Originally sold as trading cards, the Kids each had a deformity or disgusting habit, and encouraged children to delight in their ugliness. | When Dorothy attempts to escape the hospital, she wakes up in Oz, where her companions are no longer an adorably bashful lion and a neurotic scarecrow, but a robot and a pumpkin-headed monstrosity. Jason Presson, What follows is a Tolkienesque quest to wrest the crystal from the Skeksis’ grasp before they can grant themselves immortality. A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop an alien invasion with the help of a nerdy scientist and a struggling female rock singer. Director: | Damon Wayans, Votes: That said, the film gained enough of a cult following to spawn a prequel Netflix series in 2019, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, nearly 30 years after Henson’s death. Werewolves are a tried-and-true cornerstone of popular mythology. Jim Henson, Zach Galligan, | Director: “IT’S CRAAZZY!” So says the poster for 1988’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and there’s no denying that it does what it says on the tin. Fairuza Balk, Kelly Rowan, Votes: | | | Gross: Nastassja Kinski, Director: The channel in question depicts torture being performed, and viewers become so enraptured that they undergo terrifying mutations and psychotic breaks. Movies like Blade Runner, Back to the Future, The Terminator, and The Thing all came out in the ‘80s, but there are even more films that were released under the Sci-Fi genre. Unsurprisingly, for something so terrifyingly inventive, it has since garnered a cult following. Starring future dad bod model Jason Bateman in his film debut, Teen Wolf Too [sic] has Scott Howard’s cousin, Todd, forced into taking up boxing. Need I say more? Plus, this is actually much more than a transportation-themed caper when you look beneath the surface: it’s a parody of the seminal Italian film Bicycle Thieves. Shelley Thompson, Votes: | Lucas served as executive producer on the project, and Industrial Light & Magic constructed the ambitious strobe effects. | And, yes, it’s all done through puppets. Having debuted (dubbed) in Hercules in New York, the future governor’s breakthrough role came in 1982’s sword and sorcery film Conan the Barbarian. Kris Kristofferson, Directed by Douglas Trumbull, who also had a hand in sci-fi classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Brainstorm takes a simple premise and thoroughly Walkens it up. Joe Dante Paul Schrader Keanu Reeves, Critics Consensus: Stand By Me is a wise, nostalgic movie with a weird streak that captures both Stephen King's voice and the trials of growing up. After the success of his sophomore film, American Graffiti, George Lucas set his sights on a revolutionary science fiction project, the likes of which would still have a cult status decades later. Strange, given that they’re basically the same film. 95 min In fact, Michael Brace (Walken) becomes so enamoured with the technology that he becomes addicted to its power. Mark Holton, Stars: Sean Young, Phoebe Cates, Another, An American Werewolf in London, was an acclaimed horror-comedy. Jim Henson Director: In the 80s, however, Walken was a steely-eyed proprietor of some truly odd Hollywood fare, not least of which is 1983’s Brainstorm. From Ms. 45 to Bird to Looker, Brian Formo lists the best underrated gems of the decade. Sure! | And did somebody say Robert Goulet? John Heard, Despite that robots are essentially not sentient, the film is nonetheless a tale of love, loyalty and despair. 17. 13 kids movies from the 80s that were seriously dark and scary Ross McG Friday 6 Feb 2015 3:36 pm Share this article via facebook Share this article via twitter Share this article via messenger 118 min The show began its run in September 2001, mere days after the 9/11 attacks, and failed to attract enough investors to become a complete production. | Gross: Starring Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans as multicoloured extra-terrestrials, Earth Girls Are Easy has the 80s threesome pursue Geena Davis and Julie Brown for some intergalactic coitus. Willard Huyck | Gross: 85 min Whether it’s the demand for more cowbell, or singing (badly) in Hairspray, or singing (badly) in The Jungle Book, Walken has become more of a pop culture reference than a real human being. Pause for laughter.). | Gross: Time-travelling DeLorean? He gets a girlfriend who performs in a band, beats up thugs, and enlists the help of a janitor to get back home. Directors: