Tag Archives: Rambo

Top 10 Greatest 80’s Movies


They were cheesy and full of bright colours, big hair and even bigger shoulder pads, but the 80’s were a seminal decade for movies. I know there are some notables that haven’t made the cut, but I can’t include everything. That is the nature of lists. They start and they end. Kinda like films.

If you want to nominate your own, you can do so in the comments. And if feel that strongly about it, make your own list. So, in no particular order, here is my list of the Greatest 80s Movies EVER!

10. Rambo: First Blood part 2 (1985)

Our hero John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) gets sprung from jail and sent back to ‘Nam, where he falls in love, takes on a Vietcong army on his own (and wins), but not before getting captured, escaping, releasing a bunch of American POWs, nicking a gunship, and flying it back to a US camp in Thailand to take revenge on the evil pen-pushers that betrayed him. All in a day’s work.

Fun fact: the entire film was actually shot in Mexico.

9. Rocky IV (1985)

Rocky IV Poster

Rocky IV Poster

Only with the benefit of hindsight can you see Rocky IV as the blatant cold war propaganda it was with the callous, cheating Ruskie versus the honest, down-to-earth, all-American hero. Even for an 80’s actioner, Apollo Creed’s death scene is one of the most brutal and harrowing ever committed to celluloid, made even more powerful by all that glitter.

Fun fact: For added effect, Stallone decided he and Dolph Ludgren, who played Ivan Drago, should exchange punches for real when filming the films climactic fight scenes. He changed his mind after Lundgren hit him so hard in the chest his heart swelled up and he had a stint in intensive care. Oops.

8. Less Than Zero (1987)

One of the darker entries on this list sees Robert Downey Jr steal the show as Julian in pre-American Psycho Bret Easton-Ellis’ realisation and destruction of the American dream.

Fun fact: Easton-Ellis has written a sequel called Imperial Bedrooms, in which he claims all the characters are alive and well in the present day. That must have taken some doing, as Julian dies in the end of the first one.

7. Pretty in Pink (1986)

Like a lot of other teenaged boys in the 80s, I had a Molly Ringwald fetish. And like a lot of other teenaged boys, now I find it all a bit mystifying. She wasn’t even hot. She was more like that ropey plump ginger girl that went to every class completely unnoticed.

Fun fact: Who else thought Andie should have ended up with Duckie? That would have made total sense. So thought writer John Hughes, and the original ending was filmed that way. But test audiences disapproved, and the ending was re-made.

6. The Breakfast Club (1985)

How could a film about a bunch of kids stuck detention possibly work? Nobody knows, but it does. Helped no end by the classic theme song, Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds, teen angst never looked so cool. This is the archetypal Brat Pack film.

Fun fact: John Hughes made the Breakfast Club on a shoestring budget of $1 million. It went on to gross over fifty times that amount worldwide in cinemas alone.

5. The Karate Kid (1984)

Karate Kid poster

Karate Kid poster

Wax on, wax off. Who knew being treated like a slave could turn you into a double hard bastard? Another classic underdog movie from John G. Avildsen, director of Rocky. Hands up if after watching this film you subsequently tried taking somebody out with a crane kick, only to fall flat on your ass in the middle of the playground.

Fun fact: Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor in his role as Mr Miyagi. He lost out to some dude who was in the Killing Fields.

4. Back to the Future (1985)

The first and by far the best in the BTTF trilogy. Written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Michael J Fox in his pomp, this entry had star quality sprinkled all over it. And so it proved when it raked in over $383 million at the Box Office, becoming the biggest movie of the year in the process.

Fun fact: When filming started Fox was busy making Family Ties, so the makers decided to cast Eric Stolz as Marty McFly instead. Four weeks and $3 million later, all agreed the move was an epic failure, even Stolz. From then on a schedule was devised whereby Fox would work on Family Ties during the day and BTTF at night.

3. The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator

The Terminator

Arnie at his irrepressible best. As wooden and unemotional as its possible to get, just what a machine from the future should be like. The idea for the film came to writer/director James Cameron when he was taken ill in Rome after the release of Piranha II, and he dreamed about a mechanical torso dragging itself from the wreckage of an explosion. His agent hated the idea, and told Cameron to work on something else instead. Cameron fired him.

