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
The Breakfast Club is the face of the ’80s Movies – the classic gave teens a voice, showed their box office power, and cemented John Hughes as the decade’s most influential director.
This weekend marks the 35th Anniversary of Claire, Allison, John Bender, Andrew, and Brian’s Saturday detention (“March 24, 1984, Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois….”)
The movie made an impact in the entertainment industry, in Hollywood history, and most certainly, on ’80s teens who absorbed a whole lot of negative messaging. From blaming their parents for all their problems to John Bender’s abusive and sexually harassing behavior of Claire that ends in his getting the girl, ’80s Movie Guide’s Tara McNamara (Gen X) and Riley Roberts (Gen Z) break down how The Breakfast Club may be the ’80s most influential film in all the wrong ways on our ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcast. Take a listen and give us your take in the comments below.
Photo Above: Podcaster Riley Roberts gives her take on Splash. Photographer: Victoria Igloi.
Splash is a family film that began our modern-day fascination with mermaids, a film that made Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah bonafide movie stars, and began Hanks journey as American treasure. But, does the film live up to its legacy? In many ways, yes! It’s still a heartwarmer of a tale. But family friendly? Hmmm…maybe not.
On ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcast, mother-daughter movie critics Tara McNamara (Gen X) and Riley Roberts (Gen Y) re-examine the film with a modern-day perspective and discuss how it turned the Disney princess trope on its fins, and yet, perpetuated the attitudes that successful men are pigs to women and that’s okay.
Please give a listen to Splash: A Lovable Disney Movie that Just Happens to Have Child Nudity, Bestiality, and a Sex Crime.* And, check out our other podcast episodes available on iTunes, Stitcher, and BlogTalkRadio. Also, please read our comprehensive behind the scenes guide to Splash here: https://80smovieguide.com/splash/
(*depending on what state or country you’re in).