Two weeks ago, I started work on an alphabetical look at 80s movies, both well-known and off the beaten path. That series of articles continues today with a look at titles beginning with the letter B. As with the first article in this series, you'll get trailers and posters for the 19 movies covered in this article, as well as my thoughts on the films and how they've impacted my own life.
We start off with 1987's Back To The Beach, an affectionate parody of the Beach Party movies of the 60s, especially those starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, who return for this movie.
This movie tells the story of how The Big Kahuna (Frankie Avalon, who couldn't be called Frankie for legal reasons) and Annette rediscover happiness in their lives when they visit their daughter (Lori Loughlin) in California while en route to a Hawaiian vacation. I know the plot sounds somewhat dramatic, but it's not a heavy movie at all. The message I got from this movie is that sometimes you can go home again.
I first saw Back To The Beach on one of the Encore multiplex channels in the 2002-2003 time period, and I was delighted by what I saw. The music was fantastic, the jokes were funny, and I loved the entire feel of the picture. Back To The Beach is a movie that made me wonder if I could ever return to the happiness I felt before my dad passed away. I would eventually find that happiness again, but it took almost a decade to do so.
A few years ago, I became friends with Linda Carol, who played Bridgette in Back To The Beach, and when I had the great pleasure of interviewing her last year for Pop Geeks, I asked her about this movie, and she had some great stories to share about it.
Check it out after you're done with this article: The Flashback Interview: Linda Carol
Moving along, we now come to Back To The Future, the classic film about Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), the Hill Valley teenager from 1985 whose friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), a mad inventor, has created a time machine out of a DeLorean. An attempt to escape terrorists who Doc Brown tricked sends Marty back to 1955, leading to chaos that could mean the end of his and his family's existences.
What can be said about this movie that hasn't already been said by writers of greater experience and history than I? All I can do is offer my own take on when I first saw this movie. I rented it from a local video store as a young child, and it was love at first sight. The story the movie told was fascinating, and I would return to it again and again over the years. The movie's message about how you can change things for the better resonated with me, although the resonance was hidden inside for many years. The film's last line, "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads!" promised something hopeful and exciting on the horizon.
This movie made such an impact on me that I would later befriend two of the movie's cast members on Facebook, Claudia Wells (the original Jennifer Parker) and J.J Cohen (Skinhead). I would later go on to interview J.J for Pop Geeks in one of the first epic interviews I ever did for the site. There's so much more to J.J than Back To The Future, though, and you'll see that when you read the interview.
Here's the link to my J.J Cohen interview for after you're done reading this article: