Whenever folks talk about movies from the 70s, 80s and 90s that really struck a chord with them, chances are they’re safe choices.
I know I do it. I’ll talk all day (and have talked all day) about how Ghostbusters was a defining cinematic moment for me as a kid.
But, really, Ghostbusters was a defining cinematic experience for pretty much everyone of a certain age. Giving it props doesn’t really make you special. It just says you were tapped into the same cultural zeitgeist everyone else was back then.
So I got to the thinking about the lesser movies of my formative years.
The ones that didn’t take their place in the pantheon of pop culture awesomeness but still took hold of my imagination in a way that, sitting here in my mid-30s, still makes my inner 8-year-old giddy. The ones that don’t too often get love.
Until now, that is.
So here now, are three movies that, for better or for worse, helped shaped my young tastes.
Sure, sure, sure. This movies not some obscure gem hidden away in the rough, but it ain’t exactly top shelf geek fare either.
Be that as it may, this is the movie that made me a fan of Greek mythology, and, alongside Star Wars, most contributed to me wandering away from the baseball diamond and into the comic book store. No, the special effects, nor the acting, nor… really anything about this flick, holds up.
It does, however, have Harry Hamlin being awesome and if I catch it showing ANYTIME on cable, you’d best believe I’m all in, overly long commercial breaks and all.
The Ice Pirates
This movie had space pirates. And guys getting their junk cut off while dressed in drag. And herpes. I think. The truth is I haven’t seen this movie in more than twenty years, so the details are sketchy at best. What I do know is that 5-year-old Chris saw this movie and thought it was the shit.
And that poses a serious problem.
Because I only have my 5-year-old recollection of this movie, I can never watch it again. There is no way it will be as incredible as I recall via childhood memory. It would be destroyed completely and totally. But I do know it probably sucks harder than I could ever imagine and that kind of makes me sad.
What’s funny is that everyone has seen this movie, but few people remember much of it beyond Kevin from The Wonder Years gawking during the Power Glove scene and the debut of Super Mario Bros. 3.
Go ahead. Try to find anyone who can actually recite the plot. I’ll wait.
See? You can’t do it, can you? You asked what it was about and they were all like “Power Gloves and SMB 3!”
And hey, that’s OK. I’m right there with them only I recently made the mistake of rewatching it. I thought I was about to relive some live action Nintendo Power propaganda (of which there is plenty), but I forget there was actually a story about family bonds and dead children.
Still, when I was 10, knowing a movie had been made with Nintendo games I was obsessed with figuring heavily into the plot was madness. MADNESS.
And I loved the movie unconditionally for that.