Best mall movies of the '80s
Call me nuts, but I'm thinking I may break my long streak of absences at the local cineplex to catch Kevin James in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which opens this weekend.
Why? Because malls ARE the '80s. I have vivid memories of pedaling my bike to Countryside Mall, buying faux concert shirts at a store (oddly named County Fair), and then eluding the fascist mall cops (nicknamed "Red Coats" for their bright candy-apply blazers) after we tossed a wad of gum onto the ice skating rink. Ah, good times.
Will Mall Cop live up to my memories? Heck no. But it's under the tender care of Happy Madison Productions (yep, 80s-friendly Adam Sandler's company), so I expect requisite homage to our beloved decade.
While we await the next member of the mall-movie genre, let's tip our cap to our favorite flicks of the '80s that featured our beloved mall as a significant plot line.
TOP 5 MALL MOVIES OF THE '80s:
5. BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985): Lest you forget that Marty McFly's journey back in time begins at the Twin Pines Mall and ends at the Lone Pine Mall. Brilliant!
4. VALLEY GIRL (1983): The flick opens at the Sherman Oaks Galleria -- the second-most famous mall of the '80s. It's also the site of Randy and Julie's big romance montage, cooly set to Modern English's Melt With You.
3. THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980): Film director John Landis rented the Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Ill., for eight weeks so that John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd could destroy parts of the interior in their beloved Bluesmobile. [Watch the scene]
2. BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES (1989): Joan of Arc (played by Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Gos), Sigmund Freud, Genghis Khan and other figures of history aren't appreciated by mall cops either. [Watch the scene]
1. FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982): A wistful tear rolls from my eye as I recall those cuties serving up slices (and phone numbers) at Perry's Pizza, that sleazy "audio consultant" at Pacific Stereo, and the jerks who serve ketchup and mayonnaise as the "secret sauce" at Bronco Burger. Sorry, Galleria, but Ridgemont Mall will always remain tops on this list.
Honorable mention: 1984's Night of The Comet. Nothing's more fun than dancing to Cyndi Lauper around an mall emptied by the sudden death -- or zombification -- of civilization. Now that's the 80s!