Welcome back to a new podcast episode! This week is another 80s crossover event from the 80s League! This month’s topic is 80s Movie Villains. Robert and Paul go through some of their favorite/most hated 80s movie villains. Paul also broke down and watched last year’s Ghostbusters movie. Come hear the exclusive review in this show. There is a new Play This, Not That, featuring Survivor. We had a Remember That Song winner, so there is a new one this week.
We would love to hear who some of your favorite 80s villains are. Please comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening Segment of this 80s Crossover Event
Check out these sites that are participating this month:
Welcome to the latest 80s Crossover Event! This month, The 80s League is tackling 80s Movie Villains. Look for a Return to the 80s podcast episode on this topic, coming soon. There are so many awesome villains to choose from, so I would highly recommend these other blogs and podcasts, and see who they choose.
And in addition to our podcast, Robert wrote this article on his favorite ’80s movie villains. We would love to hear who yours are. Please email us at email@example.com, or feel free to comment below. We’d love to hear from you. Now, make like a tree and get out of here, and check out Robert’s awesome article.
In my high school English classes we read a ton. In different grades, different texts are read including short stories, plays, poems, and novels. While all of these have different difficulty and interest levels, they have one important element in common: conflict. A story does not exist without conflict. Take this for instance: Two friends are sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch. Friend A has a baloney sandwich and is munching away. Friend B has a ham and cheese sandwich and is also silently munching away. No conflict, no story. Let’s try this: now Friend A, who is silently eating that baloney sandwich, looks down at that sandwich and sees way too much mustard on it. Friend A slowly peels the sandwich apart, stands, and smacks Friend B in the face with it. Now we have conflict – and a story.
Clearly, conflict is a necessary element in every story and one of the simplest conflicts to manufacture is good vs. evil. So many movies from the ‘80s used this conflict to intrigue us, manipulate us, enrage us. Think back to all those “bad guys” from those classic ‘80s films. That is just what I am doing here. I have decided to present my list of most hated ‘80s villains, all terrestrial – no aliens or monsters – just humans, dastardly, ugly, conniving, horrible humans.
William Zabka and Martin Kove – Johnny Lawrence and John Kreece from The Karate Kid
I first saw The Karate Kid upon it’s release in 1984. The only actor I recognized was Pat Morita who played Daniel LaRusso’s karate instructor Mr. Miyagi. The protagonist, LaRusso is new to California and goes to a new high school where he knows no one. He is the natural underdog who becomes an easy target for the Cobra Kai, a local karate dojo. Two members of the Cobra Kai, instructor John Kreece and his star pupil, Johnny Lawrence, take it upon themselves to make a living hell for poor Daniel. Johnny and his boys continually jump a helpless LaRusso who receives no sympathy from dojo leader Kreece. Johnny continually beats the tar out of Daniel with the full support of Kreece who does not believe in any sort of mercy for anyone. Kreece’s ultimate nastiness shines through during the finals of the All Valley Karate Championship, LaRusso picks up an injury to his knee in the semifinals (another Cobra Kai member delivers an illegal blow, at the behest of Kreece). During the final round LaRusso is pitted against Johnny. He is clearly bothered by the knee injury and Johnny can see his weakness. After dropping a few points, LaRusso is able to claw back a bit and get a point himself. Johnny gets a bloody nose and, during the time out, talks to Kreece. It is during this talk the Kreece delivers his horrible line, “Sweep the leg. . . You have a problem with that? No mercy.” Of course, Johnny does it. Even though he knew it was wrong, he does it. Both are nasty to the core.
Thomas Wilson – Biff Tannen from Back to the Future
A year later I saw Back to the Future in theaters and and other pretty nasty character reared his ugly head – Biff Tannen. Biff is a sarcastic bully who is used to getting what he wants all of the time. He picks on the hero Marty McFly, accosts Lorraine, and makes George McFly do his homework. He verbally abuses everyone around him. From calling George an “Irish bug” to labeling Marty a “butthead” (in the same scene), Biff is an insufferable jerk. Perhaps his ultimate barbarous nature comes out during the film’s climax. Biff spots Lorraine in a car by herself. Biff takes it upon himself to attack Lorraine, saying that she knows she wants it. There is not one redeeming quality of Biff in the entire film. How happy were we all when George punched his lights out?
