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4 Fantastically Cheesy 80s Movies You Need to Watch Right Now

Ah, the 1980s: a decade of spandex, leg warmers, leotards, and (as I hope we can all agree) some of the best movies to ever bless the box office. Where would we be as a society if Bender never triumphantly thrust his fist in the air to the tune of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” in The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris hadn’t played hooky from school (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986), or if Marty McFly hadn’t taken his truly iconic trip into the past (Back to the Future, 1985)? Honestly, I don’t want to know. These films not only defined an era, but they have become essential pieces of pop culture. More importantly, though, they’re fun to watch. While we might all appreciate these beloved classics (as we should), what about the lesser-known 80s flicks? How can we stand by while some true cinematic masterpieces fall through the cracks? Well, lucky for you, my mom has made me watch almost every 80s movie in existence, and I’ve got some underrated classics to share with you. Here are four fantastically cheesy, perfectly cringe-worthy 80s movies you need to be obsessing over right now:

Lost Boys (1987)

Okay, I’m about to geek out for a second, so bear with me. Lost Boys is literally one of my favorite movies of all time. I think I’ve watched it three times this month. It’s an actual problem. This absolute masterpiece is about a California beach town riddled with blood-thirsty teenage vampires. The perfect mix of cheesy horror, comedy, and actors who are just so darn gorgeous (I’m looking at you, vampire Kiefer Sutherland). This movie is an instant cult classic. This one is perfect to watch around Halloween, or if you’re like me, every other day of the year as well. I’ll scream it from the rooftops if I have to: go watch Lost Boys!

Xanadu (1980)

Have you ever wondered where artists get their inspiration? Well, in Xanadu, beautiful muses from Mount Olympus provide creativity to struggling creators and encourage them to follow their dreams. Olivia Newton-John? Check. Gene Kelly? Check. A ridiculously addictive soundtrack that I listen to seven times a day? CHECK. This film truly does not get the love it deserves. If you’re looking for a movie that is as “80s” as it can possibly be, take a trip to Xanadu.

Mystic Pizza (1988)

A cornerstone of classic 1980s films is strong female leads. Mystic Pizza has three of them, and the movie follows their journeys towards college and adulthood in a charming and hilarious way. Kat is attempting to break out of her “goody-goody” reputation and struggles to resist a relationship that she knows is not good for her. Daisy wants to prove that she is much more than just a pretty face. Jojo grapples with her commitment issues and tries not to lose her true love in the process. An added bonus? There’s a super quick cameo from a young Matt Damon, and it always makes me giggle. This one is great for a quiet night in. (Hint: for best viewing, eat pizza while watching and thank me later.)

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

Last, but certainly not least, is Some Kind of Wonderful. It’s a tale as old as time: boy likes girl. Boy tries to get girl. Boy asks other girl for advice. Other girl helps boy, even though she secretly has feelings for boy. The casting is impeccable, the storyline is wholesome, and the ending is swoon-worthy. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

Well, that wraps up my list of tragically underrated movies from the 1980s! I hope you’ll give these beauties a watch. I know you won’t be disappointed. If anybody needs me, I’ll be in my dorm wearing my leg warmers and watching Lost Boys for the thirty-eighth time!

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Hanna Jane Kilduff

U Mass Amherst '24

Hanna Jane is an Education major at UMass Amherst. When she isn't writing for Her Campus, you'll find her wandering aimlessly in thrift stores, listening to her color-coded playlists, or spending time with her friends in Amherst.
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