Kinker Korner’s Top 34 Movies Of 1986 NSFW

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34. April Fools Day

The slasher film that isn’t really a slasher film. Very different for it’s time and a nice inventive twist on the genre with an ending that left many infuriated and many laughing with delight. The dialogue from the teens in the movie is fun and not nearly as generic as most slashers and they all have decent chemistry. I won’t spoil the ending despite it being 30 years old but watch and let me know what you thought of the twist.

Best Bit- The twist

 

33.Transformers: The Movie

Based on the first generation tv show that Hasbro pumped out to sell their toys, the movie is surprisingly emotional as it’s main character,  the heroic leader of the Autobots Optimus Prime is killed off. Several more characters die throughout and for a kid it was pretty traumatising. It’s much better than the tv show and actually has a little bit of depth to it. It also bizarrely had Orson Welles’ final performance as he died before the movie was released.

Best Bit-Optimus vs Megatron

 

32. Cobra

Stallone went from an Oscar darling to making a string of rubbish but entertaining action movies in the mid 80s. Cobra is one of those rubbish but entertaining movies. It would often appear on tv when I was a kid and it’s about as generic an 80s action movie as your gonna get but take that as you will. The tropes are beyond overused but still fun.

Best Bit- “I’m the cure”

 

31. The Karate Kid: Part 2

I AM THE MAAAN WHO WILL FIIIGHT FOR YOUR HONOUURRR!. Corny beyond belief and not as good as the first one but still has that underdog spirit that often makes for an interesting watch. Pretty much more of the same with the highlight being Pat Morita as the elderly mentor Mr Miyagi.

Best Bit- No mercy!

 

30. Class Of Nuke ‘Em High

As with most Troma movies this is an extremely acquired taste B flick with all the signature gore , slapstick comedy and juvenile nonsense that  you expect from the the kings and queens of schlock.  A horror sci fi comedy strictly for Troma fans.

Best Bit- Tickly throat

 

29.Howard The Duck

Well here’s a wee surprise. No doubt you’ll have seen this movie in a million “worst comic book movies” lists and such but not at Kinker Korner. I’ve already done my worst comic book movies list and Howard The Duck did not feature, instead it ends up here. It was a high profile flop especially with George Lucas as executive producer who had obviously been seemingly untouchable on the back of the Star Wars movies but this tanked hard. The tone is admittedly unfocused as there are adult jokes and innuendo mixed in with what is clearly aimed at kids. A disaster for Marvel but ……strangely charming.

Best Bit-Taking on the overlord

 

28. The Golden Child

I miss these weird high concept fantasy adventure comedy movies. It’s so big and whimsical but it’s also a comedy starring Eddie Murphy and the stunning Charlotte Lewis. The 80s were really good for that, super imaginative flicks starring the big comedy actors of the time. Anyway this ones concerns Murphy being told he is the chosen one and will help save the Golden Child who is seen as the saviour of the world. Steep in eastern aesthetics and a hell of a lot of fun. It was a critical flop but meh, who cares about critics?.

Best Bit- Saving the golden child

 

27. Back To School

Big Rodders is back on the list….I can’t help it I have such a soft spot for him. Dangerfield plays a rich dumbass who enrolls at a college to bond with his son but struggles when more than money is required to make friends. In one of the most bizarre tidbits from a wacky comedy, respected author Kurt Vonnegut makes a cameo.

Best Bit- Chatting up teacher

 

26. Top Gun

No doubt this seems incredibly low on the list but….meh….I just don’t have the connection to Top Gun that many people my age do. I just found it a fun movie and left it there. Tony Scott’s over the top action drama has great set pieces and fun performances from the likes of Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise. You’ve seen it, you like it. In 2003 when I worked at a summer camp in California we all had to have “camp” names, mine was Punk and my pal Liam who would go on to be one of my closest pals was called “Maverick” due to his Cruise looks, I have more of a connection to the movie through that in all honesty.

Best Bit- Meeting Iceman

 

25.Down By Law

Known as “That film with Tom Waits in it” this Jim Jarmusch directed prison drama is powerful and character focused piece that is artistically shot and really nails that independent spirit that makes it look as if it came out in the 90s. The 80s was bombastic with studios throwing obscene amounts of money everywhere so there wasn’t quite the independent movement that we got in the 90s but this movie shows there was plenty classics out there.

Best Bit- “What now”

 

24.From Beyond

Stuart Gordon, the king of the Lovecraft adaptation does it again in this body horror based on the short story of the same name. Long time Gordon collaborator Jeffrey Combs stars in this tale of meddling scientists creating warp holes to other dimensions and the monstrosities that return.

