The 1980s were a golden age in cinema for most cinephiles striving today. With a wide array of genre-defining movies, performances, and ideas seemingly coming out every week, there was no shortage of revolutionary ideas coming out of Hollywood during this time. Of course, with so many massive and influential films being released, it stands to reason that there were more than a few that would slip through the cracks of the mainstream and be lost in time. These forgotten 80s movies may not have the shine of nostalgia about them, but they are still remarkable films that deserve their time in the sun.
From nonstop action thrill rides that will send audiences on adventures of a lifetime in movies like Big Trouble in Little China and Tango & Cash to uproarious comedies that will leave viewers in stitches in films like Real Genius and Night Shift to intense and masterfully crafted dramas that tragically got lost in time with films like A Fish Called Wanda and After Hours, these forgotten 80s movies are must watch for any cinephiles looking to increase their watched film catalogs. Dive deep into the weird, wacky, and superb storytelling of the 80s in films that tragically have been forgotten by time, but deserve to be remembered.
Swashbuckling adventures may seem like a cinema trope more closely associated with 90s filmmaking as opposed to 80s, but Romancing the Stone showcased that this rockin' decade has what it took to create a fantastical adventure that would shock, uplift, and inspire audiences across the globe. Following a young novelist as she attempts to rescue her abducted sister, the film is a fun and heartfelt journey that will keep audiences thoroughly entertained from start to finish, and deliver the sense of wonder that only the best action adventure movies can.
- Photo: Adventures in Babysitting / Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Aside from its breathtaking poster, there has been a severe lack of Adventures in Babysitting in pop culture, and that fact is an utter travesty for one of the funniest films of the 80s. An utterly absurd film that only continues to get more ludicrous as time goes by, Adventures in Babysitting is a ridiculously fun and family-friend time that with strong female characters, hilarious comedic scenes, and a wholesome and heartfelt story. The everything that can go wrong, will go wrong odyssey of the film helps create a sense of wonder and adventure, as audiences simply want to see all of these beloved characters make it back home safe and sound.
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
Big Trouble in Little China is one of the greatest fantasy action movies of all time from John Carpenter, one of the greatest directors in cinematic history, and yet somehow, this magnificent film has tragically become a massive hidden gem for most casual movie-goers. An uproarious and action-packed adventure, Big Trouble in Little China is a truly bizarre and indescribable action movie that seemingly only gets better and better with time. Poking fun at mysticism and traditional adventure tropes while also paying respect and homage to those same tropes may seem like a contradiction, but in the hands of a master director like Carpenter, it all ebbs and flows together beautifully to create an underrated masterpiece.
One of the best-forgotten comedy movies of all time, Real Genius is a slapstick, hyperactive, and utterly hilarious film about a group of young geniuses looking to shake the world to its very core and innovate as much as they possibly can. Val Kilmer shines in this magnificent comedy that radiated new-wave charm and ideology, as a magical comedic teen movie that is as brash as it is sweet, as funny as it is smart, and as incredible as it is memorable. For a brilliant flash back to the past that will make audiences want to relive the glory days, Real Genius is a wonderful title to get lost in.
With a title like A Fish Called Wanda, it seems almost impossible for this particular film to be a forgotten movie, but tragically it has become just that. A hilarious crime drama starring Jamie Lee Curtis and John Cleese, the film follows a diamond advocate as they attempt to steal a collection of rare jewels, only to find out they aren't the only ones looking to steal them. Fun, energetic, magnetic, and adventurous, A Fish Called Wanda has 80s charm written all over it and delivers exactly what audiences need from a film like this, a nonstop thrill ride that will thoroughly entertain.
Two of the biggest action stars of the ‘80s in Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell teamed up in a non-stop action thrill ride titled Tango & Cash that delivered phenomenal set pieces, cheesy ’80s romance, and two bros desperately attempting to out-bro one another, and yet somehow, this film rarely gets talked about. A magnificent and violent work of art, Tango & Cash is the prime example of a cheesy action movie at its absolute finest and is simply dumb fun that audiences can turn their brains off to and enjoy the ride.