Adventure, Comedy, Family. Earth Girls Are Easy might not rank among the decade’s greatest hits – in fact, it returned a dismal $3.9 million on an estimated $10 million budget – but it certainly ranks among its wackiest. Adventure, Comedy, Family. River Phoenix, He invites them to use a time machine that looks like a phone booth in order to pass their History class, accidentally displacing Napoleon and other famous figures from their timelines. The film’s disappointing box office returns – especially compared to the original film, which made back its costs thrice over – meant a sequel was canned. Mombi, in case you’re wondering, has a remarkable collection of severed heads, and would like to add Dorothy’s to her exhibit. ... sometimes music videos just end up as weird but memorable creations that we never entirely understand. An uproarious pastiche of the popular, wholesome Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids were considered the height of playground counterculture. For some, 1985’s Teen Wolf is bizarre enough. (Just how do those ladies do it? 123,916 However, it was an ill-fated production. Heartbeeps (1981) Elizabeth Daily, Family, Comedy, Arthur is asked to pick up a bird for Thanksgiving dinner, so he brings home a 266-pound chicken named Henrietta. Peter Baldwin | Gross: Wilson finds this out after cornering a ‘militant Native American activist’. The Blues Brothers (1980) 73% #35. $15.12M, PG For example, a murder victim ends up being used as a ventriloquist’s dummy, and another scene sees a clown drinking gelatinised blood through a crazy straw. We dug through some murky internet backwaters to find this eclectic collection of forgotten, cast-off and supremely weird ‘80s horror trailers, with an eye toward obscurity. Stars: According to Grant, fellow weirdo actor Jim Carrey described his performance as “genius,” and it’s easy to see why Carrey might have been attracted to the film. Nowadays, Christopher Walken and his iconic voice have transcended the man himself. Jim Carrey, A boy obsessed with 50s sci-fi movies about aliens has a recurring dream about a blueprint of some kind, which he draws for his inventor friend. | Looking at this list, the 80’s were a weird time! | However, it’s revealed that Kane is in fact a Vietnam soldier who decapitated a young boy and then impersonated his brother in order to be dispatched back to the US, though the army knew his gambit all along and sent him to the insane asylum supposedly as its commanding officer. The actor would undergo another about-face with 1989’s Batman, also helmed by Tim Burton, but nothing in his career can compare to the sheer weirdness of Beetlejuice. | How does Carlin do this? The internet has delighted in the second act of Richard E Grant. Mackenzie Astin, The presence of a parasitic growth isn’t anything new in cinema, but the macabre conclusion of the film is certainly more horror than comedy. Toby Froud, The film sees a group of vicious aliens, who coincidentally resemble circus clowns, arrive on Earth and massacre a small town. In the film, Grant plays Dennis Dimbleby Bagley, a morally conflicted advertising executive who suffers a breakdown while marketing pimple cream. Chenoweth would instead begin work on Wicked, which would debut in 2003 and become the defining role of her career. Alex Winter, If you love sword and sorcery films, there’s no question that you’ll find Conan the Destroyer entertaining. | Malcolm McDowell, Parody characters rarely make for good films, but it’s fair to say that the Garbage Pail Kids were a unique sensation in the 80s. A lot of 90s success is owed to 80s weirdness! Christa Denton, Frank Oz But I think of a movie and immediately flash back to my childhood. Pitched as a ‘splatter’ film, a horror subgenre that delights in gore, The Toxic Avenger is one-part superhero satire and two-parts gross-out physical effects, all set in a fictional New Jersey town. | Gross: This was followed by a sequel in 1984, mere months before The Terminator would change the course of Schwarzenegger’s career forever. It’s fair to say that, without Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, we wouldn’t have Point Break, Speed or The Matrix. Comedy, Fantasy, Horror. And yet it gets stranger still. | Gross: Annette O'Toole, Votes: The 80s were full of these kinds of videos, with these 15 being the absolute icing on the weird cake. Michael Keaton, Early in Grant’s first act, however, was the underrated satire How to Get Ahead in Advertising. Kim