Celebrating Cinematic Nostalgia with Five Incredible 80s Films!

Celebrating Cinematic Nostalgia with Five Incredible 80s Films!

In honor of this month's a-MAZE-ing Pinfinity+ drop celebrating the 35th anniversary of the iconic 80s film Labyrinth, the Pinfinity team has been on a bit of an 80s movies kick... So let's jump in our cinematic time machine and explore (in no particular order!) five of our favorite 80s films!

So, first off... We can't NOT mention Labyrinth, so I guess this is sort of a top 6?! What an incredible journey that movie was! When you combine amazing acting performances from the likes of David Bowie and an up-and-coming Jennifer Connelly, a really unique and intriguing story, and some of the best practical effects and classic puppeteering that has ever existed in film, the result is a tremendous cinematic experience, and one that we got back to at least once a year to join Sarah and Toby on their epic journey with the Goblin King!

Legend

As far as the comparisons between other 80s films go, I'm not sure there's another movie that aligns with Labyrinth as well as 1985's Legend. You have an epic fantasy setting, wherein an eccentric and iconic actor (Tim Curry) plays "Darkness" seeking to destroy the last of the unicorns, ushering in eternal night. But he's of course thwarted by young up-and-coming actors (Tom Cruise and Mia Sara) playing Jack and Princess Lili. The film is full of magic, fairy princesses, evil demons, and of course unicorns. What's not to love from 80s high fantasy films?!

 

The NeverEnding Story

This was one of my absolute FAVORITE movies growing up, but also one that truly scarred me for life (more on that later...), but again this is a fantasy 80s films that really utilizes a similar recipe that made Labyrinth and Legend so successful and enjoyable. We see Bastian, a young lad living a seemingly rough life filled with school and bullies. He finds a fantasy story in a bookstore while evading said bullies, and is told by the purveyor that this is a dangerous book - but that doesn't stop Bastian from snagging the book and diving into the mystical world of Fantasia! Fantasia needs the help of a human child (duh, enter Bastian!) to save it from "The Nothing". What happens next is some of the most charming, exciting fantasy stories that came out of a pretty fantasy-dense decade of filmmaking - so that's some high praise!

 

P.S. The whole scarred for life thing? Yeah... The scene where Atreyu is running from the Gmork and loses his horse Artax in the Swamp of Sorrows? Yeah, there was a time in my life where I just fast forwarded through that part, my heart just couldn't take it!

Big Trouble in Little China

Okay so I'm going off the theme I've establish here, but bear with me, it'll ALL make sense. So what we've got with Big Trouble in Little China is another fantasy film, yet it's got a much more modern setting of San Francisco Chinatown, and the much more relatable cast of characters - including one of my all-time favorites Jack Burton, played impeccably by the man, the myth, the legend: Kurt Russel.

Let me get out in front of this now... This film is totally preposterous! But holy cow I love it anyway. You've got magic, epic martial arts battles, dudes flying around with giant crazy hats and it's all capped off by an evil sorcerer who needs to sacrifice a green-eyed girl to become immortal... This film is wacky, ya'll, but it's SO 80s, it's SO campy, and I love it SO much. Also it's pretty star-studded and has some incredible performances from the aforementioned Russel, as well as from James Hong as Lo Pan, and Victor Wong as Egg Shen.

The Goonies

Seriously, how can we mention 80s movies and not mention The Goonies? I mean, as far as the recipe for success for adventure 80s movies, this one's got it all: a band of merry children on an epic journey to save their homes from foreclosure on the "Goon Docks" of Astoria, Oregon. They find an old doubloon and a treasure map that used to belong to the legendary pirate, One-Eyed Willy". What follows is a fan and fantastical romp that sees our titular heroes, The Goonies, evading the nefarious Fratellis whilst also avoiding diabolical pirate booby traps!
And, not unlike films like Labyrinth and Legend, The Goonies sees several massively successful, big-name actors very young and early in their careers in the roles of the adventurous kiddos - including, but not limited to, Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, and Josh Brolin - as well as very pre-Harry Potter Chris Columbus writing the screenplay, and the story was written by none other than Steven Spielberg!

The Thing

 

Okay so this is a serious departure from the other entries on this list, but I've added it here for a few reason: 1) the 80s were pretty iconic for Sci-Fi/Fantasy horror movies that really broke the mold, 2) the practical effects are on POINT, and 3) Kurt Russel - need I say more?
Kurt Russel was big in the 80s, with the previously mentioned Big Trouble in Little China, along with breakout action films like Escape from New York and campy comedies like Overboard. But The Thing is easily my favorite film of his from that era, and honestly it's my favorite movie he's done. Why? Well I love it. It's honestly probably my favorite Sci Fi AND my favorite horror movie. I think it does horror and suspense so incredibly well, and the performances from the ENTIRE cast were just superb. Plus, the practical effects were incredible for the time period, and there was a fair bit of puppeteering going on here as well with the various "Things" we see in the film. So while the genre of films may be different, the 80s energy from The Thing certainly helps it keep up with iconic 80s films like Labyrinth!


Boy that was a tough list! There were SO many incredible honorable mentions that the team discussed - The Princess Bride, Batman, The Shining, The Lost Boys, Stand By Me, Beetlejuice... Basically, we decided the 80s were the bomb and we should all watch more 80s movies!

P.S. You want to score some a-MAZE-ing Labyrinth swag? Then head over to pins.ar/join and sign up by June 30th to score this month's Labyrinth drop!


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