Kinker Korner’s Top 35 Movies Of 1980 NSFW

Well here we go with another decade and what better one to go to than the decade of my birth. There’s going to be some all time greats in these next few lists so let’s have a look at what the beginning of the decade brings us.

 

35.Cheech And Chong’s Next Movie

The sequel to 1978’s Up In Smoke is, in my humble opinion better than the much lauded original. The two stoner heroes return with more of the kind of humour that unimaginative writers have driven into the ground by repeating the exact same jokes over and over again. If you look at this movie through those eyes then it sucks but it has to be remembered that these guys were pretty  much the innovators of weed comedy and it’s a good laugh as they two bumbling protagonists are likeable chaps. 

Best Bit-Old man laughing

 

34.Motel Hell

Strictly for hardcore horror fans who can see through a lot of the weirdness and hokey parts of the genre that often come up. A low budget slasher about a farmer/butcher/motel owner who slays his customers and makes them into sausages. It’s bizarre, witty and weird, just what horror fans want.

Best Bit- The secret garden

 

33.Dressed To Kill

Brian De Palma’s erotic thriller is brave, controversial and brilliantly shot. It stars a bang on form Barbara Dickinson, Michael Caine and the beautiful and awesome Nancy Allen who previously worked with De Palma on Carrie. Pino Donaggio’s score is excellent in building the tension and the movie does a great job of maintaining that tension.

Best Bit- The museum

 

32.Urban Cowboy

A romantic drama mainly set in a honky tonk club set to the popular country music of the time. I have no interest in that culture whatsoever so the fact I still enjoyed the movie is testament to it’s quality. It’s considered something of a classic in the genre but to me it’s just a decent romantic movie with good performances from John Travolta and Debra Winger.

Best Bit- “We’re going home”

 

31.Fade To Black

A cult slasher flick about a shy, movie obsessed outcast who goes on a murderous spree while stalking a Marilyn Monroe lookalike.I’m really surprised this one hasn’t been remade as every other slasher seems to have been dug up and destroyed but I’m happy it has been left alone so far. 

Best Bit-Face painting

 

 

30. The Long Good Friday

“OI! FACK A DACK BRUV” There’s something I find so funny about the cockney tough guy movie, especially when Bob Hoskins is the lead but nonetheless this gangster flick about political corruption and IRA cooperation is violent intricate, intelligent and well made by Scottish director John Mackenzie. 

Best Bit. The ending

 

29.Flash Gordon

An un-apologetically  cheesy and ridiculous sci fi epic based on the Alex Raymond comic  strips. Ex Playgirl centrefold Sam Jones got the part of Gordon and his acting is almost as wooden as…..well make your own joke there but it’s famous for it’s awful acting which makes it endearing. It’s known for it’s soundtrack by Queen, mainly the film’s theme. Ming The Merciless is a great villain but I’ll never see him the same since the Big Train sketches about him. 

Best Bit-Hawkmen fight

 

28.Stir Crazy

A comedy directed by everyone’s favourite South Park Kaiju Sidney Poitier and reuniting Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor after the 1976film Silver Streak. This one sees them being framed and serving life in prison,  having to survive the vicious characters inside. It’s fun, fish out of water comedy.

Best Bit-“We bad”

 

27. Encounters Of The Spooky Kind

Oh Sammo Hung you cooky card. Sammo Hung is not only a brilliant physical comedian but an incredibly talented and accomplished martial artist. That’s what surprises and pleases people most when they first see him, this weird, geeky fat fella who can move like Jackie Chan, it’s incredible. Here he pretty much invents the genre of comedy horror and it pays off big time.

Best Bit- The teahouse

 

 

26. Altered States

A psychological thriller about sensory deprivation, psychedelic  drug experiments and their effects on the human psyche. It’s tone is all over the place which is actually quite apt as it’s exploring insanity and hallucinations with weird special effects and constant messing with the viewer’s expectations. 

Best Bit- Tribal trip

 

25.The Blues Brothers

No doubt many of you feel this is awful low as it’s considered something of a comedic masterpiece but although I clearly enjoy it I find it insanely overrated. It was the first of the Saturday Night Live sketches to be made into a movie, a phenomenon that has become incredibly regular to varying results. It’s a crime caper musical starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd that everyone seems to love.

Best Bit-Car chase

 

 

24.The Great Rock And Roll Swindle

A weird mockumentary from Julien Temple that mixes archive footage of the Sex Pistols’ short but eventful reign as punk’s poster boys and scenes of the band and members of their team acting as characters. It’s basically a retelling of the band’s run told through the eyes of manager Malcolm Mclaren, a lot of which was challenged by Johnny Rotten and others and led to the 2000 documentary The Filth And The Fury.

Best Bit-Live performances

 

 

23.Virus

A post apocalyptic sci fi drama directed by the legendary Kinji Fukasaku who would later go on to make Battle Royale. It was big news in Japan at the time as it stood as the biggest budget a movie had received in the country at that point and it attempted to appeal to western audiences by having stars like Robert Vaughn and George Kennedy in it. Get the original version if possible, the American edit is rank. 