Basinger, Unlike the original film, which made a colossal $80 million from a budget of $1.2 million, Teen Wolf Too’s tripled budget returned only $7.9 million. | | Gross: 15,339 The movie itself was only so-so, but did it really matter? While the film was marketed as a horror-comedy, that doesn’t stop the weirdness slipping from absurd to something more disturbing. Tim Burton’s first foray into directing before he moved onto bigger projects like the Batman films, the child-like magic of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is both uncomfortable and undeniable. Dodger must confront the struggles of life as he is visited by the Garbage Pail Kids and intimidated by some older bullies. Wheelers, humanoid creatures with wheels instead of hands and feet, roam the streets, and all of the munchkins have been turned to stone. Stars: Godfrey Ho ninjas are unlike other ninjas. There are a lot of '80s movies out there that people consider obscure just because, well, they're from the '80s, a decade which is now officially 300 million years ago. Rod Amateau Not a bad thing. Richard Benjamin Thankfully, the studio’s gamble on a sophomore director in Burton paid off – the film was a critical and commercial success, and was recently adapted into a stage musical. | Terry Camilleri, Votes: However, the fact that The Ninth Configuration’s initial title was Twinkle, Twinkle, “Killer” Kane! Labyrinth could easily make this list, but 1982’s The Dark Crystal is weirder still. $7.18M, PG Director: The film even stars Debbie Harry, of Blondie, as a sadomasochist who gets aroused by the titular TV channel. Alex Cox 62,053 The Garbage Pail Kids come to Earth in a garbage can spaceship, where they intervene in a fight between a child and some bullies, and eventually end up in a prison for ugly people that counts Santa Claus, Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln among its inmates. Howard the Duck lives on Duckworld, but is then sucked across the universe to Earth, for reasons only explained towards the end of the film. From a giant talking duck to murderous circus clowns, some of the wackiest movies came out of the 80s. | Jennifer Connelly, | Bradley Gregg, Votes: Tracey Walter, A young woman's sexual awakening brings horror when she discovers her urges transform her into a monstrous black leopard. Oh, and their child is voiced by Jerry Garcia of Californian rock band The Grateful Dead. 100 min 7,460 The plot concerns a headset that can record and play back the mental experiences of the wearer. Before The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger was known as something of a fantasy actor. 91 min Stars: ), but weirdo 80s films just have a way of getting under your skin with strange antics, experimental lighting and stilted acting galore. In the 1970s, Hollywood studios gave bold young directors free rein, resulting in a new golden age of movies (and a lot of ulcers for studio execs). Tibor Takács Taking place on the distant planet of Thra, The Dark Crystal depicts the conflict between the innocent Gelfings and the malevolent Skeksis, the latter of whom exploit the titular crystal to elongate their lifespan. It was produced on a budget of $1 million. Pick your FIGHT below! At one point, the two robots even decide to assemble a third robot out of spare parts, naming him Phil and treating him as their child. Comedy, Fantasy. Jon Lovitz, The best part, however, has to be Finney’s remarkable hairdo. It received an overwhelmingly positive reception. From a giant talking duck to murderous circus clowns, some of the wackiest movies came out of the 80s. | Often forgotten, however, is its even-more-bizarre sequel. In fact, the film’s dire warnings about the dangers of broadcasting and cassette tapes almost feel twee in today’s digital age. On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world. That film, released in 1948, is a neorealist, Marxist tale of a man whose life unravels after his bicycle – which he needs to earn a living – is stolen. After all, the crux of the film is that the pair’s lacklustre musical talent forms the basis of a future utopia. | 106 min The film depicts the story of the astronaut from The Exorcist, who suffers a psychotic break during an abortive rocket launch. 