Anne Ramsey, Robert Davi, and Joe Pantoliano – The Fratellis from The Goonies
Same year (1985), different bad guy, or bad guys. In The Goonies, the evil doers were a sweet, loving family – the Fratellis. The Fratellis are a family of criminals who are hiding out in an abandoned restaurant. Unfortunately, the young, adventurous kids, looking for a way to financially save their home, encounter this nasty clan. From housing a dead guy in the freezer to threatening Chunk with putting his hand into a blender, the Fratellis know no boundaries. They let their greed get the best of them and follow the Goonies as they trace One Eyed Willy’s lost treasure. Perhaps one of the worst things this detestable family does is chain one of their very own in the basement, brother Sloth. Sloth is sweet, loving, albeit physically deformed man who is left alone in the basement, chained to his chair with a TV all that keeps him company. Thefts, murder, lies, and abject cruelty is all this family knows. Horrible.
Alan Rickman – Hans Gruber from Die Hard
One of my good college buddies was a foreign student from Chile. He loved 1988’s release Die Hard – this is not unusual. What is strange, though, is that he loved Hans Gruber, the bad guy! Whenever he saw me, he would look at me and utter in (in a Spanish influenced German accent, “We must not alter the plan.” It always made me crack up, but I could have absolutely no sympathy for this nasty terrorist. Gruber and his minions attack and take over a high rise building in Nakotomi Plaza. While Gruber feigns the attack as a protest against the company president, Joseph Takagi, his real motivation is greed. Gruber wants to $640 million in bonds that are kept in the building’s vault. So much for ideals. Gruber does his best to, not only steal this money, but knock off a few innocent workers and make life extremely difficult for hero, John McClane. A scene that perfectly shows Gruber calm maniacal nature takes place with company president Takagi sitting right in front of him. With a gun on the table, Gruber insidiously says, “I’m going to count to three. . . One. . .Two”. . . [Takagi pleads ignorance] Three [Gruber calmly puts a bullet through Takagi’s head].” Yes, Hans Gruber is calm and always in control; he is intelligent and quick witted, as well. Unfortunately, he uses these talents in a malicious manner for self serving reasons. His self righteous confidence is nearly as bad as his villainous actions.
Steven Berkoff – Victor Maitland from Beverly Hills Cop
As I ran through ‘80s movies and tried to think of all the bad guys, I thought my list was complete. Then, while I was listening to an American Top 40 countdown from 1985, Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F” came on. Hearing this song brought me back to the hilarious movie and it’s nasty denizen, Victor Maitland. Maitland is a high end art dealer in Beverly Hills who has had his men assassinate hero Axel Foley’s best friend Mikey Tandino. Foley wants to solve his friend’s brutal murder and traces the bonds Mikey stole to Beverly Hills and Victor Maitland. Maitland is another one of those calm villains who has his henchmen do most of his dirty work. He is sneaky and gets past most laws through bribery, threats, and outright intimidation. His calm passivity is just a mask for his true ruthless nature. He is an honest to goodness devilish character who most should not mess with.
All five of these character are horrible, dirty, lowdown, despicable, diabolical, heinous (the synonyms could go on for a while) people. They have no redeeming qualities and we are all happy when they lose. Oh yes, they do lose. In true archetypal fashion, in the conflict between good and evil – good wins, always. After all of these movies we are left with true relief as Daniel LaRusso beats Johnny at his own game; as George McFly lays out Biff; as the Fratellis are outwitted by the Goonies; as John McClane watches Gruber fall from the top of Nakotomi Plaza; and as Axel Foley blows Victor Maitland away. Our heroes always defeat these villains, reassuring us that, although the world can be a harsh, chaotic place, there is room for good to prosper.
Hi Everybody! Paul here. Today is our big ’80s extravaganza! Several ’80s bloggers and podcasters got together, and decided on a common topic that we will share. We are promoting each others work, and introducing you to some ’80s blogs that you may not have know were out there. The topic in this inaugural crossover will be on our favorite cars that were famous in the ’80s. Here is the list of blogs taking part are:
Now, here is Robert. let’s start our engines, Hit 88 mph and get this underway. You’re worried about not having enough road? No worries. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.