Best Bit-Skeleton chat

 

22.Popeye

A bit of a weird one this as it was a total critical and commercial flop but I really enjoyed it as a kid….granted I’m going off nostalgia here as I haven’t watched it in a long time but Jesus Christ give me a break I’m doing 35 movies a year…..there’s going to be some years I’ll have to tone it back….I’ve watched an ungodly amount of movies!. Anyone this adaptation of the old E.C Segar comic strips is fun and kind of surreal with Robin Williams playing Popeye and Shelley Duvall playing his love Olive Oyl.

Best Bit- Boxing

 

21.The Chengeling

A tense and taut supernatural horror about a composer who rents an old mansion to collect his thoughts and get his life together. Strange things start happening and he believes he is not alone in the house. It’s genuinely creepy and although it suffers from the tropes that age a lot of old horror it still works well.

Best Bit- Spooky wheelchair

 

20.Inferno

From the mind of this legendary Dario Argento, this supernatural horror is something of a spiritual successor to the all time classic Suspiria. While it never get up to the quality of that movie it’s still an enjoyable experience and as usual with Argento it’s beautifully shot. 

Best Bit-Guillotine

 

19.Private Benjamin

This used to be on tv all the time in my youth and my mum loved it. The always likeable Goldie Hawn plays a spoiled, rich woman who ends up joining the army after feeling directionless when her husband dies o their wedding day during sex. What follows is her grueling training regime and funny fish out of water comedy tropes as she progresses and finds herself throughout the movie.

Best Bit-Training

 

18.The Fog

John Carpenter’s directorial follow up to Halloween also stars Jamie Lee Curtis in a supernatural horror about a fog that descends on a town bringing vengeful ghosts of a shipwreck with it. It’s effective, minimalist tension building from one of the best directors in the genre. Avoid the 2005 remake at all costs.

Best Bit-What’s at the door?

 

17.City Of The Living Dead aka The Gates Of Hell

Italian zombie maestro Lucio Fulci, he of Zombi 2 fame returned with this gorefest. His usual strange pacing is also on show that could be a turn off to some but I’ve always found it intriguing as instead of building dread he tends to go for sharp tonal shifts and it creates a weird, eerie atmosphere.

Best Bit-Brains screwed out

 

16. The Long Riders

I’m a fan of Walter Hill who made films like The Warriors and Streets Of Fire and he’s always been a big champion of western movies. It’s a genre I’m not overly keen on for the most part but here he makes a cracker in his typical macho style. It also has a soundtrack composed by Ry Cooder which is highly regarded. The actors involved are groups of siblings like James and Stacy Keach and the Carradine trio of David, Robert and Keith.

Best Bit-Knife fight

 

15.Maniac

A hugely controversial movie that was put on the video nasty list due to it’s brutal violence but let’s be honest pretty much any slasher movie of the 80s was attacked by Mary Whitehouse and her conservative buddies who tried to ban anything subversive. This William Lustig slasher about a deranged stalker has grown into a cult favourite over the years and received a remake starring Elijah Wood that was actually good….I know it’s a miracle.

Best Bit- Subway chase

 

14.Shogun Assassin

One of the many Japanese adaptations of Lone Wolf And Cub which in fact is a movie made for western audiences that is complied of the first two movies in the Lone Wolf series. It focuses on a falsely accused samurai on the run with a baby in tow. The over the top violence and great swordplay make it a must see for samurai fans.

Best Bit- Dune battle

 

13.Caddyshack

Harold Ramis’ classic directorial debut is a favourite of many of the generation above mine and was a very successful comedy starring Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Michael O’ Keefe. It took Dangerfield from a popular stand up to a bona fide  movie star and his brand of frenetic comedy hit it big. It’s a sports comedy set on a prestigious and snooty golf course and the crazy characters that frequent it.

Best Bit- Boat crash

 

12.Brubaker

A prison drama starring Robert Redford as a newly arrived guard who tries to clean up the corrupt penal system. It’s based on the testimony in a book by prison guards in an Arkansas lock up that caused a huge scandal in 1967. All kinds of abuse was going on and it’s all detailed in the movie which makes it a gritty and engrossing, powerful movie.

Best Bit-Slow clap

 

11.Superman 2

The best Superman movie ever, I mean I don’t think there’s any argument there is there? No?….good. Richard Lester and Richard Donner’s good natured, warm hearted reminder of a simpler times when goodies were goodies and baddies were baddies is a well made and enjoyable super hero tale with General Zod serving as a solid and memorable villain. It had a troubled production with Donner leaving directing duties to Lester after falling out with the brass and his final cut didn’t appear for another two decades. 

Best Bit-Final battle

 

10.Prom Night

Ahhh good old 80s horror posters, how I miss you.Jamie Lee Curtis makes her second appearance of the list in another horror, she truly is a great scream queen. It also stars…..Leslie Nielson before he became a comedy legend and was completely typecast….more on that later. This Canadian slasher sees a masked killer out for revenge on the anniversary of a young girl’s death at the hands of some students.