Best Bit- Transformation

 

23. Maximum Overdrive

There needs to be a making of documentary about this movie. Stephen King’s one and only foray into directing is one he barely even remembers as he was so messed up on coke that he just ran through it and it shows. What an absolute mess of a movie….but the product of a drug fueled bender that ends up being utterly intriguing and enjoyable. King says he regrets it massively and got clean not long after it’s release. I remember watching this late one night with my dad. We were skipping channels and I saw this truck with a giant Green Goblin head on the font….I was sold. It’s based on King’s short story “Trucks” from his collection “Night Shift” about sentient killer trucks.

Best Bit- Steamroller

 

22.Psycho 3

Despite that crapper of a poster the movie itself is surprisingly good romantic horror sequel. You heard right, Norman falls for someone other than his mummy this time, a suicidal nun. An incessant reporter is still trying to figure out the events from the previous movie and hounds the Bates Motel for information.

Best Bit- Virgin Mary?

 

21. Crocodile Dundee

Apparently the 80s saw a huge American obsession with Australian culture and this movie is the most famous example of that. It’s a fish out of water story seeing Paul Hogan’s Mick Dundee coming from the vast nature of the Aussie outback to the hustle and bustle of New York City. It’s just a series of cliches and stereotypes that haven’t aged particularly well as they are played out now but it’s still fun and he’s a likeable character.

Best Bit- That’s not a knife

 

20. Little Shop Of Horrors

“FEED ME SEYMOUR” A comedy musical directed by Frank Oz and starring the always goofy and loveable Rick Moranis. He owns a flower shop and finds out his venus flytrap is sentient and out for blood. It’s essentially a remake of the Roger Corman movie of the same name from 1960. Great songs, a fun story and a real ode to old B movies of the 60s.

Best Bit- You’ll Be A Dentist

 

19. Pretty In Pink

Another in the….ugh…..brat pack….movie collection written by the great John Hughes. Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, James Spader and more star in this romantic comedy and the title is based on the excellent Psychedelic Furs song. A great soundtrack and good performances.

Best Bit-Record store

 

18. Fist Of The North Star

A post apocalyptic Mad Max style anime about a wandering warrior who strolls into what’s left of towns and helps out those in need ….mainly making heads explode. Like with most anime it’s based on a manga series of the same name written by Buronson and brings the violence from the page to the screen. Director Toyoo Ashida did a fine job and many adaptations later they’re still trying to better this one.

Best Bit- Fat guy fight

 

17. Critters

My and my brother used to watch this movie a lot and absolutely loved it. A brilliantly funny ode to the sci fi horror of the 60s. Stephen Herek nailed the atmosphere and aesthetic with these little spiky fuzzballs and unlike popular myth would have you believe it was conceived as an idea long before Joe Dante’s classic Gremlins came out so it’s not a parody.

Best Bit- First sighting

 

16. Short Circuit

Hey laserlips, our mamma was a snow blower!. Man I loved this movie as a kid, I mean seriously loved it. I’d quote it with my mum all the time. I always wanted my own little robot pal like Johnny 5. Anyway this like comedy adventure sees a mischievous robot come to life and cause havoc for everyone. So much fun.

Best Bit- No disassemble

 

15. Labyrinth

Legendary puppeteer Jim Henson directs this cult classic fantasy film starring David Bowie as The Goblin King with his impressive bulge. The Henson trademarks are here with strangely scary puppets and beautiful, whimsical visuals. As with most cult classics it was a bit of a commercial flop which is a real shame but it made it’s reputation on vhs. A young Jennifer Connolly shows great promise and it’s clear why she became such a star.

Best Bit-Hand pit

 

14. Manhunter

The first movie based on the Tom Harris novel Red Dragon with Dundee’s own Brian Cox starring as Hannibal Lecktor. Obviously it’s far less celebrated than it’s follow up Silence Of The Lambs but that doesn’t make it any less of a fantastic film. Cox is excellent as the charming serial killer and Michael Mann’s direction is deft and slow burning in the best way.

Best Bit-In A Gadda Da Vida

 

13. Highlander

My favourite movie in which a Frenchman plays a Scot and a Scot plays a Spaniard. Bizarre casting aside this fantasy tale of immortal warriors and a narrative that spreads over centuries. Another for the cult classics pile because the critics just didn’t get it at all but who cares?, anyone with sense enjoyed it.

Best Bit- The Kurgan fight

 

12. Friday The 13th Part 6: Jason Lives

After the poor reception to the fake Jason in part5 they decided it would be best to bring the fan favourite character back for part 6. Director Tom Mcloughlin had so much fun with the movie and right from the off with the James Bond parody you know you are in for a more light hearted and less mean spirited film than the previous one. This is the one that had the Alice Cooper song “The Man Behind The Mask”.

Best Bit- Triple decapitation

 

11.The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2

The legendary Breakfast Club parody poster sets the tone for the sequel to the pioneering slasher movie directed by the late great Tobe Hooper. Hooper returns over a decade later to move away from the gritty tone of the original and goes for a deeply dark comedy horror that works brilliantly. Insane set pieces, memorable characters and plenty gore for you sickos out there!. It took a long time but it’s finally getting it’s due respect these days.