Cool Cars from the ‘80s
by Robert Mishou
The Flux Capacitor. 88 miles per hour. 1.21 gigowatts of power. Need I say more? I am not a big car guy; in fact, I know almost nothing about cars other than where the gas goes. Despite this, there a few cars featured in ‘80s movies or on TV that I did like in my formative years and still stay with me today. While I liked the van that the A-Team drove and KITT from Knight Rider was pretty cool, by far my favorite cat from the ‘80s was the DeLorean DMC-12. This car, from the iconic Back to the Future, was developed into a time machine by Doc Brown. This awesome car was piloted by both Doc Brown and Marty McFly throughout the trilogy – it has traveled many miles on roads – well, roads for a while because eventually, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
I am sure that most of you know that the Delorean was an actual car. It was produced by John Z. DeLorean who worked for General Motors and was (at the time) best known for designing the Pontiac GTO. In 1974 he left GM and to form his own car company, the DeLorean Motor Company. The actual design for this car was by Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro and the car was built in a plant in Northern Ireland. All DeLoreans came out in stainless steel and were never painted at the factory. The first Delorean rolled out in 1981, but, unfortunately sales were poor and the company went bankrupt in 1982.
By far, the most notoriety that this car ever received was through its inclusion in the Back to the Future trilogy. According to the website backtotefuture.com, “For the first film, three DeLorean automobiles were purchased for modification into the now-famous time machine. An additional three vehicles were purchased for the two sequels, and a full-sized fiberglass DeLorean replica was built for the flying scenes in Back to the Future Part II. The time machine was designed Ron Cobb, Andrew Probert, and Michael Scheffe. Kevin Pike’s special effects company Filmtrix built the first three DeLorean time machines in just ten weeks.”
Fictionally, this car is the creation of one Doc Brown, wonderfully played by Christopher Lloyd. Doc Brown is the archetypal recluse scientist that most of the people in town believe is off his rocker. One night Brown slips, hits his head and comes up with the idea of the flux capacitor which is the crux of this car’s ability to travel in time. The car is powered by a nuclear fission reactor located on the top of the car. When in a pinch, the car can also be hurtled through time with a bolt of lighting. Be it with plutonium, lightning, or a Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor, this car goes; all told the car travels to various time periods in the history of Hill Valley ranging from 1885 to 2015.
As I said earlier, I was never much into cars, but this time traveling automobile from these film captured my imagination. The car is sleek and cool – I would give anything to drive it. Yes, I want it to have the time travel capabilities! How cool would it be to find a long stretch of road, hit 88 mph, and BOOM, you’re in a different era? I can only wish. I am positive that my love for this car comes from the fact that it was, in many scenes, the vehicle of Michael J. Fox. I loved Family Ties. I would love Teen Wolf. I definitely loved him in Back to the Future! He was the teen I wanted to be and, because he drove the DeLorean, it became my fantasy car. I bought into Back to the Future 100%. For a few hours in the theater or on my TV, I believed that time travel was possible and that I could solve of my problems, not matter how complex, with this car. Oh, to be behind the wheel now!
What were some of your favorite cars seen in the ’80s? I hope you enjoyed this series. Please let us know what you think, and if you would like to see more of these crossover events. Again, please check out the following blogs. Every one is on Twitter as well, so please give all these hard-working bloggers a follow:
If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious shit.
Marty McFly: Hey, Doc, we better back up. We don’t have enough road to get up to 88. Dr. Emmett Brown: Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.
Back to the Future Part II
Marty McFly: Where are we? When are we? Doc: We’re descending toward Hill Valley, California, at 4:29 pm, on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015. Marty McFly: 2015? You mean we’re in the future? Jennifer: Future? Marty, what do you mean? How can we be in the future? Marty McFly: Uh, Jennifer, um, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I… you’re in a time machine. Jennifer: And this is the year ‘2015’? Doc: October 21st, 2015.
Shark still looks fake.
Back to the Future Part III
Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen: What’s your name, dude? Marty McFly: Uh, Mar- Eastwood. Clint Eastwood. Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen: What kind of stupid name is that?
[in a Drive-In, in 1955. The theater screen shows a still picture of a group of Native Americans riding horse in a desert] Young Doc: All you have to do is drive the time vehicle directly toward that screen accelerating to 88 miles an hour. Marty McFly: Wait a minute, Doc. If I drive straight towards the screen, I’m gonna crash into those Indians. Young Doc: Marty, you’re not thinking fourth dimensionally. You’ll instantly be transported back into 1885, and those Indians won’t even be there. Marty McFly: Right. Young Doc: Well, good luck for both our sakes. See you in the future. Marty McFly: You mean the past? Young Doc: Exactly!
[after a few minutes, when he uses the DeLorean and lands in 1885… an actual group of Native Americans is literally running towards his location] Marty McFly: Uhhhhh… Indians!