Fun fact: The studio originally wanted to cast O.J. Simpson as the Terminator, and Schwarzenegger as Reese. This plan fell through because Cameron thought Simpson wasn’t believable enough as a killer. Um, right.

2. Aliens (1986)

This isn’t so much a sequel, as a whole new direction for the Alien franchise. Ridley Scott made the first one, and James Cameron was drafted in for the follow-up, which must surely qualify as one of the best action movies of all time. Watch the Special Edition. It kicks all kinds of extra ass.

Fun fact: Though filmed entirely at Pinewood Studios, England, Cameron wanted only actors who could accurately imitate American accents. As a result, over 3000 auditions by British actors were binned and American actors cast in their places, including three from The Terminator (Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton)

1. The Lost Boys (1987)

Lost Boys poster

Lost Boys poster

Sleep all day, party all night. It’s fun being a vampire. Everything about the Lost Boys is just cool from the loaded soundtrack to the witty one-liners and slick production. As an added bonus, Jami Gertz is smoking hot throughout. One of the few films to actually make you want to be a supernatural entity.

Fun fact: The Frog brothers, Edgar and Allen, were named after the writer Edgar Allen Poe, and the reason Kiefer Sutherland doesn’t explode in the end like the other vamps is that he didn’t really die. This was to be addressed in a sequel called Lost Girls, which never got made.

This post was originally published by Huff Post UK:





I always had an interest in what I now know to be called survivalism. Maybe it was a yearning to be independent, or a desire to be ready for the life struggle that lay ahead. In my childhood fantasies I was stranded alone on a desert island, or maybe in a jungle. Or perhaps I was the lone survivor after a huge natural disaster, a nuclear war, an alien invasion, or a zombie apocalypse (in that version I was obviously well tooled up with guns and stuff).

As I got older, and especially after I read Emergency by Neil Strauss, I began to realize that there didn’t have to be an alien invasion or a zombie apocalypse. Anything that knocks out the main power grid for longer than a few days would bring about the end of the world as we know it pretty damn quickly.

What would we do without an electricity supply?

When I was a kid I was a cub scout, and especially enjoyed rummaging around in forests and lighting fires. Tying all those knots was a pain in the ass, though. I also joined army cadets, which was a bit of a waste of time. When I was a teenager I put together a ‘survival kit,’ consisting of a fishing line and hooks, matches, razor blade, some chocolate and several Oxo cubes. I must have liked Oxo cubes at the time. I remember having a phase where I would make hot drinks out of them. As a bonus, they also fit neatly into my tin.

After seeing the film Rambo: First Blood Part II I persuaded my parents by me one of those ‘Rambo’ knives with a serrated edge and a compass on the handle. They were dubious at first because I didn’t have a good track record with knives. Once I cut my finger open with an old Gurkha Kukri I found in a junk shop. Another time I thought it might be a good idea to try cutting through the wire of my bedroom lamp with a penknife. Big mistake.


Anyway, the best thing about my ‘Rambo’ knife was that the handle was hollow, and contained a mini survival kit. Oh, joy! It wasn’t as good as my little tobacco tin, though. For a start there were no Oxo cubes.

My interest in… er… not dying… continued into adulthood. I fell in love with martial arts and have accumulated a small collection of cool knives and other weapons, such as an extendible baton, a knuckle duster and some nun chucks, which I keep in the name of self defence. I live and work in China most of the year, where most of these things are still illegal but readily available. And cheap. I know a girl who keeps a Taser gun in a drawer next to her bed. In a world where there are more guns than people, being able to look after yourself and the people you love is not a crime.

If I lived in America I’m pretty sure I’d own a gun. Or several. But thankfully I have not yet arrived at the stage where I move to the mountains to farm beans and live in a log cabin waiting for the end of the world.

Anyway, my point is this…

There is no point.

If there was an alien invasion or a zombie apocalypse (which, in my opinion, are among the most entertaining and attractive End of the World scenarios) any attempt at ‘surviving’ would be futile. You would just be prolonging the inevitable. We would be all be doomed whatever measures we took. Even if we managed to escape the bloodthirsty hordes we would die of starvation as soon as whatever we looted from ASDA ran out.

Of course, by that token you could argue that simply being alive is prolonging the inevitable, death awaits us all. But that’s a bit defeatist. We owe it to ourselves, the people who love us, and the human race as a whole, to fight for survival.

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