You could say that Hollywood has really gone overboard with remakes… Well, you could say that if you wanted to be obnoxious with a pun, as I always do. We’re using the excuse of this week’s soon-to-be-forgotten rom-com remake as a goldie opportunity (I know, groan) to look back at some of our favorite movies from 1987.
Having rewatched the original ‘Overboard‘ just last year, this cable mainstay probably shouldn’t work at all. And yet, a lifetime ago, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn helped turn a soap-opera-worthy plot into a charming rom-com. It’s the kind of magic-in-a-bottle mix that you’d never want to try to remake, but I digress. The kids in the movie are surprisingly integral to its charm, and the third act is heck of a lot more fun than most of the rest of the genre. Edward Herrmann, Roddy McDowall, and Mike Hagerty also all put in great supporting performances.
There were a lot of really good movies in 1987, but the one that impressed me the most was Brian De Palma’s ‘The Untouchables‘. It’s now best known as the film that won Sean Connery an Oscar and for the great (albeit over-the-top) performance by Robert De Niro as Al Capone. But for me, it was my introduction to Kevin Costner. Who was this impressive young actor and why had I never seen him before?
Of course, ‘The Untouchables’ was just the start of Costner’s rise to superstardom. He’d follow his turn as Eliot Ness with a trio of hits in ‘No Way Out’, ‘Bull Durham’, and ‘Field of Dreams’, and became a household name. De Palma’s movie also was the first time I saw Andy Garcia in a movie, and while he never quite had the success Costner did, he’s turned in some fine performances over the years. Beyond all this, ‘The Untouchables’ is just a really good movie (with some historical inaccuracies) and it almost always gets a mention when someone asks me to name some of my all-time favorite films.
M. Enois Duarte
From a long list to choose – because seriously, 1987 was a fantastic year for movies – I’m going with the one movie I have watched the most since it hit theaters. That would be Joel Schumacher’s horror-comedy classic ‘The Lost Boys‘. I was at just the perfect age for this spooky teen melodrama, the same as the two Coreys, and being a huge horror fanatic at the same time, I easily gravitated toward the concept of adolescent vampires. The film never struck me as suspenseful or scary, even back then, but seeing creatures of the night be hip, cool and fashionable, like a dark, almost parody-like version of a John Hughes movie, really struck a chord with me during those impressionable years.
Not only is the title is an obvious allusion to J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ stories, but I also took it as a broader reference to adolescence in general with vampires serving as a metaphor for teenage boys’ wanting to belong, be part of group or clique, and simply longing to make friends when being the new kid in town. Sometimes that desire is so strong, and perhaps even desperate, we make poor decisions and friends who peer-pressure us into becoming troublemakers, criminals and society’s undesirables. As much as I also love many other movies from 1987, ‘The Lost Boys’ is definitely the one I’ve watched the most over the past thirty years.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
“Perfect” isn’t exactly a word you hear bandied about often with horror sequels. It’s rarer still with the horror/comedy, a subgenre that more often than not fails to deliver laughs or scares. Even with as stacked as the odds are against it, ‘Evil Dead 2‘ is as close to a perfect film as anything I’ve ever come across.
This sequel screams ahead at a breakneck pace. Not a moment is wasted, to the point that it distills the original ‘Evil Dead’ down to just two characters and a few short minutes. There’s always something astonishing or maniacally inventive around the next corner, whether it’s an eyeball soaring into some poor schlub’s mouth or Ash Williams replacing his severed, demonic hand with a chainsaw. The acrobatic camerawork bowled me over when I first caught ‘Evil Dead 2’ at a revival screening in college, and it continues to impress all these years later. A sizeable chunk of the film charts a solitary descent into madness, and Bruce Campbell proves to be more than capable of shouldering so much of ‘Evil Dead 2’ by himself. When horror fanatics groan about digital effects in modern horror, there’s a good chance that ‘Evil Dead 2’ is their bellwether; its gruesome, deliriously over-the-top splatter puts the “gore” in “gorgeous.” No matter how many times I watch it, I still find myself laughing, jumping at all the right scares, and generally just in awe of a lifelong favorite.
1987 launched a lot of important movie franchises, including ‘Lethal Weapon’, ‘Predator’, and ‘Hellraiser’. Even considering the fact that all of its sequels, spinoffs and the remake were pretty terrible, Paul Verhoeven’s ‘RoboCop‘ is both kick-ass, rousing entertainment and a hilarious satirical critique of Capitalism run amok and the commercialization of public institutions like the police. It works brilliantly as both a slam-bang macho action movie and at the same time a parody of slam-bang macho action movies.
In addition to the titles already mentioned above, some of my other Honorable Mentions would include ‘The Princess Bride’, ‘Raising Arizona’, ‘Spaceballs’, ‘Full Metal Jacket’, ‘The Hidden’, ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’, ‘Throw Momma from the Train’, ‘Wall Street’ and ‘Broadcast News’. 1987 was a pretty great year for movies.
What’s your favorite movie from 1987? Wikipedia has a page to remind you of what was released that year.