I want to make a movie. Better yet I want to make an 1980’s movie. Why? Mostly because the majority of today’s movies are bad remakes of classic 80’s cheese. Now I’m sure most 80’s movies were probably remakes of other inherently bad movies, but I didn’t see those so they don’t count. Now making an 80’s movie has a recipe to follow, as there is an exact science to hitting cult status.
Creating a piece of cinema that people will quote for the next 30 years requires intense research. Personally my VHS collection alone is enough to make most people roll their eyes at things I actually spent money obtaining while others simply shake their heads and tell me they haven’t even heard of most of them; which either way is fine by me.
When I watch some of my favorite 80’s movies, occasionally I giggle at the bad acting, mock the horrible special effects, or spend 30 minutes trying to explain to someone who has never seen the movie that it was in fact, at one time, a very good movie. Once the research is done, you can move on to the basics for making a classic 80’s film.
In order to sustain ridiculous cheese, first you have to start with a soundtrack filled with classics that as soon as it starts would have people saying ” Oh man, I love this song”. Frankly a movie can become a hit simply based on a great soundtrack, i.e. Purple Rain.
How many really bad movies had insanely good soundtracks? Did you see Purple Rain? Probably not, but you owned the soundtrack on cassette. The hardest part would be deciding which artists, many of which continue to tour and make money off their lone hits of the 80’s, to put on my fantasy soundtrack. Maybe I’ll make it a 2 disc set so I don’t have to leave anyone out.
First we started with music and now we move on to wardrobe, I mean the 80’s were a decade of fashion so bad that it was good. We proudly wore jelly shoes, tight rolled jeans, Hypercolor shirts, with 90 plastic bracelets on each arm and 5 inch bangs. Cinema has some fashion crimes we should never commit again i.e. Lea Thompson’s crimped hair in Howard the Duck or Jon Cryer’s entire wadrobe in Pretty in Pink.
In order to keep our movie classic though, we are going to have to dust off the taffeta, zip up the Members Only jackets and find a can of mousse.
So with a soundtrack and wardrobe ready to go, as well as years of research; now all we need to do is cast our movie. Ideally I’d throw my favorite actors that populated many movies of the 80’s back in the mix, however while Judd Nelson at age 26 effectively played a high school student in The Breakfast Club, at almost 50 I don’t think it would work anymore.
We would have to pick 20-someething actors because casting people who are actually the age they are playing is just ludicrous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still casting Molly Ringwald as a teacher, John Cusack as a dad, Jeremy Piven as the gym teacher, Michael J. Fox as principal, Phoebe Cates as a waitress, Ali Sheedy as a mom, Mary Stuart Masterson as a hip store owner, and Eric Stoltz as the quirky science teacher just because I can.
Now after an open audition, we’ve casted our film which fits with our perfect muscial backdrop and classic fashions; once we hit your standard teen movie settings like the mall, high school dance, and the beach we are well on our way to 80’s movie success. I’m hiring Cameron Crowe to help me write the script, John Hughes to co-direct and I’m sitting on a gold mine.
Instead of trying to make a new, hip teen movie as an homage to the 1980’s, I’m going back to the basics and making a genuine 80’s teen movie. No new cars, new clothes or new music here; yet somehow I think I’ve stumbled on to something totally original.