Six essential cult movies from 1980

Join us as we march through the ’80s and ’90s to identify the six most essential cult movies to see from any given year. Today we’re kicking off with 1980 — a year packed full of classics:

The Blues Brothers

From our review:  “Why The Blues Brothers works on a plane higher than we mere mortals dare to dream is that Aykroyd and Belushi mostly play their characters with a complete deadpan earnestness. The contrast to the wanton destruction that their escapades cause is stark and hilarious.”


From our review: “On the surface, this is simply an incredibly quotable film that we will always be in debt to for the brilliant performances by Chevy Chase and Bill Murray, as well as for the excellent Kenny Loggins theme song. But dig below the surface and like a magical onion, you will find endless layers of philosophical gold at your disposal, ready and willing to make your life better.”

The Shining

From our review: “So how come The Shining works for me? I think it’s because some of Kubrick’s trademarks — long meandering shots, highly contrasting imagery, overblown electronic score — work well to heighten the feeling that something is terribly, awfully off in this place.”

Friday the 13th

From our review: “Despite what certain ‘professional’ critics might say, F13 is a classic. Great bloody visuals, effective woodsy atmosphere, and a pared-down plot that doesn’t ask too much of you except to gasp at each and every shock.”

Battle Beyond the Stars

From our review: “It may be campy and goofy, but Battle Beyond the Stars is not even in the same solar system as a good movie. Unless, somehow, your parents completely shielded you from Star Wars growing up, and this was the only space opera substitute in your morning coffee.”


From our review: “How could anyone not like at least some part of Airplane!? Even though the pop culture references are dated by some 20 years, the other jokes are fresh and fast paced to overcome the earth-toned sets.”

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