1980’S RULE, 2010’S DROOL


          There are times where I wish I wasn’t born a Gen Z kid. Sure, we have many things that are beyond amazing. Like unlimited choices of movies, social media, and what we do in our free time. I would continue, but it would take too long. The point is, Gen Z has a lot of options for entertainment. And I definitely take advantage of that, just like any other kid my age would. 

          There is just something about the 1980’s that I can’t help be drawn to. Could it be the fashion trends? (no, what were our parents thinking?) Could it be the music? (wrong again, I only like a few songs from the 80’s). Or maybe the history from that time period? (maybe certain things). No, the thing that draws me to the 80’s  are their films. 

          The 80’s were a time of high-concept filmmaking, genres were diverse and creative, and most films didn’t worry about being philosophical, or having a main message. They were simply plain, good-time fun. You could just sit back and enjoy without thinking too hard about the “deeper” meaning. That is why I believe that the 1980’s were the best decade of film. They put out countless movies in different genres, many of which have come to be known as classics. It laid the groundwork for what movies can be storywise. So how about we take a look at all the decade has given us, and how they affect today’s  movie industry? 

          One popular genre from this decade was horror/thrillers. As a horror fan, I am especially fond of horror movies from the 80’s, especially slashers. A slasher is a horror film centered around a group of people, usually teenagers. This group of people is usually murdered by a masked killer with the aid of bladed weapons.. The 80’s saw the rise of many slasher icons, such as Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Chucky from the Child’s Play series. Hundreds of  lesser-known indie slasher films were made during this time. This made the 80’s a true golden-age for the slasher genre. 

          Gore and violence in horror movies became much more mainstream. It was even subject to censorship in the United Kingdom, in a move known as, “video nasties”. Extreme gore, mixed with the willingness of directors to be creative and do new things with stories, gave us countless fun and thrilling films. 

          Along with slashers, many other subgenres of horror were popularized during this decade. Dozens of monster movies came out during the decade. The Predator, Humanoids From The Deep, The Lost Boys, and Critters are a few examples. Zombie films and the supernatural were also popular, examples of those being Day of the Dead, an apocalyptic zombie film, and The Shining, the well-known haunted-hotel movie directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the Stephen King novel. As you can see, creativity was abundant in the genre during the 80’s. The decade helped change what could or couldn’t be shown in a movie, and pushed boundaries in what could scare people. Without what the decade did, horror would not be what it’s become. Even if it’s still not that well-respected. 

          Another incredibly popular genre during this decade were action films. If I had to rate my favorite genres, action would definitely be in the top five. Countless movies were released in this genre, such as Rambo: First Blood, Die Hard, (which is a Christmas movie!), and The Terminator. A lot of these films had similar plots, usually centering around a lone, well-built hero, having to take on a villain or a group of villains on his own. 

          Obviously, due to special effects not being what they are now, the action was limited mostly to stuff like car chases and gunfights. Nevertheless, the stuff they were able to do with such little resources was truly astonishing. With famous scenes such as the dangling bathtub scene in Die Hard, the jumper scene in Lethal Weapon, and the police station scene in The Terminator, 80’s action movies laid the groundwork for the high-octane action scenes present in current movies. Without them, ideas for all the amazing visuals and death-defying scenes present in a lot of modern action movies would not exist, and because of them, the boundaries for what could be done in a film have grown. 

          Finally, the last genre I will discuss is the comedy genre. Obviously, there are many more genres popular during this decade, but I feel it would be much too long to discuss all of them, so I will end it here. 

          Comedies were by far one of the most popular genres during the decade. Dozens of classics, such as Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Airplane were released during this time. A look at movies in this genre show that this was by far the most diverse and abundant when it came to plot, with many of these movies fitting into other genres, such as fantasy or horror. Many of these movies conveyed a slapstick, or satirical style of comedy, with the humor being derived from the whacky choices characters would make. 

          Because most of these movies took place in a modern setting (for the time), they were simple to make due to inexpensive  production and writing compared to a big blockbuster like Die Hard or E.T. That made it easy for them to be released quickly, which is likely why the comedy genre was so abundant during the 80’s, and why comedy became so popular. 

          While this genre had been relatively popular before this decade, I would say that the 80’s helped create modern-day humor, with comedies such as stoner comedies, and raunchy comedies being based-on and built off of what this decade did. Without it, humor would not be what it is today. 

          Obviously, there are countless more things about the 80’s in film that I could talk about. Other popular genres, famous directors who got their start in the decade, such Steven Speilberg and James Cameron, and the creativity when it came to story. It is undeniable that the decade had a great effect on the film industry, and it helped shape the movie industry as we know it. It is no wonder that our parents are so nostalgic for this time. It pushed boundaries in what could be shown in films, it did new things with special effects, and gave us countless classics that will be remembered for years. Who wouldn’t be nostalgic for it?