Drive-in Friday: 80’s Classics

As I continue to navigate the relationship conundrum that had eluded me in the past, I also continue to pursue my interest in writing about movies and TV shows.

I read in “Goodbye Facebook, it’s (not really) been real” that writing  blogs is becoming a dying “art”, but if this is correct, then there is symmetry since I am slowly becoming an endangered species. In the mean time, I will continue to chronicle my tales laced with some commentary about the TV show or movie currently on my radar and hope to at least entertain the readers of this blog.

The tales that began with the “Broke A$$ Summer” in 2017 are my personal chronicles of the past years. At this point in these chronicles is the end February of 2018, I have not met my new girlfriend’s mother, and she was waiting for her landlord to finish getting her new apartment ready. The waiting added strain and stress in her life (like she needed more), since she was staying with her mother and sister in a small apartment and the space was very limited.

All in all, she was happy enough because she was talking about going on a trip for Spring Break. Her autistic son has never been in a long trip before, and this was the first time going away for a couple of days and she wanted me to go as well. I have not been on a trip in a while and agreed to go.

This was a year of firsts and doing things not done in a while, and breaking the monotony and routine was difficult.

Until then, I was back at my throne (my old-and-worn-out reclining chair) on a classic-drive-in-kinda-of-mood after receiving a package from my friends at Amazon (unpaid advertising).

Knightriders (1981)

This movie resembles the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire mentioned in a previous post (link), as many adults flock these places in search of some mythical fantastic land full of magic, heroes, and some ale that may blur the reality of everyday life.

However, instead of horses, the knights jousted in motorcycles, but they traveled through towns in medieval fashion as a caravan preceded by the knights riding in their motorcycles setting the mood in each town they visited.

There was a king (Ed Harris; Westworld, 2016-2020; Nixon, 1995; Apollo 13, 1995; The Abyss, 1989; The Right Stuff, 1983), a queen (Amy Ingersoll; Splash, 1984), a young runaway (Patricia “Pat” Tallman; Babylon 5, 1995–1998; Night of the Living Dead, 1990; and several appearances in various Star Trek shows and movies as an unaccredited character, or as a stunt person), a male Morgana (Tom Savini; Machete, 2010; Dawn of the Dead, 2004;  From Dusk Till Dawn, 1996; Dawn of the Dead, 1978), a court of knights, jugglers and other common folk, a black Little John (Ken Foree; Dawn of the Dead, 1978 & Dawn of the Dead, 2004; The X-Files, 1995, S3.E5; Babylon 5, 1995, S2.E10), a fray conveniently named “Tuck” (John Hostetter; Beverly Hills Cop II, 1987; Heartbreak Ridge, 1986; and No Way Out, 1987), and a cameo by Stephen King (a good friend of director’s George A. Romero).

Directed by George A. Romero (1940-2017), legendary for Night of the Living Death (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) that separated the zombie lore from the typical horror movie of the time, and his work was influential in the cultural sensation (or obsession) with the undead.

Furthermore, his work created a very profitable faceless villain (or not). as these zombies can be anybody and over the last 30 plus years had made their mark on media and culture with popular shows like The Walking Dead (2010-present) and iZombie (2015-present), movies like the Dawn of the Dead remake in 2004, Night of the Living Dead (1990) (directed by Tom Savini), the Resident Evil Series (2002-?), 28 days Later (2002), Zombieland (2009), and Shaun of The Dead (2004), books like The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006), and a plethora of conspiracy theories, cults, and other amusing happenings related to the “undead”.

Knightriders is an entertaining mix of pretended fantasy with a mild form of biker-outlaw attitude, all wrapped up in typical 80’s style movie; full of dangerous fun, meaningless sex, lots of cynicism, and yet a classical tragedy ending.

Streets of Fire (1984)

I missed this movie in the theaters, but there were plenty of music videos (when MTV actually played videos) to see and a lot of airplay in the radio.

It was the video era, and the movie was simply a full-length video full of color shades splashed with some black and white, lots of music, plenty of guns, bikers, gangs, and fights wrapped up in a classic hero rescues heroine.

Some of its cast became celebrities like Diane Lane (Hollywoodland, 2006; The Perfect Storm, 2000; Murder at 1600, 1997; Judge Dredd, 1995; Chaplin, 1992); Bill Paxton (1955-2017), (U-571, 2000; Vertical Limit, 2000; Twister, 1996; Apollo 13, 1995; Aliens, 1986); Willem Dafoe (John Carter, 2012; Spider-Man 3, 2007; Inside Man, 2006; Spider-Man 2, 2004; Spider-Man, 2002; Shadow of the Vampire, 2000; Clear and Present Danger, 1994; Platoon, 1986), Amy Madigan (Fringe, 2008-2013; Carnivale, 2003-2005; The Day After, 1983); and Rick Moranis (Strange Brew, 1983; Ghostbusters, 1984; Brewster’s Millions, 1985; Spaceballs, 1987; Ghostbusters II, 1989)

However, the non-typical hero of the movie, Michael Pare (The Greatest American Hero, 1981-1983) and believed at the time that he was destined to stardom (coming from the  popular television show) never happened and his career fizzled as the 80’s era came to an end.

He had a few good movies like The Philadelphia Experiment (1984), Eddie and The Cruisers (1983) (the sequel was awful) and among my favorites, as I must confess that I am a child of the 80’s and not ashamed of it.

He also did some awful movies like Moon 44 (1990), Eddie and The Cruisers 2: Eddie Lives! (1989), but despite not becoming famous like some of his cast members, Pare has steadily continued to work and has built a long list of credits mostly in B-type movies and appearances in several TV shows.

Directed by Walter Hill who also directed The Warriors (1979), ), 48 Hours (1982), Brewster’s Millions (1985), Red Heat (1988), Another 48 Hours (1990), and the first episode of the HBO show Deadwood (2004).

Hill other notable credits are as a scriptwriter, producer, or storywriter in the Alien (1979- ?) series and prequels (Alien: Covenant, 2017).

The Commitments (1991)


I saw the previews for this movie on The Seaskel and Ebert show (back when they were in the weekend’s afternoon at WGN, but had to wait until it came out on video years later since there were no showings in the Island theaters.

This movie was one of the few music movies that I can stomach.

Others like Streets of Fire (1984), The Doors (1991), and the miniseries Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS (2014) were entertaining without becoming another silly musical.

It has a story and the music is just part of the experience along with some good cinematography, as it featured Dublin, Ireland’s locations and music scene.

It featured Andrew Strong’s raspy, strong, and powerful voice along with a great musical ensemble that included Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle Kennedy (Orphan Black, 2013-2017; Dexter, Season 5, 2010), Bronagh Gallagher, and Niamh Kavanagh (vocals only) that did great renditions of soul classics like “Mustang Sally”, “Chain of Fools”, “Tenderness”, “Take Me To The River”, and “In The Midnight Hour” to mention some. The movie also featured Colm Meany (Star Trek:TNG, 1987-1994; and DS9 1993-1999), and Andrea Corr a member of the Irish pop/rock/Celtic musical group The Corrs

Directed by Allan Parker (Midnight Express, 1978; Fame, 1980; Mississippi Burning, 1988)

Next: Eureka


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s