Monday, 1 March 2010

Overlooked 80s Films - Part The First

There has of late been a trend towards eighties films becoming fashionable again. Many are adorning cool, geek chic, retro-style T-shorts and tend to be the major ones of the decade. You know the ones I mean - your Back To The Futures and your Ghostbusterses - justifiably classics and rightly revered. However, I would ask you to spare a thought for some of those films of the time which retain a soft spot in my affections and are being unfairly overlooked in favour of the big guns. I think it's time we lifted a few rocks and shone a light into the blinking eyes of a few old school classics that deserve a look in. I'm not saying they're in the league of the aforementioned big hitters but they deserve a bit of memory devoted to them. So, enough preamble, what's today's option?

Day One - Short Circuit

Yep, it's that timeless tale of girl meets boy except boy isn't so much "boy" as "relentless government killing robot that's broken its programming due to an electrical overload and now is developing a kind and cuddly personality that likes butterflies". You know, that old chestnut. It's a lovable if clunky film which has one major thing going for it - it's from those heady pre-CGI days which means that we get an actual robot in it (Johnny 5 himself) that looks like it has been made by government i.e. limited in actions and already heading towards obsolete.

"OK," some of you may be saying, "all well and good, oh hairless one, but you are forgetting the major minus point to this cinematic mini-gem." Alright, yes, so you have a point there - in the interests of health and safety, I do have to point out that this film contains unhealthy levels of Steve Guttenberg. In the films defence, I will only say that, for a certain period in the eighties, it was actually illegal to make any films without Steve Guttenberg in them. Fortunately, for everyones sanity, this law was quickly repealed and the stringent Anti-Guttenberg laws that subsequently came in continue to protect us to this day*.

So let's hear it for Short Circuit. It's not the greatest film in the world but it has a certain charm that only an eighties film can produce. And, after all, no disassemble Number 5. Number 5 is alive.

* Sadly, Guttenberg exploited the unfortunate loophole in the UK's Pantomime Act which allowed to appear in Cinderella at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley. No, really, this bit's true - he did appear in panto. Seriously.

1 comment:

MJenks said...

My wife loves this movie. Painfully loves this movie.

So much so, in fact, that she refused to see WALL-E because he was just a rip off of Johnny 5.

I wish I was kidding.