My Life In Film: 1986.

I was watching a reviewer video of this guy's Top 10 favorite movies from the 80s, and that got me thinking. The 80s was a freakin' great year for movies. But as I was looking at a list of movies in the 80s, I realized my favorites (and, in fact, most of the best--in my opinion) didn't come in until the mid-80s, around when I was born. That's where this idea came in. I reviewed my favorite films from the 2000s at the end of the decade, so why not the movies from every other year I've been alive? So that's what I'm gonna do.

For the next few weeks I will be looking at one year at a time from 1986-1999, one post for every year of my life prior to the new century. But because there are so many good movies, each year will have multiple categories. These categories are as follows:

OTHER - These are other notable films of the year that don't meet the other categories, but which I felt worth mentioning (hence... notable).

MOVIES I HAVEN'T SEEN IN YEARS - These are ones I have seen, but I haven't seen for a very long time, so I don't remember all that much about them other than a few things here and there.

NOSTALGIC FACTOR - These are the films I have an attachment to due to my youth but they might not necessarily be good (or bad, either, depending).

MOVIES I HAVE YET TO SEE (For Shame) - Popular films of the year that I haven't seen yet... and that probably makes me a really bad movie lover. I won't really commentate on these films... just a list as I duck my head in shame.

RUNNER-UP - My second favorite movie of said year.

FAVORITE - My favorite movie of said year.

All this being said, let's get to the first year... 1986!



- Aliens: Not much to say... some say even better than the original, though it's almost comparing apples and oranges.

- Highlander: One I haven't seen in years, but it spawned its own mythology (and TV series). So, yeah.

- Pretty in Pink: It's a John Hughes classic... nuff said.


- Crocodile Dundee: The bane of every Aussie's existence. Don't remember much about it except a pretty big knife.

- Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Classic film in every regard, and I'm probably gonna get quite a bit of flak for not having seen it in years. But I still quote it in class when nobody will give me an answer (Bueller... Bueller...).

- The Fly - I'm actually gonna be seeing this in the relatively near future. This classic remake is on my Netflix queue and should be coming up sometime soon.

- Short Circuit: Johnny 5!

- Stand By Me: Leeches! (Seriously, that's pretty much all I remember)

- Top Gun: The guy snaps his neck when he tries to eject... yup.


- Howard the Duck: Considered one of the worst films ever made, this George Lucas classic (?) has everything from Lea Thompson to alien duck boobies. I actually used to watch this movie all the time when I was really little, which probably explains my capability to withstand and/or enjoy even the crappiest of films these days. Though I actually watched this movie again a couple years ago and... Good God, was it terrible. Not to mention I had a friend who liked to rewind the movie at the infamous duck-boobs scene... like I said, we were young and so, so naive (and/or immature).


- Big Trouble in Little China
- Platoon


- Labyrinth: Could have fallen under Nostalgic Factor, but I felt it was more suited for this category. Granted, I saw this movie again recently for the first time in... forever... and I realized how strange it really is. But how can you not love David Bowie in this movie? And singing puppets? And Jennifer Connelly in her break-out role? Good stuff... strange stuff... but good stuff.

For the record, this spot almost went to Aliens. In fact, it probably should have. The reason it didn't? I haven't seen it in years, so I didn't think it was fair to put it as my Runner-Up, despite it being the better film.


- Little Shop of Horrors: I grew up with this movie... which probably explains a lot about me. You know how everybody has that one movie that transcends their favorite movie? The one where, even if your favorite movie continually changes, this one stays the one you can quote endlessly and watch it over and over without getting sick of it? This is that movie for me. A singing, blood-thirsty plant from outer space manipulates a nerdy Rick Moranis (redundant?) into killing people to feed to it so to win over the ditzy blonde girl who is dating a sadistic dentist played by Steve Martin (who then has an amazingly hilarious--and improv'd--scene with a pain-loving Bill Murray). Really... that's about all that needs to be said.


  1. Nick, I LOVE Little Shop! I totally had the soundtrack on vinyl!!! Now I have it on DVD and CD! It was a family favorite growing up. But it definitely gave me nightmares too.

  2. Totally. We had the soundtrack on cassette tape, and I actually like some of the soundtrack a little more than the movie and wish they would have included it there (like the extended "Meek Shall Inherit"). We had the movie on VHS for years, and it's all pretty worn, I'm sure. But I own it on DVD now.

    I know the movie by heart and can sing you all the songs. I so love that movie.

  3. Oh, and yeah... it so gave me nightmares for YEARS, despite me watching it endlessly. That scene where he calls Audrey from across the street, and she looks over and sees him laughing at her? That's one of the scariest scenes of any movie I have ever seen... and it's in a silly musical!

  4. For me, it was the scene where Audrey sends her tendrils down and pulls herself across the room. I totally thought she could get to my bedroom if she could make a phone call!

    I LOVED suddenly seymour. Now whenever I see Ellen Greene in other movies or TV, I always think, Wow, Audrey did well for herself. Okay, I'm a bit of a loser.

  5. Well, at least we're in the same general scene on which we think is the scariest. Needless to say, Audrey II scared the living shit out of me... it's no wonder I can't keep any house plants alive. I mean... I killed a ROSEMARY plant. I've heard those are damn near impossible to kill.

  6. Great idea with the years in film - I know the ones missed (Platoon!) would be like a shining light of my lack of film knowledge.

    Maybe I should start in the 30's... see what comes up. Then at least it will look alot better when i get to the eighties.


  7. Your movies you haven't seen in years are pretty much my favorites from 1986 (from what you've listed), short of The Fly, which I will never, ever, ever watch since it would freak the shit out of me, and Short Circuit, which is fun, but I don't have nearly the fondness for it as I do other 80s flicks.

    Meanwhile, I'm pretty "meh" on the rest of these, even your beloved Little Shop. It's ok, but Rick Moranis never did it for me and the girl is annoying (though that's probably intentional). I remember liking Steve Martin, though.

    Labyrinth is a terrible, terrible movie, but I was decades late to the party, so I understand if many have a nostalgia factor working on that one.

  8. Oh, and damnit, you've copied another feature of mine. I'm suing you for copyright infringement. :P

  9. Fletch: No! I didn't copy your feature. It was only after I started coming up with it that I realized you had your "films of whatever year" thing. Then I tried to make it as different as possible, because I knew you were gonna make that allegation :P . But I swear, for once, I didn't do this one on purpose.

    (and remember... you can't copyright an idea... we had a whole podcast topic about it :P ).

  10. Actually, out of all the ones you mentioned, I think Stand by Me is my favorite. A lot of great young talent in that one! I still have yet to see Little Shop of Horrors which is weird, since I really love musicals overall. I might rent it now. Thanks for the tip!


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