Friday, November 10, 2006

Cheese O'Rama

Usually when I think of topics to post here I try to think of stuff I really like and want to rave about. But every once in awhile it's fun to look back on some of the really cheesy stuff I grew up with. Honestly, I knew this stuff was corny even as a kid. It didn't stop me from watching it though. Barbarella was a bit before my time. It came out in 1968, a year before I was born. I admit I didn't really get it when I attempted to watch it. It was on TV and I am sure heavily edited due to what I now know are its heavy erotic overtones. But what I do remember was the cheese factor. I know there are people out there who still think it was great even though it starred Jane Fonda despite what appears to me to be funky special effects. So this could fit into the cult favorite category, it all depends on your taste. But somehow Angels in nests just don't do it for me; though I must admit having an 80's band (Duran Duran) name themselves after the main villain does give it a little more of a coolness factor. Flash Gordon is a movie I remember a bit better, the one that came out in 1980 that is. I also remember thinking the effects in this one were so bad. I think the bar for sci-fi special effects had been set in 1977 by George Lucas and Star Wars, so anything less wasn't going to do well in my book. And this movie was so over the top in everything; the costumes and even the theme music supplied by Queen. This is another one that is often described as a cult classic, though I don't think the cheese factor can be denied. Oh, and I love the ending shot that says "The End?" Love the question mark. Xanadu can best be described as a horrible movie with a great soundtrack. At least I thought so at the time. This movie came out in 1980 as well (apparently a great year for kooky sci-fi flicks) and I even went to the movie theatre with my best friend to see it. At most I would have been 12 and I can remember just dying for the movie to end. I think it was the roller skates that killed it for me. Gene Kelly wasn't even able to save this film for me, and I loved him even then from watching Dancing in the Rain. Legend was a movie I really wanted to like, and kind of did. But hey, I was 15 and already a little into Tom Cruise.(he wasn't crazy yet) This movie had all the things a girl could want from a fantasy film; unicorns, princesses and fairies. It even had Tim Curry as the demonic villain, what's not to love right? But for some reason this one didn't completely work for me. According to Wikipedia the film was cut quite a bit for its American release which could explain it. And it also says that part of the set burned down and forced them to finish the movie with "hastily completed sets." Which is a shame since the movie had potential that was never really realized. So tell me what you think. Am I being unfair to these movies? And what movies would you add to the list?


Stewart Sternberg said...

I think you didn't understand the seriousness of these films. They were an attempt by The Underground to destroy the TimeSpace Continuum. Flash Gordon almost succeeded. I remembered the cries in the theater, the blindness, the headaches, the bleeds out the ears.

Be vigilant. We must always watch for the Underground's handiwork and fight against it. Tackiness isn't just bad taste, it's a weapon.

I remember Flashdance. Ah, the story of a little working girl who danced fully clothed at topless bars while men marvelled at her dancing skills. We almost lost the entire east coast with that one.

SQT said...


Let's not forget the Flashdance fashion trends. I remember torn sweatshirts and leg warmers fondly-- the tacky-fashion-weapon at work.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Movies such as 'Flash Gordon' (1980) have a cult status of their own. The Buster Crabbe stories of the 1930's, however are very serious.

Crunchy Carpets said...

I like Flash Gordon!
And yeah, Legend...I kept thinking if you had allergies it would suck living there...lots of dust and stuff floating around.

My cousin built the sets for that.
He did stuff for Aliens too! Cool huh?

And what about Labyrinth!...nobody talks about that!!!

We could have a whole story on the Jim Henson fantasies...Dark Crystal anyone??

Irene said...

Xanadu! Woohoo! Thanks for the fabulous flashback galore! =)

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Who are you?
Flash Gordon. Quarterback. New York Jets.

Flash Gordon is great, I haven't seen it in a long time, though.

I never have seen Xanadu. *sigh* Maybe some day.

DesLily said...

I loved Legend mostly for all the wonderful make up they did! Still like it for the same reason..and probably the only Cruise movie I own lol.. (absolutely loved Tim Curry!!)

Hey Crunchy.. did you know they are making a second movie to The Dark Crystal?? can't wait!

The Curmudgeon said...

Crunchy Carpets mentioned The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. And I loved the Flash Gordon remake. Not because it was good, but because it was so delightfully, unashamedly bad -- and still true to the movie serials which I used to love as a child. (They'd be the first thing on TV in the early morning hours on Saturday in case you were thinking I saw them in first run....)

Can I nominate The Last Starfighter? Big '80's hair, a cameo for a very young Wil Wheaton, and Robert Preston doing the Music Man... as an alien. All imagined from a video game. Great fun.

SQT said...

The Last Starfighter sure brings back memories. My brothers loved that movie, though I didn't watch it until later.

I totally forgot about it until you mentioned it. Good nomination.

DesLily said...

Re: the last starfighter

gee, don't forget Dan O'Herlihy as Grig!! (I got to help him at a autograph show before he passed away... what a sweetheart of a man! .. and his son Gavin O'Herlihy isn't bad either when he was in Willow!)

ps. I pimped this blog today at my journal.. I hope it gets you some traffic (my journal isn't very populated but hey, never know)

SQT said...

Well thanks Deslily! I'll take all the pimpin' I can get.