Things They Didn’t Tell You On I Love The ’80s — Strikes Back!
Ben "I really do love the 80s" Varkentine
10. That kid from Mr. Belvedere may not have grown up to be Marilyn Manson, as rumor had it, but you know the director character in Mel Brooks’ original Producers movie — “Max…he’s wearing a dress”? He grew up to be… Mr. Belvedere.
9. Tears For Fears have a reunion CD coming out, and I’m sure it will nest comfortably on TRL for weeks. No, I’m not just saying that because I want their record company to send me one.
8. Risky Business was originally supposed to end completely differently — Tom Cruise doesn’t get Rebecca De Mornay and he doesn’t get into Princeton. In other words, it was written to be a put-down of the false ’80s values it came to exemplify.
7. Endless Love by Scott Spencer is, honest to god, a really good book. Don’t let the fact that they made one of the worst movies ever to come from a book out of it stop you from reading it. While I’m at it, The Princess Bride by William Goldman is even better than the film. Don’t let the fact that they made one of the best movies ever to come to from a book stop you from reading it.
6. Albert Hague, who played the music teacher Mr. Shorofsky in the TV series and film Fame, was a composer who wrote, among other things, the songs for How the Grinch Stole Christmas — the good one, with Boris Karloff, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and so on.
5. Willie Aames of Eight is Enough and Charles In Charge has now found God and appears in a series of videos for children as the scripture-spouting superhero Bibleman. Hey, if I’d gotten to swim naked with a 19-year-old Phoebe Cates, as Aames did in the 1982 film Paradise — I’d believe in a just and loving god too.
4. Star Trek geek flashback A: Shatner’s beloved over-the-top “KAHN!” moment is even stupider than it at first appears — because at that point in the movie Kirk is supposedly angry because Kahn is stranding him on a planet, but we find out later he has a secret escape plan all along. I guess he just wanted his drama queen moment.
Star Trek geek flashback B: On Growing Pains, “Boner” was played by the son of Walter “Mr. Chekhov” Koenig.
3. The orgy of car crashes in Blues Brothers reflected director John Landis’ unwillingness to listen to anyone else, his disregard for established safety procedures, poor, sloppy planning, disorganization and the lack of restraints placed on him by the studio. Two years later, these exact same qualities would lead to the deaths of three people, including two children.
2. The “ch, ch, ch, ah, ah, ah” sound in the Friday the 13th film scores is actually supposed to be the beginnings of the word “kill” and the word “mommy,” according to composer Harry Manfredini who started the whole thing in the first place. You see, because Jason’s mother was the killer in the first film. Which is treated as though it’s a revelation in VH-1’s series even though I’d think Scream kinda blew the doors off that one. And because there’s a scene in Friday the 13th in which Jason’s mom crazily speaks to herself “as” her son, saying “Kill her, Mommy! Kill her!” So you see it all makes perfect sense.
1. In Howard The Duck the songs for Lea Thompson’s band were written and produced by Thomas Dolby. Most of the vocals on the soundtrack album•there really was one•are by Thompson, but Dolby turns up on two cuts which longtime fans shouldn’t overlook. First, George Clinton collaborates with Dolby on the title track, which is a fun little throwaway. But buried in the middle of the first side of the soundtrack album is an absolute Dolby gem unavailable anywhere else, a song called “Don’t Turn Away.” Featuring Stevie Wonder on harmonica, yet. I don’t know why this has yet to turn up on a Dolby retrospective.