McNamara (Gen X) and Riley Roberts (Gen Z) explore how this beloved Michael Keaton film poked fun at suicide at a time when it was at an all-time high for teens. The two also examine how it holds up in today’s environment.
Thirty years ago, Daniel Waters wrote Heathers as a response to the John Hughes perspective of teen life, reflecting that getting through high school wasn’t just a struggle, it was survival. Hosts Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, discuss how the Winona Ryder-Christian Slater classic delivers substantial insight into what it was like to be a teen in the late ’80s and compare it to what high school life is like now – and the impact of Heathers on today’s high school situation.
We share a mission with Ted Logan and Bill Preston, Esq. Cinema’s favorite air-guitaring airheads know that to move forward most righteously, you’ve got to travel back in time to understand history. And, that’s exactly what we do in the ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Our Parents podcast. In this episode, we look back at why Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a “dumb” comedy about two guys who appear to be stoners, turned out to be most triumphant and how it does and doesn’t hold up today.
Take a listen (also available on iTunes and Stitcher) and share your thoughts on this 30-year old Keanu Reeves-Alex Winter classic. Also, get ready to Face the Music with the third film by checking out the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure guide page.
If you haven’t seen Casual Sex? starring Lea Thompson and Victoria Jackson, you must. At first glance, it’s a cute rom-com about two women who are looking for Mr. Right after the AIDS health crisis scared them off Mr. Right Now hook-ups. It takes place at a Club Med knock-off, the exercise fad, jokes about mineral water, and Lea Thompson’s hair are so, so ’80s. But, on closer look , it’s a tale of ’80s Hollywood history. As the “making of” story is unwound, it’s an education in how male-dominated Hollywood stuck their thumb into and managed to totally alter and mangle what is likely the most female-centric film production of the 1980’s.
While there are a few head-scratching moments, it remains a charmer, thanks to the talent of the actors, the director Genevieve Robert, and screenwriters Wendy Goldman and the late Judy Toll. Goldman explained how it all went down with our podcast hosts Tara McNamara and Riley Roberts in the latest episode of ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents.
Goldman’s insights are also worked into our complete guide to the film. And, check out Tara interviewing Lea Thompson about Casual Sex? when the romp airs on Day 1 of HDNet Movies Iconic ’80s week on July 22 at 9:45pE/6:45p PST.
With Missouri, Alabama, and other states banning abortion, Dirty Dancing has never been more important or more relevant. Made in 1987, Roe Vs. Wade was decided law and women had won the battle to control their own reproductive rights. However, screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein felt a time might come when Americans needed a reminder of why the law was passed.
Dirty Dancing is a fun, coming-of-age, dance movie with a plot that hinges completely on obtaining an illegal abortion. Viewers are reminded of why abortion is the only means of survival for some women who, in desperation, will put themselves at risk to end their pregnancy. In our podcast, mother-daughter movie critics Tara McNamara (Gen X) and Riley Roberts (Gen Z) examine the film through a modern lens, looking at the abortion plotline as well as why the uncomfortable age difference between Baby and Johnny played well with young, female audiences.
And, for more details on the history of Dirty Dancing and Bergstein’s clever strategizing of how she could relay a story about the importance of giving women agency over their own bodies and decisions, go to our Dirty Dancing page here: https://80smovieguide.com/dirty-dancing/
Stephen King had been on a decade long tear of financially successful horror films and 1989’s Pet Sematary would be one of his biggest moneymakers. But was it good? Hmmm. Yeah. So, on its
But, 1989’s Pet Sematary reflects something the new one doesn’t: Gen X parenting. The oldest Gen Xers were just starting to have children by the end of the ’80s – and, basically, everything that goes down in the Creed family only happens because of the new hands-on parenting that Gen Xers had adopted. Check out our take on our ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcast…you’ll see the film in an entirely different