Can you believe we just missed the 30th anniversary of Night of the Creeps? Wait … you didn’t see in theaters back in 1986? That’s okay, nobody really did. And yet the world’s first sci-fi/horror/zombie/alien/comedy has managed to develop a cult following in the three decades that have passed.
Written and directed by Fred Dekker (who also helmed The Monster Squad), Night of the Creeps is a story about …. well, it’s about … well, heck, I’m not even sure anymore. IMDB describes the plot very efficiently as: “Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.”
Yeah, that about sums it up.
Horror fans love it because it’s full of homages. (Pay attention to the character’s names, which are all based on famous directors of the genre. Regular ‘80s fans might still enjoy it because, hey, we’re suckers for a time in Hollywood where everything wasn’t a blatant remake.
Here’s the trailer of Night of the Creeps, released Aug. 22, 1986:
If you could go back in Spearsy's podcast time machine, would things really be simpler in the '80s? Maybe so since as teens we lacked the burdens and responsibilities of being an adult in 2016. But even in the '80s, one could concede that The World Seems Difficult - or at least in the opinion of Mental As Anything.
Mental As Anything is best remembered in the U.S. for Live It Up that was featured in CrocodileDundee, but in their home country of Australia they had a mountain of hits, including 1989's The WorldSeems Difficult that reached No. 19 in 1989.
The video for The World Seems Difficult is pleasing as lead singer, Andrew "Greedy" Smith - who looks more like a financial planner than a lead singer for an Australian rock group - battles a steady rain along with his band mates . Bordering on a ballad, the video for The World Seems Difficult is not taken so serious even though it is a song about loneliness and miscommunication. Mental As Anything has a reputation of having a great sense of humor and they present their video with smiles on their faces.
Sometimes it's the artists who have been interviewed the most who have the best stories. Tiffany has been interviewed since she was 10 years old. The former Star Search runner-up was one of America's pop princesses in the late '80s (along with Debbie Gibson) and still maintains a busy recording and touring calendar today.
She also has the honor of being the first artist to be invited back to The '80s Cruise. Just check out that photo above of a star-struck fan who realized the singer was next to her at another band's performance onboard. Though she performed as a singer on the 2016 voyage, Tiffany will return to the 2017 cruise as a "special event host." …
Yesterday we featured Underneath The Radar, a song that was huge only in Australia. Since the Aussies have excellent and perhaps superior taste in music, let's fill out the week with other songs that were hits only in Australia. Australia is so cool about their '80s music that the entire country is just one Cool World.
On Lost and Found, we have been on a Mondo Rock kick this year as this makes the third appearance for the Australian band in 2016. Earlier this year we featured the original version of State Of The Heart that was covered famously by Rick Springfield. After scoring a hit with State Of The Heart, Mondo Rock's next single off their Chemistry album was Cool World. It was also a Top 10 smash in Australia peaking at No. 8 in 1981.
The video for Cool World is well, cool, as a things get off to a good start with a bespectacled guitarist emerging from a pool and the dapper gents of Mondo Rock make looking cool easy.
Michael Keaton was a god in the ‘80s, right? Mr. Mom. Gung Ho. Night Shift. I mean mostly, right? (Hell, I even liked Clean and Sober.) So imagine my surprise today when I realized Aug. 22 is the 30th anniversary of Touch and Go, a film I had completely forgotten about.
In Touch and Go, Keaton stars as a pro hockey player who is nearly mugged by a gang of teens. María Conchita Alonso plays the mom of one of the tiny thugs. And yeah, of course they fall for each other. So yeah, you can probably see why this flick doesn’t stick out. (Apparently, the movie sat on the shelf a few years before it was finally released to theaters, where it also went mostly ignored.)
Tough and Go has a 34 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And yet, famed film critic Roger Ebert found something there that few others did, writing in his 3 1/2 star review: “What makes this movie so special is the quality of the performances. This is Keaton's best role, because it's his most human role; for once he allows us to see that the glib wisecracks conceal a sensitive inner nature.”
