Movies Of The 80's - 1981



As an 80's music aficionado, I've found myself interested as of late in the world of 80's soundtracks. Be it scores, or various artist albums, I'm always on the lookout for a CD to add to my collection.

Of course, there are the staples. Top Gun, Footloose, Flashdance, Ghostbusters, and the list goes on and on. These albums have been a mainstay in my collection since relatively the start of it. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and I wanted to dive deeper.

The problem I quickly found was that while searching based on films that popped into my head randomly, I wasn't necessarily delving very far. After mulling it around for a while, I finally broke down and decided that to truly find just what was out there, I first had to educate myself on what films were out there.

It took months of cataloging, which was based on limited time between work and other obligations, but finally I was able to reach the finish line. Utilizing links to Wikipedia by year denoting the List of American Films of (insert year here), I created a series of posts with each movie poster, ad, or some form of representation for made for television movies, to have a reference guide. Now I could truly begin my search into just what soundtracks were out there.

Not wanting all this work to go to waste, I decided I would take the next several weeks to present to you the Movies of the 80's! We've already looked at the freshman year of the decade, and it continues here with 1981.

If you read my previous post, you may have noticed that of the 150+ films released in 1980, I knew about a handful of them. 1981 doesn't get much better for me.

American Pop is a film I stumbled upon in my teenage years, and it quickly became one of my favorite animated films of all time. The visuals, the story, and the soundtrack all come together to create something that I had only experienced once before in the form of another Ralph Bakshi films, Heavy Metal.

It was also around this time, when I was big into VHS collecting, that I picked up An American Werewolf In London. As far as horror films go, it was not among my favorites, which were geared more towards the iconic slasher flicks of the era.

The Cannonball Run run is a film I keep waiting and waiting for to make the rounds on streaming networks. I've never seen it, but really want to. Everything about it looks awesome.

Though I own the soundtrack, Chariots Of Fire is a film I have zero interest seeing despite its instantly recognizable and amazing theme.

As a kid, I tried so many times to sit through Dragonslayer. Man, what a snoozer that film is. Even after seeing Ghostbusters II, and noting it was Janosz, I still couldn't get through it.

I saw Escape From LA in theaters with a buddy of mine when it came out, but oddly enough never went back to see the first film.

Ah, that magical day that I discovered that Evil Dead was the first film in what would lead up to Army Of Darkness. Then to find out Evil Dead had a sequel...Bonus!

Excalibur was a film I purchased on VHS, and though I watched it, man was it a let down. I think between this one and Dragonslayer, I pretty much decided that knight type films just weren't for me.

Though I'd seen James Bond films here and there, I never actually sat down and watched one from start to finish. That is until I owned them all on VHS up through Goldeneye. Man, those box sets were expensive for a teenager working at a grocery store, but boy was it fun watching the franchise from start to finish (at the time). I can't say as I have a favorite Bond, as each actor really brought their own magic to the screen.

One day, I went on a big kick of wanting to own every Disney animated film. The problem was, I had no money. Enter my sister, who had a knack for spending, and ringing up her credit cards. She took me to the mall, and off we went on a shopping spree, picking up every single VHS we could find. That was when I first owned, and got the chance to see The Fox And The Hound.

What limited spending money I did have got invested at the local Blockbuster on the second installment of the Friday The 13th series.

The Great Muppet Caper is by no means Academy Award material, but as a kid, it was fun to watch, and also a film I owned the soundtrack for on vinyl. I wish I still had the record.

Where does a teenage go once they've seen all the Friday the 13th, and Nightmare On Elm Street films? Halloween, of course. Probably one of my crowning achievements as a collector at the time was owning all of those franchises in their entirety. At $20.00+ per tape, that was quite an achievement on a $150.00 per week paycheck.

In hindsight, it's amazing that Ralph Bakshi released both American Pop and Heavy Metal the same year. Of course, I didn't know about either film until the mid 1990's.

When I went on a Mel Brooks kick of VHS buying, History Of The World Part I was a film that entered my collection, but only got watched once. It just didn't have the draw for me that films like Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, or Robin Hood: Men In Tights did.

Cheech & Chong's Nice Dreams was a film that my brother and I were lucky to rent from the local grocery store in the late 80's, among the other films of the duo. I still don't know how we got those past our mom's ever parenting eyes.

The iconic Indiana Jones. Who hasn't seen the original trilogy of films? Fun fact. I think the films are boring.

I own the soundtrack (because it was cheap), and I think I've seen the film in full, but I really couldn't tell you much about Stripes other than it has some of the Ghostbusters in it, and they're in the army.

I think I've seen Time Bandits, but remember nothing about it if I did.

Carrie Fisher running around in a bra and panties for a good portion of the film was exciting for a young me. I was, after all, still a boy. However, I didn't see this film until well after its initial release. 1985 would have been my earliest exposure to it.

And there you have it, the films of 1981, which for the most part I a have never heard of. For as much heckling as I give George at G.I. Jigsaw about his 80's music street cred, I would get stomped in a true game of trivia based on the movies of the era.

Hopefully things get better in next week's post featuring the films of 1982!

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

1 comment:

  1. Movies I've Seen that are Awesome
    An American Werewolf in London
    Cannonball Run
    Chariots of Fire
    Clash of the Titans
    Escape from New York
    For Your Eyes Only - my favorite Bond film
    The Great Muppet Caper
    Heavy Metal
    History of the World - Part 1
    On Goldern Pond
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Southern Comfort
    Student Bodies
    Superman 2
    Time Bandits

    Heard of and Want to See
    Absence of Malice
    An Eye for an Eye
    Ghost Story
    The Howling
    Mommie Dearest
    The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
    Saturday the 14th
    Never Heard of and Want to See
    The Archer
    Under the Rainbow

    Cool Poster Art
    Blood Beach
    The Boogens
    Cattle Annie and Little Britches
    Dead and Buried
    Galaxy of Terror
    The Last Chase
    Ms 45

    What the F is on that Poster?
    Don't Go in the Woods alone
    The Fun House
    Honky Tonk Freeway
    So Fine - interesting pair of jeans

    Worst. Movie. Ever.
    Modern Problems