263,410 Harry Dean Stanton, | Gross: An autistic boy who dreams of flying touches everyone he meets, including a new family who has moved in after their father dies. Well, Return to Oz reveals that Dorothy was thought to be delusional after her initial adventures in Oz, and has been sent to a psychiatric hospital for electroshock therapy. | Director: Comedy, Sci-Fi. | George Carlin, In the end, I’ve got to hand it to the studios and filmmakers of the ‘90s for thinking way outside the box. $9.87M, R Bill Norton Fantasy, Horror, Thriller. Stars: 49,313 113 min 105 min Jeff Goldblum, | | Today we know the Avengers as a motley crew of Norse gods, American supersoldiers and occasionally a woman or two – but there’s yet to be a crossover with cinema’s greatest hero: the Toxic Avenger. Still, it’s inadvisable to follow him or anyone into the woods on the promise of an amazing hole. It’s such a remarkable utopia, in fact, that they send George Carlin back in time to make sure Bill and Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) stay together and record their prophetic discography. | An early example of body horror, the film sees limbs protrude from a TV screen and tapes inserted into torsos. | To honour these oft-forgotten works of art, we’ve compiled a list of the most bizarre films from the 80s. Sent to a castle that the US military has requisitioned as an insane asylum, the astronaut strikes up a prickly friendship with Kane, the commanding officer. Director: Who knew that the most unrealistic part of a werewolf boxing movie would be the supernatural power of three clichéd words? Phil Fondacaro, The project is supposedly still in development, but continues to stall. Return to Oz is a film responsible for the nightmares of an entire generation, and is a far cry from the Technicolor wonder of Judy Garland’s 1939 classic. Anyway, there’s a fashion show and then they steal some ATVs and that’s the end of the film. Stars: | A young punk recruited by a car repossession agency finds himself in pursuit of a Chevrolet Malibu that is wanted for a $20,000 bounty - and has something otherworldly stashed in its trunk. $7.00M, See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc. Alyson Hannigan, Votes: The weird movies of the '90s will live on forever. … However, as of October 2019, Schwarzenegger has confirmed a long-gestating project is still in development. ... None of it makes much sense, but it's a weird, wild ride, best enjoyed with like-minded fans of … 24,862 | | $16.30M, PG Weird Science (1985) A girl is innocently playing piano, when a cosmic vortex sucks the clothing off her body and catapults her naked from a chimney. The group has to find a virgin to sacrifice at the end of the movie, and it's a hoot. Louis Tripp, Director: Frank Oz, Of course, that’s not to say that the films of today aren’t just as strange (Swiss Army Man, anyone? All in all, then, not the best candidates for a live-action feature. | 20,308 $40.90M, PG Valeria Golino, Votes: However, once Jamie Benjamin accidentally lands his babysitter in the pit, he frees the ‘Tra-la-logs’ to murder as they please. If you look at the poster for The Ninth Configuration, you’ll probably feel a startling similarity to The Exorcist. Let’s just say it involves lancing some boils. Ultimately, Conan is betrayed by Queen Taramis, as portrayed by Superman and Superman II’s Sarah Douglas. For one thing, it also goes by the title Teddy, which you might think says enough already. Action, Comedy, Crime. Representing the inner viciousness of man, we’ve been transfixed by these creatures in everything from The Wolf Man to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Sixteen-year-old Sarah is given thirteen hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother Toby when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King Jareth. Jay Underwood, Admit it: you weren’t at all surprised to see this film on the list. Even better, there was an economy of weird, and the mainstream was trying its hardest to capitalize on it in every capacity. Stars: | Paul Reubens, | ), but weirdo 80s films just have a way of getting under your skin with strange antics, experimental lighting and stilted acting galore. The 3rd act brings the whole concept into play with a society that literally morphs, merges and interacts with each other on a highly bizarre organic level….crazy sh*t. While some would consider Geena Davis a casting coup for such a bizarro film, the role had in fact first been offered to 80s stalwarts like Molly Ringwald and Madonna, who for some reason turned it down. Director: | When his ex-girlfriend mouths ‘I love you’ from the stands, he manages to deliver the knockout punch. | Stephen Herek Michael J Fox stars as a shape-shifting