This article is from Issue 56: Mar/Apr 2012

Highway to the Danger Zone

Hollywood needs to make these epic '80s adaptations right now.

The ’80s were awesome.

Just turn on the TV any Saturday afternoon, and there’s a high likelihood you’ll stumble upon a few of the following, courtesy of a basic cable matinee: sweet haircuts, muscles, amazing one-liners, explosions, music montages, tank tops and/or robots.

The decade may not have churned out the most artful contributions to American film, but what the movies lacked in subtlety, they made up for in pure awesomeness. And explosions.

In short, it was the golden age of cinema.

We’re not the only ones who recognize this fact. In the next few years, Hollywood has lined up big-screen remakes of action classics like Total Recall and Red Dawn; new installments of Death Wish and Top Gun are on the horizon; super-cool police epics like Beverly Hills Cop and 21 Jump Street are getting rebooted; even the decade’s toys are receiving the silver screen treatment with a movie adaptation of Battleship and a new G.I. Joe flick coming soon to a theater near you.

Unlike today’s morally complex heroes and intellectually out-of-touch filmmakers who are obsessed with stories that “explore the human condition” and “offer purpose and meaning,” in the ’80s all you needed to do to make a blockbuster was randomly select from the following multiple choice options and let the cameras roll:

SETTING
    a) summer camp
    b) Miami
    c) the future
    d) a beach volleyball court
    e) the jungles of Vietnam
LEAD ACTORS
    a) muscle-bound combat expert
    b) martial arts titan with a heart of gold
    c) future Scientologist
    d) feathered-haired heartthrob
    e) John Cusack
OPTIONAL SUPPORTING ACTOR
    a) friendly robot
    b) sinister robot
    c) law-enforcing robot
MAJOR PLOT POINTS
    a) a terrorist building takeover/communist rebellion
    b) cage-fighting tournament
    c) future robot/alien mercenary conflict
    d) nerds seeking vengeance on jocks
    e) volleyball
MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION
    a) sports car
    b) fighter jet
    c) time machine
    d) van
    e) dirt bike

Ahh, simpler times.
So, in honor of Hollywood’s retro revival, we decided to go for broke and create our own list of awesome remakes. These movies need to be revisited in all their ’80s glory.

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