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Flash Gordon, Xanadu, Buckaroo Banzai: Name the campiest movies of the '80s



Flash_gordon Is Flash Gordon, that masterpiece featuring Sam Jones, Max von Sydow and Timothy Dalton, the campiest movie of the '80s?

It might not even be the campiest movie of 1980. Consider the competition that year: Xanadu, Smokey and the Bandit II, The Blue Lagoon, Popeye.

But with Flash Gordon and its killer Queen soundtrack playing this Saturday at the Beach Theatre in St. Pete Beach -- for free -- I'm leaning toward giving it a secured top 5 status.

Of course, what we need to do now is simple: Name the campiest movies of the '80s. I'll give you broad authority to define "campy" any way you want. But to me, it's a movie that's incredibly fun to watch because it's unintentionally comic, ironic but yet sentimental.

Name as many movies as you want, but here are five that would make my list, which I'll publish later this week once your suggestions are in:

THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION (1984): Longest title for a movie I'd really never want to see again, though I'm told by half the English-speaking world that I'm just missing the campy qualities. It better be campy, because with lines like this -- "Don't be mean; we don't have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go, there you are" -- it's sure not clever.

ZAPPED (1982): It has Scott Baio, Willie Aames and Scatman Crothers. Need I say more? If memory serves, I think Baio's model of the Starship Enterprise takes flight (strings clearly attached) and attacks his dog. Sad thing is that I know for certain I once owned the soundtrack, including the very romantic (to a 13-year-old anyway) tune Got To Believe in Magic by the velvet-singing David Pomeranz.

IRON EAGLE (1986): Hard to believe Louis Gossett Jr. won an Oscar for Officer and a Gentleman just four years before putting out this stinker. Oh sure, we love it. Mainly for Queen's signature tune One Vision ("Fried chicken!") and for lines like this: "Looks like they'll be importing oil this year, Chappy."

(1985): Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt before they were truly famous! But it violates the most important rule of serious movie-making: Never name your movie after a hit song.  (I'm looking at you Patrick Dempsey ... Can't Buy Me Love? Great movie, lousy title.)

THE EXPERTS (1989): Remember when John Travolta made really strange movie choices? Yep, the '80s. But there's something about this tale of two suckers brought to the Soviet Union to open a nightclub that still is appealing. Must be co-star Deborah Foreman!

So what other campy movies of the '80s belong on the list?

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:48pm]


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