Best Bit- You killed her you hog witch!

 

10. When The Wind Blows

A disturbing, anti war, anti nuclear movie disguised as a cuddly kids cartoon. This would do the rounds on tv a lot when I was young and we watched it at school too so it’ll be very well known to readers from the UK around my age. It’s based on the Raymond Biggs graphic novel from 1982. It centres on a kindly elderly couple who are preparing for an atomic bomb to be dropped. It’s brutally sad and differs from most disaster movies with no hero saving the day and punching bombs, it’s bleak and upsetting but utterly captivating. Cool theme song from David Bowie too.

Best Bit- The bomb drops

 

9. Blue Velvet

David Lynch goes full David Lynch and delivers and insanely intense, weird drama with Dennis Hopper delivering a performance that is up there with his best and certainly his most underrated and pretty much resurrected his career as he’d been out of the scene and struggling with certain issues prior. A neo noir starring….of course….Kyle MacLachlan  and model Isabella Rossellini with sexual and violent content that shocked and appalled many, it’s gone down as one of Lynch’s greatest.

Best Bit- Gas huffer

 

8.A Better Tomorrow

Despite being a co-star in this one, Chow Yun Fat’s performance made him a breakout star and director John Woo would go on to work with him several times after. Part of the heroic bloodshed genre that Woo dominated over the years, this crime drama is stylish, violent and utterly entertaining.

Best Bit- Restaurant shootout

 

7. An American Tail

I’m probably going to cry writing this….every time I think of this movie I hear wee Fievel singing “Somewhere Out There” Don Bluth directs this beautiful and surprisingly dark ….tale….of a Ukrainian mouse family who emigrate to America but get separated along the way. Wee Fievel desperately tries to find his parents and we follow him on his journey.

Best Bit- Somewhere out there

 

 

6. Laputa: Castle In The Sky

Another Hayao Miyazaki directed Studio Ghibli masterpiece about a wee girl and boy and their attempts to keep a crystal from falling into the hands of a nefarious militia while they search for a mythical floating castle inn the clouds. It’s whimsical, beautiful and as is often the case has a strong female lead in a time when that wasn’t common, especially in adventure movies.

Best Bit-Finding the forgotten robot soldier

 

5. Stand By Me

A classic coming of age tale based on the Stephen King short story “The Body”. Directed by Rob Reiner and starring an ensemble cast of youth talent of the time, this drama captures the adventure of youth and the friendships forged with all different types of personalities and character. The emotional punch is even more poignant at the end given that one of the stars, River Phoenix would die from an overdose a few years later.

Best Bit-Milk money

 

4. Big Trouble In Little China

John Carpenter is such an incredibly diverse director. Known primarily for very effective, minimalist horror movies, here he goes nuts and creates this masterpiece blend of genres from fantasy to comedy to horror. It’s massive in scope and the practical effects are stunning. The visuals and fantasy aesthetics are brilliant. Kurt Russell is brilliant as usual and plays the reluctant action hero with such a smug and cool smirk. It’s just balls to the wall fun. 

Best Bit- Final fight

 

3. Platoon

Ugh the top three was so so hard to separate but here we go. Oliver Stone wanted to take his experiences in Vietnam and put them into film as an antidote to the pro American, anti Vietnamese propaganda that Hollywood had often turned out. It’s an anti war film and a particularly brutal one showing what war can do to the psyche. It’s brutal, disturbing and for me, seeing this as a kid changed my view on war and war films as it showed me that not everyone marching off to war is a hero. Some insanely strong performances from the likes of Tom Berenger  and Charlie Sheen.

Best Bit- The village

 

2. Aliens

So much has been said about this James Cameron classic and it’s all the same stuff over and over again o I’ll just skim over it. A completely different movie to the Ridley Scott predecessor which was a taught, tense and terrifying horror. Aliens is an action packed monster movie with millions of bullets flying and marines shouting their heads off. Both very different but both all time sci classics. An exhilarating thrill ride of a movie.

Best Bit- Rescuing Newt

 

1 The Fly

We end an incredibly strong year with one of the most emotional horror movies of all time. An absolute work of genius from David Cronenberg and I talked about it at length in my “Best Horror Remakes”. It’s tragic, it’s horrifying, it’s gross, it’s scary and most importantly in terms of the story it’s romantic. Watching Jeff Goldblum’s slow descent and mutation is heart breaking as his girlfriend played by Geena Davis tries so hard to stick with him and support him as he loses his humanity. It’s beautiful and horrendous. A masterpiece.

Best Bit- The ending

 

 

1986 is done so it’s on…predictably to 1987. Join me back here for that. Until then stay cool and catch me @swing_kinker

 

 

 

 

 

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