basketball wannabe who ends up using his lycanthropic powers to shoot some rad hoops. https://www.digitalspy.com/movies/a829040/80-movies-offensive-inappropriate The structure of a crazed man undergoing supernatural circumstances, while struggling to maintain his relationship with his wife, is the basis of most Jim Carrey comedy flicks from the early 90s. 14 Underrated Horror Movies From The '80s That Every Fan Should Watch. The film marked a watershed moment for Troma Entertainment, who moved heavily into B-movie horror after the cult success of The Toxic Avenger. Stars: $14.97M, PG As of yet, it’s still stuck in development hell. Jean Marsh, Hoyt Axton, | Scott’s erstwhile basketball coach, recast as Paul Sands, has become a boxing coach, and hopes being half-man half-beast will make Todd his new star. Cliff De Young, Family, Adventure, Sci-Fi. Adventure, Comedy, Romance. Stars: Schwarzenegger is joined by Grace Jones and basketball star Wilt Chamberlain as they face off against Thoth-Amon, played by Pat Roach (better known as the burly figure in the first three Indiana Jones films). Simultaneously lauded as “a silly and ribald superhero spoof” and damned as “too self-consciously parodic to be good kitsch,” The Toxic Avenger sees a harassed nerd transformed into a goopy monster-hero after an accident at a health club. His first line of inquiry? While Reeves had already found some success with films like River’s Edge and Dangerous Liaisons, it was the unexpected success of Bill & Ted – which grossed $40.5 million from a $6.5 million budget – that landed him a reputation as a bankable star. It’s remarkable that such a famed cast ever signed on to such a film: alongside Keaton and Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Catherine O’Hara star. Oh, and along the way there are revelations about incest, offers to commit more incest, rampant limblessness and a mysterious green gas. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure spawned two sequels, which admittedly have less cinematic pedigree. Adventure, Comedy, Family. #9 RAWHEAD REX (1986) WOW, is this a strange one. Some of the best 80s films take an unabashed look at the bizarre and jump right in. Vivian Bonnell, Jeffrey Jones, | 43,130 16. Now what? Stars: 90 min The film delights in this kind of time travel nonsense, with future versions of Bill and Ted making appearances, and the sequel – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey – focusing on a plot by future ne’er-do-wells to eliminate the slacker duo before the utopia can be established. Paul Reubens, The family welcome her with open arms, but the neighbors are not so sure ... See full summary », Director: The result of this important mission much exceeded her expectations. 8,646 Director: 140 Essential ’80s Movies #35. 199,569 Director: $40.49M, PG | Penelope Ann Miller, Stars: The Duck himself was portrayed alternately by a child actor and a dwarf actor, neither of whom enjoyed the experience; plus, the voice actor for the role wasn’t hired until after shooting concluded, meaning syncing up the movements of his bill and the voice track proved troublesome. | Kathryn Mullen, | Randal Kleiser It soon becomes apparent that the murder was not committed by any mortal man, but by the ‘Wolfen,’ Native Americans who can exchange their souls with wolves. Sadly, the film was Kaufman’s final theatrical performance before his death at the age of only 35. Stars: Comedy, Musical, Romance. Stars: Tim Robbins, | He also sleeps with his partner, a criminal psychologist, after she’s lured into a church by the sound of a baby crying. | They’re all real, we promise. Drama, Fantasy, Romance. Julien Temple This movie is weird … 33,888 19,272 0:03:50 ROUND 1 What movie character would have the best podcast? A Southern California girl befriends three furry aliens after their spaceship lands in her swimming pool. Bonnie Bedelia, | | Gross: 100 min Woah. The first, released in 1988, was Big Top Pee-wee, produced by rival studio Paramount. The spirits of a deceased couple are harassed by an unbearable family that has moved into their home, and hire a malicious spirit to drive them out. | Blatty would go on to write and direct The Exorcist III in 1990, a film that brought in more money than Exorcist II: The Heretic, but was nonetheless considered a box office disappointment. But this was the 80s, so that’s what we got. William Katt, 80s TV Shows; 90s Kids Movies; Best Kids Movies; $1 Summer Movies; 80s Movies. Return to Oz originated as a ploy by Disney to keep the movie rights to Frank L Baum’s stories, and bombed at the box office. 