Six of the strangest 1980s movie setups

No idea was too dumb, too silly, or too ridiculous for a movie in the 1980s to grab and say, “Yeah, we can work with this!” Here are six of the strangest setups to movies from that decade:


From our review: “It’s a silly idea: a guy creates a mannequin who only comes to life when just he’s around. As the 80s have shown us, a silly idea can go far, as long as it has a script and wit to back it up. Mannequin, alas, is an open casting call for acting buffoons.”

Weekend at Bernie’s

From our review: “A studio suggesting that movie be made about two guys pretending a corpse is alive wasn’t anything unusual. It was just another day, and we were along for the drug-induced ride of our lives.”

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

From our review: “You see, in typical ’80s ‘making the plot up as we eat these magic mushrooms’ fashion, Bill and Ted will become responsible for bringing peace and prosperity to earth with their music — as long as they don’t fail history! So the future sends back Rufus (George Carlin) to give them a time machine and one meager day to create the best history report ever made.”

Dead Heat

From our review: “I don’t know what would ever lead a person to say, ‘Why yes, I’m in the mood for a Joe Piscopo zombie flick,’ but if and when that statement is ever uttered, this movie will be waiting.”

Chopping Mall

From our review: “I mean, who could pass up an opportunity to see what it would be like if Johnny Five from Short Circuit took up a night job working mall security and then went all evil?”

Return of the Killer Tomatoes

From our review: “The second installment in the series, Return of the Killer Tomatoes picks up about 10 years after the Great Tomato War. Of course we young whippersnappers don’t recall how horrid the assault was — or how tasteless the music played — and so we now have tomato sauce-less pizza, tomato smugglers, and a mad scientist on the loose.”

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