Category Archives: 80′s movies
The Pumaman 1980
I had never heard of this movie before starting this site and accumulating my big list of superhero movies to watch. And on top of that, I only recently found out that it was also an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which I did end up watching shortly after watching this movie proper. It’s a low budget movie produced in Italy about a hero with the blood of the Aztec gods running through his veins. But what it really amounts to is that this giant Aztec man gives him an ugly belt which gives him an ugly costume and the abilities of the Pumaman. This allows him to shred metal with his mighty claws like a puma, see in the dark like a puma, slow his heartbeat to feign death like a puma, fly like a puma, even teleport… like a puma. And there has to be a big bad villain to this whole story, which ends up being this weird bald guy who dresses like he’s in a bad sci-fi movie using an Aztec mask to put people under mind control.
This is one of my favorite movies from when I was younger. I grew up listening to Weird Al’s parodies and when I saw that he had made a movie, I just had to see it. I was expecting a movie parodying movies just like his songs parodied songs. What I wasn’t expecting was a superhero movie. Weird Al plays George Newman, someone who can alter reality to suit his own means, and he uses his powers to defeat the evil head of the C8 corporation, R. J. Fletcher, a mastermind enemy with his cadre of henchmen trying to eliminate George’s base of operations, his UHF headquarters.
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The Adventures of the American Rabbit 1986
On this Easter Sunday, after my daughter’s romp through the house finding all of her Angry Bird eggs I decided to kill two birds with one stone by putting on a somewhat Easter themed superhero movie. It’s got to be Easter themed since it has rabbits in it, right? Anyway I actually vaguely remember watching this movie when I was a kid but man does it totally not hold up in any way shape or form. Even Jena herself got bored with the movie when it was about halfway through and it’s only 80 minutes long. I thought it was great because I recognized a few voices from my childhood viewing, like the voice of The American Rabbit was Barry Gordon who also voiced Donatello in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a smaller part, the gorilla Ping Pong was played by Lorenzo Music who voiced Garfield for a long time, though his voice here reminded me a lot more of Tummy Gummy from the Adventures of the Gummi Bears. But even viewing this movie through a soft haze of nostalgia wasn’t able to save it from the ludicrous plots of villainy and barely there presence of the hero himself.
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Almost Super: Krull 1983
As you may have seen in my previous post, I just recently watched Krull for our latest As You Watch podcast. We decide the movie for each episode based on a short list of movies from the four of us, and Krull was picked from my list. I’ve enjoyed this movie since I was young, finding and watching every fantasy based movie I could find, so I thought this movie would also be a perfect fit with the Nostalgiathon hosted by Cinema Schminema and Andy Watches Movies, because while I still enjoy the movie, it turns out that practically no one else does. Including all four of my co-hosts for the episode. The pacing may be sluggish, the characters may be weak, the story may be derivative, but I still love this movie.
Superman II: The Donner Cut 1980/2006
Ever since I had heard about this movie, I was quite curious about it. More so after I actually watched the theatrical cut of Superman II way back when I started this site. For those not in the know, I’ll do a brief re-cap. Richard Donner originally was shooting Superman & the sequel concurrently, and had shot about 80%+ of the film before they had to stop production. For various reasons, when they restarted production Richard Donner didn’t return and was replaced with Richard Lester who re-shot much of the film with a different tone in mind, as well as a smaller budget. While both films follow essentially the same plot, this is a very different film, and well over half the movie is new or alternate footage. The overall tone is much more serious and the humor that is still there is less campy. I personally enjoyed the Donner cut much more than the Lester cut, at least up to a certain point.
It has been ages since I’ve seen the original Batman. Tim Burton’s vision of Gotham has long been one of the most iconic and especially known for being one of the first movies to bring a darker side to superhero movies and help bring them more into the mainstream, even if the big superhero movies were pretty much limited to Batman until X-Men comes along over 10 years later. It really helped turn Batman into a household name, and Jack Nicholson’s performance as the Joker is one of his most iconic, as well as one of the best performances in a Batman movie period. But watching this movie after seeing what Batman has become in the years since, it’s almost like looking at a shadow of his former self. Now, the Tim Burton movie is almost like a bridge between the pure camp of the Adam West Batman TV series and the extremely dark and realistic Batman of the Nolan trilogy and the DC Animation movies. And as much as I loved both extremes of Batman for very different reasons, this movie is kind of stuck in the middle and falls behind. But Batman is still Batman, and I enjoyed almost every minute of this movie. It’s still a great movie even if it’s lost some of its luster.