Check out the trailer and you decide: Is Touch and Go work another look?
You know Don't Stop Believing and 99 Luftballons by heart, so on Lost and Found we target the '80s songs that 30-plus years later, still remain underneath the radar. Today's song by Underworld literally is Underneath The Radar.
Underworld is an U.K. electronic group led by singer Karl Hyde and keyboardist/mixer Rick Smith. After leading the band Freur (Doot Doot) in the early '80s, the duo established a dance sound in 1988 with their first single Underneath the Radar. In their home country, the single failed to chart but is was a huge hit in Australia making the Top 5. It even made the charts in the U.S. peaking at No. 74 and was featured in an episode of Miami Vice. …
The biggest hit in the U.S. by The Alan Parsons Project almost never was released at all. The song Eye in the Sky was a top 10 hit in 1982 so why the near omission?
According to Songfacts.com, Alan Parsons didn't think much of the song and had to be talked into including it on their upcoming album. He reportedly also made a bet with his guitarist that Eye in the Sky would never be a hit. (It would reach No. 3 on the Billboard 100 chart in October 1982.)
As for the song's meaning, there are several theories. One is that the idea of an "eye in the sky" is borrowed from the George Orwell book 1984. However, aside from the song's title, there's seemingly little else in the song to support that theory. The lyrics instead describe the bitterness following the end of a relationship.
In one interview, Parsons said the song's title came from its vocalist and co-writer Eric Woolfson, who spent a lot of time in Las Vegas about that time. …
We all loved Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in 1978's Grease, so it was exciting news in 1983 when the two teamed up again for movie magic with their new release Two Of A Kind. After all, what could go wrong?
While Two Of A Kind was panned by critics and a box office bomb, the soundtrack was a platinum success and maybe a candidate for the just conceived SIT80's podcast series of "Bad Movies with Good Soundtracks" show. The first single off the Two Of A Kind soundtrack, Twist Of Fate, was a Top 10 hit and the second single, Living' In Desperate Times, was a minor hit only reaching No. 31 on the singles charts.
The video for Livin' In Desperate Times is almost as cringe-worthy as Two Of A Kind as not so subtle giant words of anxiety provide the backdrop for some extensive choreography and bright costumes. Despite the excessiveness of the video, ONJ has never looked any better and her honey voice singing combined with a new wave beat makes Livin' In Desperate Times an irresistible lost hit of the '80s.
This past week, Facebook feeds are being filled up by back-to-school pictures by parents. A parent sending their child to school elicits a wide variety of emotions ranging from joy, amazement and trepidation. While I'm sure your little angel will behave and make good choices this school year, there is always the impending drama called high school and the temptation of raging hormones. Perhaps inspired by the great time machine mailbag story of Steve Crosby on SIT80's podcast 375, let's frighten our parents with the tell all High School Confidential from the band Rough Trade.
Rough Trade was a Canadian new wave band and in 1981 their song High School Confidential was a hit in their home country making it to No. 12 on the charts. With references made to '50s sex symbols like Mamie Van Doran, High School Confidential paints the portrait of a high school bad girl who toys with all the boys and may be even sleeping with the male teachers and principal - or is it just a vicious rumor?
No, Rogue One isn't strictly an '80s thing - though we claim Star Wars as our own - but this new recut/fan video of the prequel's trailer synched to Sabotage by The Beastie Boys is something we can all cheer about.
(For that matter, who didn't love that J.J. Abrams used Sabotage in his first Star Trek reboot? Classic.)
Sabotage was a 1994 tune by the Beastie Boys, probably known best for its MTV video directed by Spike Jonze. It's ranked No. 480 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (one of only 22 songs from the '90s on the list. In case you're wondering, the '80s landed 57 songs on the list.)
As we honored the cult following of Elvis Presley yesterday, today we take on the songs of Elvis. If you took a poll of everybody's favorite Elvis song, one contender would be Suspicious Minds and in the '80s, that classic was covered by the Fine Young Cannibals.
