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Listmaina: 8 1980's movies that should have been hits

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  • Listmaina: 8 1980's movies that should have been hits

    I remember some of the movies - they were awesome especially The Adventures of Baron and Heathers.

    But Howard Duck?? ughh

    Listmania: EIGHT 1980s MOVIES THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN HITS ... BUT WERE FLOPS
    PETER BROWN

    With THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN 20th Anniversary Edition being released onto DVD last week and making its debut in high definition Blu-Ray format – a film that was a critical and box office failure yet still managed to work its way into the cult hearts of many. We here at iF Magazine thought we would take a look at that film along with other movies from the 1980s that flopped at the box office but in reality should have been big hits because they were actually good or decent movies.

    REMO WILLIAMS – THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
    (c) 2001 MGM Home Entertainment
    In theaters: 1985
    Why it is good: Fun tale about a secret agency that recruits a cop to become the ultimate government assassin that’s trained by a Korean ninja/assassin master with a love of American soap operas. Fun, quirky, plenty of action and good hearted characters this was supposed to be the first film in hopefully a franchise – thus the title THE ADVENTURE BEGINS. It flopped and even a planned TV show starring Roddy McDowell got shafted because of poor box office results.
    Why it flopped: Too quirky for some … no one likes Eastern Asian techniques taught to a gaijin … no name actors besides oatmeal loving Wilford Brimley.

    THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN
    (c) 2008 Genius Products
    In theaters: 1988
    Why it is good: The over-the-top visual feast by MONTY PYTHON’s Terry Gilliam is an extravagant special effects tale of technology, strange people and fantasy follows a world traveler and his crew as they fight to save a town from defeat, battling a giant sea monster, take a trip to the moon and fights off a visit from the Grim Reaper. It is a fun, absurd and amazing visual movie that was unfairly lambasted by critics.
    Why it flopped: Most people probably found it tedious, hard to keep up with and down-right confusing. British humor is often this way and it takes some getting used to. A convoluted plot where you actually have to pay attention makes it all that much worse.

    HOWARD THE DUCK
    (c) 2000 Universal Home Entertainment
    In Theaters: 1986
    Why it was good: Sure, up until STAR WARS – EPISODE ONE – THE PHANTOM MENACE this was considered George Lucas’s biggest failure/mistake but it actually isn’t that bad if you look at it from the perspective of it not being serious at all. The tale of a Duck from outer space that arrives just in time to save the Earth is a bit odd and the delivery is even odder but HOWARD has its moments and a hot Lea Thomason doesn’t hurt either.
    Why it flopped: People took it too seriously. The self-effacing humor didn’t appeal to critics. Not enough people identified with the character since it was based on a comic book. Today, it would probably do a lot better given the numerous comic book films to have come about and HOWARD would probably be CGI giving him more mobility than a midget in a mascot costume.

    THE BLACK CAULDRON
    (c) 2001 Disney Home Entertainment
    In theaters: 1985
    Why it is good: Considered by many to be the “lost” Disney animated movie that gets the shaft from the Mickey Mouse company year after year in favor of other animated tales such as LITTLE MERMAID and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Actually, for a Disney animated film this one is pretty dark, which actually made it good but not successful since back in the 80s, animated films were just for kids. Obviously, had this been released today it would be far more successful after TOY STORY and SHREK have paved the way.
    Why it flopped: It was a PG rated Disney film. It is NOT a musical and is actually quite dark and creepy and not for kids. While Disney did put out THE BLACK HOLE in 1979 as a PG that was a live action film. This was Disney’s first animated PG movie.

    FLASH GORDON
    (c) 2008 Warner Home Video
    In theaters: 1980
    Why it is good: Have you seen it? It totally rocks. Campy, totally over-the-top with bright colors and outrageous outfits and an awesome Queen soundtrack in this refresh of the old 1936 serials. While only a few people made it out of the film with careers, it remains a cult classic with wicked creatures, awesomely bad special effects, terrible great campy acting and a fun story.
    Why it flopped: Too campy, too disco-ish with the bright colors and vivid costumes and planets. No name actors as the stars (other than Max Von Sydow as Ming) and people not aware of the series that was last seen in 1954 as a short-lived series. Given its cult status, FLASH GORDON is now well know and probably would do better today, however, given how badly the Sci Fi Channel f***ed up the series remake, that may not be altogether accurate.

    HEATHERS
    (c) 2001 Anchor Bay Home Entertainment
    In theaters: 1989
    Why it is good: It could be called the beginning of the angst era that would carry into the 1990s with grunge rock. HEATHERS is the ultimate dark comedy that helped to cement Winona Ryder’s cult status as she played a high school girl brought into a clique of terrible classmates all named Heather. Ryder’s character hates them all yet the pressures of high school keep her in the group. When she meets bad boy Christian Slater, they concoct a plan (at first in jest) to kill them off. When Slater begins to kill them off for real, things get … complicated.
    Why it flopped: People didn’t get it. It is generally regarded as being ahead of its time (see the angst/grunge angle) and that it would have a greater impact later. They were right. HEATHERS to this day is still one of the best dark comedies ever made and really began a series of realistic high school movies that continues in Hollywood today (when they aren’t remaking everything in sight). Unfortunately, had HEATHERS been released today … it would be a huge hit.

    ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA
    (c) 2003 Warner Home Video
    In theaters: 1984
    Why it is good: The turn-of-the-century tale about Jewish immigrants coming to American and finding themselves knee deep in crime. Told through the eyes of Noodles (Robert De Niro), the film is filled with action and explosions as the friends grow their criminal empire.
    Why it flopped: It never knew exactly what type of film it wanted to be … a long ass 227-minute movie or a svelte 139 minute film. All of the talk about huge gaps in the story, production delays and people just weren’t interested in seeing what they believed was a poor man’s GODFATHER.

    DUNE
    (c) 2008 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    In theaters: 1984
    Why it is good: David Lynch’s convoluted Frank Herbert adaptation of the novel of the same has been chopped up and re-chopped so many times it is amazing that more babies weren’t thrown out with the bath water than already have been. Male narrator, female narrator, no narrator. Short and sweet version, two-hour version, three hour version. Regardless, DUNE is a fun movie for the most part, a science fiction fan’s feast with a healthy dose of mysticism and fantasy and has become a cult favorite among fans everywhere that appreciate what Lynch tried to do with a novel that is almost impossible to get right.
    Why it flopped: The initial version was terrible … later versions weren’t much better until an extended version was released that didn’t help piece anything more together, but at least gave us more of what Lynch was trying to go for. Unfortunately, if you didn’t read the book … you were nearly completely lost with the theatrical version and most critics were lambasting it which translated to viewers. After bombing, two sequels were immediately cancelled and Lynch has disowned the film even passing on the opportunity to do a director’s cut on DVD.

    This article was printed from iFMagazine.com at URL
    http://iFMagazine.com/feature.asp?article=2748

  • #2
    Remo Williams was the shit!

    At least three of those movies are classics.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by B.A. View Post
      Remo Williams was the shit!

      At least three of those movies are classics.
      ++

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      • #4
        Heathers was a very fucked up movie...but very well done.

        I remember thinking how fucking stupid Howard the Duck looked when it came out....and I was only like 8. The fact that there were people who came up with the idea....and THEN people who bought it thinking it would make money is mind boggling to me.

        Flash Gordon is good in the campy way, but there's no way in hell it should have been a hit.
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        • #5
          Once upon a time in America and Heathers are good films.

          Never saw Remo Williams

          The rest of that list sucked - and were really bad movies.
          Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

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          • #6
            What? No Leonard, Part 6? Blasphemy!

            Moon

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            • #7
              Dune really is Godawful. The Sci Fi Channel miniseries that came out a couple years ago was much, much better.

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              • #8
                Humanoids from the Deep should be on that list. That movie rocked.

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                • #9
                  Lordy.

                  I like Munchausen, but it seems to take nearly an hour to actually get to the story proper.

                  Once Upon A Time In America
                  is fantastic, but the crazy way that Sergio Leone plays with time, the ringing phone in the beginning...another movie where you're nearly 90 minutes in (and it runs 3 hours, 45 minutes in Leone's intended version) before you know what the hell's going on.

                  Dune is one of the worst movies ever made. Just howlingly awful.
                  I like cheese.

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                  • #10
                    Thirty times more was written about Remo Williams by Murphy and Saphir than Conan-Doyle wrote about Sherlock Holmes. There are well over a hundred Remo Williams novels - I personally own about thirty. It's astonishing that many more movies haven't been made about the series.

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                    • #11
                      I was a big fan of Remo Williams, Flash Gordon and Dune. Saw them all at the theaters and on television.

                      I never had any problems with Lynch's Dune. I thought it was a damn good attempt to make a film out of that extremely complex and imaginative book.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FAR52 View Post
                        I was a big fan of Remo Williams, Flash Gordon and Dune. Saw them all at the theaters and on television.

                        I never had any problems with Lynch's Dune. I thought it was a damn good attempt to make a film out of that extremely complex and imaginative book.
                        You were OK with Weirding Modules? Or Muad'Dib shouting pure corn like "Long Live The Fighters!" ?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Airshark View Post
                          You were OK with Weirding Modules? Or Muad'Dib shouting pure corn like "Long Live The Fighters!" ?
                          No, but I didn't let it ruin the movie for me. By the way, did you see the mini-series of Dune on Showtime or HBO? It was pretty damned good.
                          "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

                          Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

                          "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

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                          • #14
                            Winona...

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAoAvNqYS80

                            (don't know that embed trick...)
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Moon Man View Post
                              What? No Leonard, Part 6? Blasphemy!

                              Moon

                              When Bill Cosby won the Golden Raspberry for worst actor, he demanded a trophy.

                              I never knew that they didn't give out an actual award until then.

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