Tag: 1980s

Tragic Hour- A Look Back at Halloween III: Season of the Witch

HALLOWEEN on Beta Max. Own it for just $52.99!

HALLOWEEN on Beta Max. Own it for just $52.99!

The early-to-mid-1980s was the golden age of the independent video store; it dovetailed neatly with the halcyon days of the slasher film, a graphic Horror sub-genre. It was also the era of Just Say No, Satanic panic, and “very special” episodes. What latch-key kid of the day wasn’t traumatized by the two-part “Bicycle Man” episode of Diff’rent Strokes? Danger was everywhere, especially for children.

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Christmastime at Ridgemont High


Santa Monica Place as the Ridgemont Mall

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) is one of my favorite Christmas movies. It is one of my favorite movies in every category to which it even remotely applies. I realize it’s not a Christmas movie per se, but part of it is set at Christmastime and those scenes are sufficiently festive as to make the whole movie a Christmas movie to me. There are some other reasons too. Continue reading

Commandos, Cobras, and Cowboys: In the 1980s, Individualism Started with “C”

At least one thing is certain.

At least one thing is certain.

Commando (1985) is the first R-rated movie I ever saw. I saw it as a kid spending the night with a friend. We watched it on HBO and we loved it. Cobra (1986) is maybe the second or third R-rated movie I ever saw and I did not love it. I was not ready. Both movies represent cultural values and models of individualism informed by the policies of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. As a kid, I just thought Commando was loud, illicit fun and Cobra was an hour-and-a-half long nightmare. As a frame of reference, I also thought Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe were Satanists. Continue reading

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