Ranking The Most Terrible Movies of the 1980s

Looking back at the movies of the 80s is a fun exercise in nostalgia…

The 1980s were a time of great cultural change, with films that reflected everything from the rise of technology to the end of the Cold War. Some of these movies have become iconic, beloved classics that have stood the test of time. But let’s be real, the 80s also gave us some truly terrible movies. You know the kind, the ones that are so bad they’re good. The ones that make you laugh out loud at their ridiculousness. In this article, we’ll be ranking the most terrible movies of the 1980s. From cheesy horror films to cringe-worthy comedies and everything in between, we’ll relive the best of the worst. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and get ready for a trip down memory lane.

A brief history of the 1980s movie industry

The 1980s marked a significant turning point for the movie industry. It was a decade of blockbuster hits, a time when the likes of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas revolutionized how movies were made and marketed. The success of films such as Jaws, Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark not only catapulted their directors to fame but also set the standard for what audiences would come to expect from a movie-going experience.

However, the 80s wasn’t just about big-budget studio films. It was also a time when independent filmmakers began to gain more prominence. Filmmakers like John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and David Cronenberg brought new and innovative ideas to the horror and sci-fi genres, paving the way for a new era of filmmaking.

But the decade wasn’t without its challenges. Rising production costs and the increasing popularity of home video threatened to derail the industry. In response, studios began to rely more heavily on sequels and franchise films, leading to a proliferation of poorly conceived and executed movies.

Despite these challenges, the 80s remain a beloved era for movie fans. It was a time of innovation, experimentation, and creativity, and its impact is still felt in the movies being made today.

What makes a movie “terrible”?

Before getting into the list, it’s important to establish what makes a movie “terrible” in the first place. There are a few criteria that we’ve used to determine which films make the cut.

  1.  A terrible movie is one that fails to deliver on its intended purpose. For example, a horror film that doesn’t scare the audience or a comedy that doesn’t make them laugh. If a movie is meant to be a certain genre, it should at least fulfill the basic expectations of that genre.
  1. Terrible movies often have poor production values. This could mean bad acting, shoddy special effects, or cheap sets and costumes. It’s hard to engage with a film when the audience is constantly distracted by bad production.
  1. A terrible movie is often one that is forgettable. If a movie fails to make any kind of impression on its audience, it’s unlikely to be remembered or talked about in the future.
  1. A terrible movie is often one that is unintentionally funny. These are the movies that are so bad, they’re actually enjoyable to watch because of how ridiculous they are.

Using these criteria, here is a list of the most terrible movies of the 1980s. Whether you’re a fan of bad cinema or just looking for something truly awful to watch, this list has got you covered.

The Top 10 worst 1980s movies

Ah, the 1980s: a time of big hair, shoulder pads, and some truly terrible movies. The film industry was churning out B-movies left and right, each one seemingly more ridiculous than the last. But which ones were truly the worst of the worst? Here are the top 10 contenders for the title of the most terrible movie of the 1980s.

10. “Howard the Duck” (1986) – This film, based on a Marvel comic book character, was a critical and commercial flop. It features a duck from another planet who gets stranded on Earth and has to save the world from an evil alien. He gets some revenge in his cameos of Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

9. “Mac and Me” (1988) – This E.T. ripoff is a shameless marketing ploy for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. It’s about a boy who befriends an alien and they go on a series of wacky adventures together.

8. “C.H.U.D.” (1984) – This horror film stands for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers”. It’s about a group of homeless people who are turning into monsters from toxic waste in the sewers.

7. “Mannequin” (1987) – This romantic comedy is about a man who falls in love with a mannequin that comes to life. It’s absurd, cheesy, and has not aged well. A badly executed Pygmalion remake full of 80s stereotypes.

6. Jaws 3D(1983) – Third installment of the Jaws franchise, capitalizing on the 3D craze. This film follows the Brody children on the vacation to Florida where they are, again, targeted by a great white shark

5. “Masters of the Universe” (1987) – This film is based on the popular cartoon series and action figures. It stars Dolph Lundgren as He-Man, who has to save the world from Skeletor. The film is so bad that it’s almost good.

4. “Gymkata” (1985) – This action film is about a gymnast who is recruited by the government to compete in a deadly competition. It’s cheesy, poorly acted, and has some of the worst fight scenes ever filmed.

3. “Troll 2” (1989) – This horror film has nothing to do with the first “Troll” movie. It’s about a family who goes on vacation and gets terrorized by vegetarian goblins. The acting is terrible, the plot makes no sense, and it’s become a cult classic for all the wrong reasons.

2. Grease 2(1982) – The sequel to Grease. A British student(Sandy’s cousin) tries to prove himself to a 1960s girls gang group, The Pink Ladies, just two years after Danny and Sandy Graduate from Rydell High.

1. “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie” (1987) – This film is based on a popular series of trading cards that featured gross and disgusting characters. It’s about a boy who befriends the Garbage Pail Kids and they help him stand up to bullies. The characters are creepy-looking, the jokes are cringe-worthy, and it’s a terrible film all around.

Final thoughts and recommendations for fans of terrible movies

If you’re a fan of terrible movies, then the 1980s is a goldmine for you. From cheesy horror flicks to poorly written action movies, the decade had it all. Hopefully, our list of the most terrible movies of the 1980s has given you some ideas for your next movie night.

But we don’t want to leave you with just a list of bad movies. We recommend that you grab some friends, some snacks, and some adult beverages and make a night of it. The experience of watching a terrible movie with friends can be a bonding experience that you’ll never forget.

In addition to that, we also recommend that you expand your horizons and check out some of the more obscure bad movies from the decade. You never know what hidden gems you might find.

From bad movies to your favorites

We hope you enjoyed our blog post ranking the most terrible movies of the 1980s. While some of these movies may have been painful to sit through, we can’t deny that they hold a special place in our hearts for being so bad. Looking back at the movies of the 80s is a fun exercise in nostalgia, and we hope this list has brought back some memories – good or bad! If you haven’t seen any of these films yet, grab some popcorn, and give them a chance. Who knows, you might end up finding a new favorite terrible movie! 

What are some of your favorite bad movies? What are some movies you would never recommend from the 80s? Let me know in the comments below, maybe we can grow this list and appreciate them for all of their awesome badness.


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