It’s Wild-Card Wednesday, and anything can happen. Last month, we had ourselves a Sexy 80s Party. I’ve just gotten done being grounded, and the folks are gone to Barbados. Let’s just say I’m ready to roll. Today is Sexy 80s Party: Forgotten Underdog Edition.
Join me for a night of forgotten 80s movies that feature underdogs. I call them forgotten because none of these movies are available on DVD. I haven’t seen them in years on cable. They seem to have been forgotten.
We’ve got the popcorn popped, someone ordered a pizza, and Dimitri the Drunk is already doing the barf yell in the bathroom.
The TV’s on, the VCR is ready to go. Here’s what we’re watching:
Dudes is made of the awesome. Three punks (as in punk rockers) decide to relocate from New York City to California after one of them gets an insurance settlement.
They drive cross-country in a ratty VW Beetle. In the less populated western US, they are attacked by some redneck thugs. One of the NYC punks is killed in the confrontation. The remaining two punks vow to find the murderers and bring them to justice…or at least get some revenge.
Dudes stars John Cryer (from Two and a Half Men) and Daniel Roebuck (who was also in River’s Edge). That’s not the best part, though. The third punk–the one who gets killed–is played by Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Even better: The villain is Lee Ving from Fear.
[Wondering who the heck Lee Ving is? Click here.]
Here’s the trailer:
Don’t even get me started on Daredelvis. He’s an Elvis impersonating rodeo clown played by Pete Willcox.
The last neat thing about Dudes is the supernatural element. A cowboy ghost and a Native American ghost represent the spirit of the old west. Principles of ghost possession and/or reincarnation play into the plot.
Dudes is available in its entirety on You Tube (click for part 1). You can still purchase the VHS off Amazon.com. I own the VHS tape and keep meaning to have a DVD copy made before it messes up. As far as I know, it was never released on DVD.
Band of the Hand (1986)
Five juvenile felons are thrown out of the system and dumped into the Florida Everglades. They soon learn they have been turned over to a Native American (Miccosukee) man for rehabilitation. He uses his military background and survival skills to gain the young felons trust and respect.
When they’ve passed his wilderness test, he takes them to a house in Miami. The group immediately finds themselves at odds with drug kingpins who threaten the only security they’ve ever known. The end result is a fight to death between the Band of the Hand and the drug kingpins. Watch the trailer.
This is a story of redemption. The human ability to bounce back and to choose right over wrong is part feel good and part tragedy. It’s usually heartwarming. This redemption, though, is vigilante justice against criminals. It illustrates the gray area between right and wrong, criminal vs. bad man. That’s even better than redemption.
Another cool element of this movie is the theme song, “Band of the Hand.” It was written and performed by Bob Dylan. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are his backup band. Dude. Need I say more? If you want to take a listen, the song is below.
Band of the Hand almost didn’t make the cut for my Forgotten party. It was released on DVD but is no longer in production. The movie is, however, available through Amazon Instant Movie and through iTunes. You can watch it on your computer for less than $3.00.
The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)
Billie Jean Davy (Helen Slater) is incensed when a local bully beats up her brother, Binx (Christian Slater), and trashes his scooter. She goes to the bully’s father, a successful but seedy businessman, and demands he pay for the damages.
The jerk refuses and tries to rape Billie Jean. In a series of unfortunate events, Binx (Cristian Slater) shoots the jerk. Binx and Billy Jean run away and become fugitives. Watch the trailer:
As the trailer promises, the movie featured “Invincible” by Pat Benatar–who was an 80s icon herself. “Invicible” was a top ten song. Even twenty-six years later, I still blast this song. Click here to listen to it.
The Legend of Billie Jean asked the big question: What is justice? It also shows how people identify with underdogs. The underdog holds a special place in most of our hearts because sometime, somewhere we’ve each been the underdog.
Fun Factoid: The original title of The Legend of Billie Jean was Fair is Fair.
The party’s over. Hey, y’all aren’t leaving me to clean up this mess again…are you?
My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me. They’ll probably ground me again, and I won’t get to have another Sexy 80s Party until next month.
Until then, tell me about a movie from your teenage years that seems to have been forgotten.
I finished one of my goals last week, so I really need to cross it off the list…I guess. I have been busy this week catching up and doing pre-writing on Murder in Black water. I am not sure how much it will help me to figure out the layers before I write…but I’m doing it. I’m returning my critique partner’s pages quickly. I’m meeting my social media goals.