If You Don’t Love Red Dawn Then The Terrorists Have Already Won
Just looking over the list of top box office films from that year brings back a flood of memories, all tinged with the painful heavings of puberty. Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Red Dawn, Revenge of the Nerds, Bachelor Party, Purple Rain, Footloose, Splash, Romancing the Stone, Police Academy, Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop… It’s all like some sort of weekend cable movie marathon, and they were all released in the same year, MCMLXXXIV, George Orwell’s favorite twelve months, and the title of a Van Halen album – 1984. And every bit of it was completely soaked in the scintillating sounds of the keyboard sythesizer.
Some douche from Slate recently spent what could have been his productive blog time instead attacking Red Dawn, one of the top 10 greatest movies of all time along with fellow ’84 alumnus The Karate Kid, as a bloodthirsty ode to conservative “nutterdom”. I say fuck him. Fuck him with a rocket propelled grenade, yo.
In that era of cinematic narcissism, all I can say is too bad there was no giant screen, color TiVo’ing, high-def plasma, DVD playing, LCD techno-altar in my living room at the time or I would have spent untold hours of my time defiling myself in front of a frozen screenshot of Kathleen Turner’s soaked dress in Romancing the Stone. Instead, I think I wasted much of it.
Um…hang on a minute… There, I just ordered the collectors edition from amazon.
Don’t judge. I will sweep the leg. I’ll do it.
No, instead I pretty much spent that year watching re-runs of the A Team on a 13″ black and white with a pair of vice grips for a channel knob. It all provided a convenient escape from the fact that my family had recently given up the charade of the 1950’s suburban promise. you know, the billboard family with smiling parents and a super-green lawn. Fuck, I wanted to be a Cosby kid.
Despite all that, some of my happiest memories are from sitting in dark movie theaters with my friends and family, watching john hughes movies; the smell of the popcorn, the textures, sticky floor and all. I saw Return of the Jedi from the back row with a blond lolita that liked to flash me only because she knew I was terrified of her. To this day, when the lights go down it sends me back, and for all that, 1984 was a pretty good year.