The golden era of cinema was considered the 80’s. It was a decade, iconic for teen comedies, breathtaking action movies, and the bloom of a new entertainment style and time. ’80s consisted of a whole lot of pointless, weird thought-provoking concepts and offensive ideas that would be moderately repulsive and shocking if they were upheld in films today.
We have a list of nine loved films that turns out is not entirely justified or okay. The 1980s were a time of strangely huge hairstyles, ornate fashions, hippie music, and outlandish comedy. While this turned to tons of laughter for most of the audience, not everyone was so lucky. When we look at many ‘80s comedies and other movies through a present lens, we may be offended and dismayed at some of the controversial content we did not notice at the time. So we have listed a few of those movies from the ’80s that will make more sense after reading this.
The movies on this list were made to cherish and incite laughter, all types of genres and classic hits are mentioned down below. We are not implying that these films are “inferior” because they include inconsiderate or questionable content. Although, we enjoy a lot of these movies and a few are our favorites, the negative impact they caused cannot be justified. We are also not saying that enjoying these films or finding them funny makes anyone a bad person. We do want to point out a few things that you might not have noticed the first few times you watched. If you have not seen these classics beware, for spoilers.
These few movies make up the 80s time, the genres, the plot, and storyline among other things they will leave you questioning the movie universe in the olden times. Here we go.
1. Sixteen Candles
The presence of Gedde Watanabe in 1984’s Sixteen Candles means we are in for a racist portrayal of an Asian. Long Duk Dong speaks in an absurd accent and broken English despite being chosen to be an exchange student, it was very offensive. But the inexcusable times in this film are all about how Samantha and other girls are treated by these boys. Samantha is played by Molly Ringwald’s love interest, Jake, played by Michael Shoeffling, and Ted by Anthony Michael Hall. Apart from that, the premise revolves around Samantha’s parents who forgot her birthday. She is stuck on Jake and completely wants him to notice her.
The post-party kitchen conversation between the two is bothersome. After Ted looks for the support that Jake is not planning on simply using Samantha for sex. The remarks that that is not a difficult thing for him to acquire. “I’ve got Carolyn in the bedroom right now, passed out cold. I could violate her in ten different ways if I wanted to”. Good thing you don’t need consent or anything, right Jake?. Is that the type of entertainment we want to indulge in today? I think not.
When Jake decides to break up with his girlfriend, Carolyn. Jake informs Ted that he’ll let him take Carolyn home…but you can’t just leave her in an alley somewhere. In this setting, it’s obvious that he means it’s okay for Ted to have sex with her—because her boyfriend gave his permission. What even?
Jake is the guy who ends up with Molly Ringwald at the end. Imagine that he is going to give her away to when he’s tired of her. Ted ( the character is depicted as the quintessential “nice guy”) does take Carolyn to a parking lot where they have sex neither of them can remember the next day. Somehow, Carolyn is cool with that, and this orchestrated rape carries no consequences. Sixteen Candles is most peoples favorite classic but these instances in the movie are something you can’t ignore
2. Police Academy
The first Police Academy movie was pretty funny. It was very offensive to the police departments. It was still alright to occasionally make fun of police in 1984. Then it became obvious that relationships between police and the citizens were very constrained. There is a ton of sexist humor in this movie. Silly jokes and rude comments are made in it too. Also, this movie has instances of racist humor. Hearing the word jigaboo in a comedy is unacceptable, racial slurs are a little too much.
The cadets send a few other cadets to a gay bar rather than telling them where the big party is. So the big joke is that they spend their evening surrounded by strange leather worn gay men in a setting they are afraid to leave. That is disturbing.
3. Revenge of the Nerds
Believe it or not, there were movies made on nerds and with geeks even before the Big Bang Theory. Completely ignoring the fact that ‘geek’ is now completely a thing and the biased bullying is far from funny, it is just mean. And to our horror, the nerdy heroes are conniving and bad people.
Not only do they spy on and photograph a bunch of nude sorority girls. They even pass around the pictures later. The most appalling and horrid moment is when one of the nerds impersonates a girl’s boyfriend to trick her into having sex with him. The worse concept to show in a movie collectively.