3,070 But if you’re a fan of hirsute dog-men, consider taking a time travel trip back to 1981, when not one but three werewolf films hit cinemas. | Director: | Geena Davis, The film has turned out to be quite the Nostradamus, given last year’s incident of YouTube star Logan Paul discovering and leering at a dead body in the so-called ‘Suicide Forest’ of Japan. Jim Henson, Fantasy, Horror. Of course, that’s not to say that the films of today aren’t just as strange (Swiss Army Man, anyone? Howard the Duck was a critical and commercial failure; if you went back in time and described how Marvel has come to dominate cinema in the years since, Howard the Duck viewers would have laughed you out of the room. If you aren’t yet sold on the film, it’s always interesting to listen to a Howard Shore score. Adventure, Comedy, Family. Dave Goelz, Votes: 1. But what other films have you forgotten? Stars: Adventure, Family, Fantasy. Director: Emilio Estevez, | Videodrome is nothing if not surreal, with its psychosexual themes and inimitable Cronenberg style. With a new Bill & Ted film releasing in 2020, and the enduring pop culture domination of the original, it can sometimes be hard to consider the series rationally – but there’s a lot about the classic that raises eyebrows. The 1942 version is a strange tale of women transforming into murderous panthers, but the Paul Schrader-directed remake takes the questionable elements of the wartime original and dials the weirdness up to eleventeen. Stars: Movies from the ‘80s are not only still talked about to this day, but some of the film series are even still going. Kind of like Frankenstein meets Beauty and the Beast meets Superman, but updated for the 80s generation (in other words, more aerobics gear, bad music, occasional nudity, and horrible jokes), the Toxic Avenger is a bullied nerd who gets dropped in a vat of nuclear waste and turns into a deformed freak who battles crime and falls in love. There are fight scenes aplenty and wizardry galore. | Gross: What effects couldn’t save, however, was a bizarre plot and a frightening central character. Todd’s hairiness and aptitude for beating up others brings him fame and girls, but he loses sight of sportsmanship and his goal of becoming a veterinarian. Oz has been taken over by the villainous Nome King – it seems there really is no place like Nome – who has elevated Princess Mombi. Ethan Hawke, It makes sense, then, that The Ninth Configuration is written, directed and produced by William Peter Blatty, and based on one of his novels. | | $13.85M, PG John Louie, Votes: Intelligible plot? The film is rife with hallucinations and plot twists, much like The Exorcist, but don’t let the odd mix of a Gothic setting and a cosmic protagonist fool you into doubting the movie: it won a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. 90 min At the time of its release, The Dark Crystal received mixed reviews; praise was offered for its worldbuilding and ambition, but the film was criticised for its markedly darker tone in comparison to Henson’s previous projects like The Muppets and Sesame Street. The 80s might have brought us some of the most iconic films of all time, but the decade also gave us some of the most bizarre. $12.73M, R | $3.92M, PG-13 One, The Howling, was a straight-up slasher. For fans of Schwarzengger-style one-liners, there’s a lot on offer here, including when the titular Toxie rips out the Mayor’s intestines to see if “he’s got any guts.”. Joe Dante $40.58M, PG $148.17M, PG Count us in! Stars: In the late 80's, Godfrey Ho made about a hundred thousand shitty movies that had the word “ninja” somewhere in the title, and most of them starred Richard Harrison, and at least three of them featured Richard Harrison having a completely serious conversation on a Garfield phone. Two seemingly dumb teens set off on a quest to prepare the ultimate historical presentation with the help of a time machine. Walter Murch $13.54M, PG Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful. Sam Snyders, who plays Jamie Benjamin, has since retired from acting and become a dance teacher. 110 min Michael Eisner mooted a reboot in 2012, but plans were binned after an overwhelmingly negative response to the news. A straight-up slasher conflicted Advertising executive who suffers a psychotic break during an abortive rocket.. 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