Best Bit-School chase

 

9. Return To The 36th Chamber

No, not the Ol’ Dirty Bastard album but the movie he named it after. A Hong Kong martial arts comedy from the Shaw brothers with spectacular set pieces and ballet like fight scenes. It’s the second part of a trilogy and while it never reaches the height of the first movie in the series it’s still excellent and the addition of the comedy elements is something a bit different as the original was more straight laced.

Best Bit-Foldy table fight

 

8. Cannibal Holocaust

Lovely poster…..tea time. I spoke a lot about this and my history with it in my list of scariest movies so check that one out in the archives. Pre internet and in my youth I had this feeling in the back of my head that parts of this were real….I kept thinking to myself that I know it’s not but…..maybe this bit was real. It’s one of the first found footage movies and is incredibly impactful which is why it was banned for so long and the film makers were taken to court and had to prove they hadn’t actually killed the actors. 

Best Bit- The final attack

 

7. Friday The 13th

Sean Cunningham had absolutely no idea how successful this low budget movie would be when he directed it and it went on to become a massive franchise with Jason Voorhees as the mascot. Jason isn’t even in this one, save for a dream sequence as a kid. It’s not the best of the series but it’s an effective little slasher with a great twist and it launched the career of Kevin Bacon which is sound. Pretty much every slasher trope and cliche that went on to be parodied can be found in this one but that’s why us horror nuts love it.

Best Bit- The reveal

 

6.Airplane

The Zucker brothers wacky satire has gone down in history as one of the greatest comedies of all time with endlessly quotable lines and a brilliant comedic performance from Leslie Nielson. This is where Nielson’s career changed from journeyman serious actor to headlining comedic genius and he was given a second wind in his career. He would star in numerous comedies of carying quality until the day he passed and is most known for his brilliant physical actions and vocal delivery. 

Best Bit-Singalong

 

5.The Young Master

A young Jackie Chan’s directorial debut has all the beautiful and brilliant physical comedy you’d expect from the martial arts legend. Wonderful use of props, eye watering gymnastics and stunning choreography all make for a hugely entertaining kung fu flick. 

Best Bit-Training fight

 

5.Raging Bull

Martin Scorcsse’s biopic of middleweight boxing legend Jake Lamotta is considered by many to be his magnum opus and while I don’t agree with that I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a disturbing look at the life a hero to many who, behind the scenes was self destructive, violent and jealous and took it out on his family and wife. Due to his in ring triumphs and bravery it’s hard not to be on his side at times but then he throws it all away with his actions away from the ring. Seeing him washed up at the end is still a sad fate that many ex boxers go through after the gloves come off and Scorsese perfectly captures both sides to this life.

Best Bit- “You never got me down”

 

4.Kagemusha

Is it still the hipster thing to say you’re a  big fan of Akira Kurasawa? If it is then I’m at risk of becoming what I hate then as I love the man’s work. As usual for him it’s a samurai movie set in the sengoku period where there was constant military conflict and political shenanigans going on, ripe for storytelling. It’s one of his most ambitious movies with luscious sweeping sequences and incredible use of colour. 

Best Bit-Nightmare

 

3.The Elephant Man

Oh boy I could solve some countries’ water shortages with amount of tears I’ve lost to this David Lynch biopic of Joseph Merrick, a man born with severe deformities. John Hurt is mesmerizing in the lead role and the sympathy he garners is stunning. The hardships Merrick had to go through both physically and from the mocking and seclusion of the public is just heartbreaking. It’s the talented directors most straight forward movie with traditional story telling techniques but it’s brutally emotional and utterly soul destroying.

Best Bit-“No son as loving as you could ever be a disappointment”

 

2.Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

Oh come on what am I going to say about this that you don’t already know? The most celebrated of the original trilogy and therefore the series as a whole. Known for it’s dark tone and non traditional ending in which not everything is wrapped up nicely for a happy ending. So many great moments and the introduction of new characters like Lando and Yoda just took it further than the original with a bigger budget and an expanded universe. A beautiful space opera….but you knew that already. 

Best Bit- Meeting Yoda

 

1.The Shining

Stephen King famously hated this Stanley Kubrick adaptation of his supernatural novel as it differed too much but he was about the only one that didn’t see it as a masterpiece. From Jack Nicholson’s tremendous an unhinged performance to the creepy atmosphere and set pieces, it’s just expertly crafted from start to finish. Everyone knows about the twins in the corridor but that’s just one of the brilliant and memorable visuals on display here. There’s a movie about all the conspiracy theories circulating about the movie and people seem to think every scene Kubrick filmed had some kind of extra meaning. Whether you agree or not the movie is worth checking out, it’s called Room 237. Anyway back to The Shining itself…..it’s braw. 

Best Bit-All work and no play…

 

Ok so that’s us started a new (old) decade and it’s a couple more years until I’m born…..this time travel business is creepy. Join me here for 1981 soon and keep letting me your thoughts or any ideas you have for lists. Catch me @swing_kinker cheers folks xx

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