4. Zapped (1982)
A nerdy Barney played by Scott Baio develops telekinetic powers in a lab event. And he uses them to get back at bullies and also get laid. There is non-stop objectification of high school girls. It also includes gender and racial stereotypes, statutory rape by a guidance counselor, and animal abuse. These are just a few of the insensitive and offensive things in the movie
“As telekinetic stoner comedies go, this one better than most Cheech and Chong affairs. It’s a kids movie at heart (I sure loved it when I was seven) that shows you what it’s like to be horn-dogged by the cast of Charles in Charge. It’s Carriewith a boner that’s been lubed with Flubber, and you gotta give it credit for that. And I’ll take the scene when a stoned Scatman Crothers goes biking with Albert Einstein over Neil Patrick Harris on a unicorn any day”. —Roy Ivy
5. Crocodile Dundee
That’s not a knife! That’s a shocking transphobic invective… This movie was something of its time.
Poor old Aussie was an outback Mick Dundee travels to New York where he meets a trans woman in a bar. When he gets acquainted with this, Mick grabs her crotch to make sure (which later on, he also does to another woman). “That was a guy! A guy dressed up like a Sheila! Look at that!” he says, before she leaves in shock, to laughter and cheers. This is definitely not alright.
6. Stir Crazy
Naming a comedy movie after that is already strange. The literal term “stir crazy” indicates the mental and emotional imbalance that can happen when people are confined for a long duration of time. It can cause drastic anxiety, threatening psychosis, mood swings, and increased potential for violence.
1980’s Stir Crazy has a few racist elements, which is surprising when we consider that it was directed by Sidney Poitier. It seems to be the first movie by an African American director to gross over $100 million. Gene Wilder trying to act like a brother is painstakingly disturbing. The more extensive problem in Stir Crazy is that it’s extremely homophobic. The portrayal of Rory Shultebrand (Georg Stanford Brown) is thoroughly insulting. Surely, Stir Crazy is not high cinema, however, it did not have to condescend and mock gay-humor.
7. National Lampoon’s Vacation
They describe it as friendly, educational, and fun. This film is nothing of that sort. It has been watched and enjoyed by families since its release in 1983. Despite being R-rated for obscenity, brutality, and drug use. You have probably seen this movie dozens of times, though it may have been a while since we have viewed it unedited.
If National Lampoon’s Vacation were released today, excluding there controversial and appalling few scenes that would not have made it to the ultimate cut, it would be a disaster. Edna’s dog, who is the reverse of lovable, dies because Clark ties it to the back bumper of the car and “forgets”. Yes, you read that right. He is the hero and he murdered the dog because he disliked it.
Later, Audrey has a frank conversation with her cousin Vicki. Vicki shares her marijuana with Audrey, remind you both girls are young. But the most troubling feature is Vicki’s remark that she likes to french kiss. Audrey scoffs and says everyone’s doing that. Vicki’s answer was, But daddy says I’m the best at it. Yuck right! we know. Incest jokes for amusement are inexcusable.
8. The Goonies
This movie was celebrated by the mass. We admire The Goonies, at least most of the time. What is Sloth meant to be a depiction of? He’s the deformed brother of The Fratellis. But we are pretty sure that’s not a very apt portrayal of exactly whatever it is he’s meant to be a replica of. Birth defect? Brain damage? physical deformity? Learning difficulties?
And let’s not get started about him being chained to the wall…
9. Short Circuit
Fisher Stevens is definitely not Indian, even if you think he is. This was an odd move even for the ’80s. Stevens, who can be described as a “thin, white Jewish kid from Chicago” dons brownface to play Indian character Ben Jabituya (changed to Benjamin Jahrvi for Short Circuit 2 since it difficult to remember Indian names, right?) Ben is an important and notable role in the original movie about a sensitive robot. He is actually the lead in the sequel. Though the character was originally meant to be a white grad student, director John Badham decided to make the character Asian. But he did not bother to re-cast.
The actor even ended up living in India for a month in prep but the movie and his character. It is still unusual and inappropriate.
These were just a few out of the many 80’s classics that would absolutely be unacceptable today. We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Let us know in the comments if any of these remarks matched your views.