Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1984 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. Imagine a world where This is Spinal Tap and Repo Man hit theaters on the same day. That is the world of 1984.
We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly three dozen.
Yes, we’re insane, but 1984 was that great of a year for film.
The articles will come out on the same day the films hit theaters in 1984 so that it is their true 35th anniversaries. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory.
This time around it’s June 29, 1984, and we’re off to see Bachelor Party, Cannonball Run II, and Conan the Destroyer. Not going to lie… this was not a fun week.
It’s interesting that just a little over three months ago we were reviewing Splash with Tom Hanks, and here we are with a second film with him already. 35 years and the man is still going with Toy Story 4 currently in theaters.
Bachelor Party, however, was a very different beast from the squeaky clean Hanks of today. This was very much one of those bawdy 1980s comedies that had random nudity, raunchy jokes, and low-brow humor. But, it works. You know exactly what you’re getting with this type of movie, and it’s fine. There are a couple of actual laughs to be had with it even after this many years.
What does feel off in this movie is the basic premise at the opening of the film. For some unknown reason, the film sets up the idea that no one knows that Rick (Tom Hanks) and Debbie (Tawny Kitaen) are involved. The idea of them getting engaged comes as a definite surprise to Rick’s friends, and you wonder why time is wasted on setting this up. It doesn’t lead to some giant joke, it just eats up set up time. There is no need for set up. It’s a movie called ‘Bachelor Party,’ all the set up is right there in the title.
There is also a super odd joke involving Rick wanting to use a rotary egg beater during sex. This joke is actually made twice. The reason it feels so odd is the same joke was made in the Bill Murray movie Stripes in 1981. That is such an oddly specific joke that you have to feel it’s a copied joke. Maybe there’s a story behind it, but it definitely stuck out to me.
Bachelor Party won’t change your life, but if you’re looking for a slice of 1980s cinema, you could do worse. And, by the way, the clothes are so 1980s that it almost feels like something done today to make fun of the decade.
Cannonball Run II
In The Good Place, there is a character named Mindy St. Claire who is the lone occupant of the Medium Place. She is only allowed to watch things that are ‘medium,’ and she only has two VHS tapes to watch: Cannonball Run II and The Making of Cannonball Run II.
Throughout the entire watching of this film, I felt for Mindy. The idea that this would be the only movie you could see for the rest of eternity was just depressing.
Cannonball Run II is not bad or good, it is truly medium. It sets out to be a movie, and it gets there. It’s far more concerned with making references to the first movie and seeing how many cameos it can squeeze in.
And that’s where this movie takes a truly odd turn. It feels like a relic. Yes, it’s 35-years-old, but it feels like something out of the 1970s more than the 1980s. Maybe it’s the ages of the actor, or the brand of humor, but it just feels like a movie that’s out of time and out of place.
The only reason I would recommend going out of your way to watch this movie is to honor Mindy St. Clair.
Conan the Destroyer
I’ve watched Conan the Barbarian numerous times over the years. It’s a classic, and a fun watch time and time again.
Conan the Destroyer is the complete opposite.
It’s probably been 30 years or more since I last watched it because I remembered it just being a complete cheese fest. And it turns out it’s even worse than I remember. Where the first film told an engaging revenge story mixed with sword and sorcery, the sequel turns into what feels like a bad Dungeons & Dragons adventure peppered with horrifically bad special effects.
There is so much wrong with this movie that is impossible to list it all, but lets just look at the whole Princess Jehnna (Olivia d’Abo) must remain a virgin thread. It is made very clear that she must be a virgin for the sacrifice to the god Dagoth. As she has spent most of her life locked up, she is unsure of what makes a handsome man. Turns out she finds Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) attractive and then spends the rest of the movie drooling over him. And… nothing of it ever comes of it except to eat up screen time throughout the film with her staring at him or asking odd questions of everyone.
It serves literally no purpose to the story and never comes to any form of resolution. You keep expecting to learn they had sex off screen and that’s why the sacrifice won’t be completed, but instead, it’s just a matter of Conan showing up at the right time to stop it.
Why did we spend so much time on her being all obsessed with him again?
Do yourself a favor, and just avoid this movie.
1984 Movie Reviews will return on July 13 with The Last Starfighter and The Muppets Take Manhattan!
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