Return of Captain Invincible 1983
This isn’t quite the start of my new schedule just yet. I’m still trying to figure that one out. I know I’ll be watching another movie this weekend and I’ve got a promising new Superhero Shorts interview lined up, I think it’s a pretty good one. But for now I’ll just talk about this awesome 80′s movie that Morgan over at Morgan on Media pointed out to me. It’s called Return of Captain Invincible and it’s an 80′s, musical, superhero comedy. You heard that right. Not only that, but it stars Alan Arkin and Christopher Lee. It has a very Rocky Horror Picture Show vibe to it and it is extremely ludicrous. The songs range across a wide variety of styles and quality, and there is a surprising amount of Benny Hill-ish shirt-bursting moments, and even some brief nudity, which actually surprised me a bit, I always forget that ratings back then were actually more lenient on PG ratings. The movie overall was quite enjoyable for me, and for a couple days at least you can see my live tweets while I was watching the movie, covering some of the better moments.
Almost Super: Die Hard 1988
I was never a big fan of the huge action movie franchises when I was younger. I think out of all the well known movies by the big action stars of the 80′s and 90′s, I had only seen Total Recall and Last Action Hero. It was only a couple years ago when I finally saw Die Hard back to back with the first Lethal Weapon after watching Live Free or Die Hard, mainly because I’m a huge Kevin Smith fan and try to watch almost everything he’s been involved with. That reason was also what made me watch Roadhouse – in the special edition DVD, he and Scott Mosier do a really fun commentary track for it. I never did go on to watch any of the sequels, but of the four films, the original Die Hard was head and shoulders above the other three in terms of quality. There’s a reason that for years and years after this movie came out, action movies like Speed were referred to “Die Hard on a Bus”. It was the benchmark of a great action film, and over twenty years later, it still holds up as a great flick. It is well crafted twists and turns with just the right amount of comic relief without being too silly. And John McClane himself is practically a superhero in his own right, taking on an entire pseudo-terrorist-cell all by himself.
Red Sonja 1985
I have been going back and forth on whether or not to have this movie be a part of the rest of the movies or to have it under my “Almost Super” category. It’s based on a character in a Marvel comic book, but since it’s much more of a low fantasy rather than a superhero so I ultimately decided to use the Almost Super tag. Another reason why I wanted to review the movie, aside from the fact that I vaguely remember watching it and liking it when I was younger, is that the Lamb is having its Lamb Acting School for Arnold Schwartzenegger this month, and I’m not quite ready to revisit the 90′s Batman series ending in his portrayal of Mr. Freeze, so I was left to choose between the two Conan movies and this movie. And while the movie is called Red Sonja, Arnold still manages to get top billing as the secondary lead above acting newcomer Brigitte Nielson. While there were some interesting parts in the movie, it did not nearly hold up to my memory of it.
Almost Super: Gremlins
I have been without internet for a little while, but that hasn’t stopped me from watching movies and getting things ready for this site. I managed to find a wi-fi hotspot to upload this post, but I don’t have much time here today. I’ll be back in full force on Friday. I’ve also been wanting to start a new series for a while now. There are a limited number of superhero movies, and my goal of watching all of them is actually attainable, if still a few years away. So to help expand this blog a little bit, I came up with this series “Almost Super” so that I can feature other movies that I enjoy that still share some qualities of superhero movies without directly being one. In honor of being selected in this year’s Lammy awards under the Sci-Fi Horror banner I thought it would be a good idea to expand my horror repertoire a little bit. And what better fit for this site than a not-quite-typical horror movie. Gremlins is a much different type of horror, with creatures that could have easily been lifted off a comic book page and plenty of humor to back it up. And that’s why I selected it for my first edition of Almost Super.