The Fine Young Cannibals were formed in the mid-'80s when guitarist Andy Cox and bassist David Steele teamed up after their former band, the English Beat, broke up. They recruited Roland Young as their lead singer and their self-titled debut album in 1985 was a hit most everywhere but the U.S. One of the singles from that album was their remake of Suspicious Minds and it was a Top 10 hit in their home country of England. The Fine Young Cannibals cover of Suspicious Minds is played straight and is distinguished by the addition of falsetto backup vocals of Bronski Beat's Jimmy Somerville.
We didn’t mind Hollywood remakes so much when we were actually IN the ‘80s, did we? Perfect example: 1986’s The Fly, which turns 30 years old this week.
Released Aug. 15, 1986, The Fly starred Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis in a remake of the 1958 film starring Vincent Price (which spawned sequels in 1959 and 1965). The ’86 version would win an Academy Award for Best Makeup.
Still the scene that freaks many of us out to this day is the arm-wrestling fiasco. Hope you didn’t just eat. …
It was 39 years ago today that The King, Elvis Presley, died. Though almost four decades have passed, Elvis is still a pop culture icon and his image is still everywhere. But we knew that back in the '80s as Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper told us all that Elvis Is Everywhere.
With apologies to Weird Al, Mojo Nixon was biggest lunatic musician to emerge from the '80s. Full of rage and ready to offend anyone, Mojo Nixon, along with his running mate Skid Roper, emerged on MTV in 1987 with Elvis Is Everywhere. For those uninitiated ,the video for Elvis Is Everywhere is everything you need to know about Mojo Nixon as Elvis, drinking and go-karts reign supreme. Always playing up Elvis, Nixon has jokingly called Elvis, Foghorn Leghorn and Otis (the town drunk from Andy Griffith) the holy trinity.
Though he plays the country bumpkin, Nixon actually has a college degree in history and political science from Miami (Ohio) but has mostly retired from music.
One of the most popular events of the summer Olympics is woman's gymnastics. For the USA, it's been an exciting time as Team USA led by Simone Biles and Aly Raisman are racking up the medals including the gold in the team overall. If you can't get enough of back flips and other gymnastic moves, then we have the video for you today on Lost and Found with the Alan Parsons Project and Stereotomy.
As the years progress, we continue to mine Youtube for the lesser known videos for the Alan Parsons Project. In 1986, the group released Stereotomy and its title track was the Alan Parsons Project's last visit to the Top 100 singles chart peaking at No. 82. The video for Stereotomy is full of strange visions as dancing people populate a studio room loft and zig zag between a cut and pasted gymnast flailing all over room with assorted back flips and moves.
First you get the money. Then you get the power. Then you do the remakes. Yeah, Hollywood is at it again, this time with plans to remake Scarface.
Deadline.com reports that Universal is in talks with Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Magnificent Seven) to helm a "re-imagining" of the Al Pacino masterpiece.
Of course, 1983's Scarface was in itself a remake of a 1932 movie, which just goes to prove that when the '80s borrows a good idea, at least it goes back 50 years in the past to do so.
According to Deadline, the new movie will be set in Los Angeles rather than Miami. As far as casting goes, Highsnobiety.com suggests these five actors could step in for Pacino: Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale, Javier Bardem, Benicio del Toro and Dominic Cooper.
Personally, we'd love to see Pacino return in some role, preferably as drug dealer Frank Lopez (played by Robert Loggia in the '83 version).
TOP 5 PRINTABLE SCARFACE QUOTES:
5. "I always tell the truth. Even when I lie."
4. "Chi Chi, get the yeyo."
3. "Nothing exceeds like excess. You should know that, Tony."
2. "You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!" …
Relive the '80s music, movies and culture with Tampa Bay Times correspondent Steve Spears. A teen during the greatest decade ever, Steve is obsessed with everything from Duran Duran to Journey, John Hughes to John Cusack, and parachute pants to big hair.