November 9, 2020

Wonky 80’s Movies

Lee and Jeff from the MEGA and Tirekicker podcast talk about 6 Wonky 80's movies they know you will like. 

Full show notes listed below


Fortress (1985) 

 An Australian school teacher and her students are kidnapped. She and the children fight for their lives and try to escape from their captors. 


Loosely based on the 1972 Faraday School kidnapping of a teacher and her class by Edwin John Eastwood and Robert Clyde Boland. Eastwood later escaped from prison and repeated the crime with another teacher and her class in 1977. The Faraday kidnapping was in turn a real-life copycat crime based on a scene in the Clint Eastwood film Dirty Harry (1971) where the Scorpio Killer holds a bus driver and several schoolchildren hostage.



The Faraday School kidnapping occurred on 6 October 1972 at a one-teacher school in the rural town of Faraday in Victoria, Australia, where two plasterers, Edwin John Eastwood and Robert Clyde Boland, kidnapped six female pupils and their teacher for a $1,000,000 ransom. The Victorian government claimed it would pay the ransom. The victims escaped and the criminals were captured, tried and convicted. Eastwood escaped and later kidnapped a teacher and nine pupils. He was again captured, convicted and sentenced. While in prison, Eastwood strangled convicted rapist Glen Davies in what was ruled self-defence. He was eventually released, having served his sentence.


The film was initially released directly to cable television by the HBO channel in the United States on 24 November 1985.It contains scenes of graphic violence unusual for TV productions of the time. It was released to cinemas in Australia on 26 June 1986. Played for years on HBO



Megaforce (1982)

The story involves two fictional countries, the peaceful Republic of Sardun and their aggressive neighbor Gamibia. Unable to defend themselves from a Gamibian incursion, Sardun sends Major Zara and General Byrne-White to ask the help of MegaForce – a secret army composed of international soldiers from throughout the western world, equipped with advanced weapons and vehicles. The MegaForce leader, Commander Ace Hunter, will lead a mission to destroy the Gamibian forces, which are led by his rival, and former military academy friend, Duke Gurerra.

While Hunter composes an elaborate battle plan to destroy Gurerra's forces, Zara tries out to become a member of MegaForce. As she executes the various tests, Hunter's feelings of affection toward her grow. And while she passes the tests, he is unable to allow her to participate in their raid, because her presence, as an outsider, would disrupt the trust and familiarity of his force.


Eventually, MegaForce successfully para-drops its attack vehicles into Gamibia and Hunter mounts his sneak attack against Gurerra's forces. Although they manage to destroy his base, they are told by General Byrne-White that Sardun has decided they will not be allowed to cross the border into their country because they consider MegaForce too dangerous a global organization.

At the same time, Gurerra has set a trap for them at the team's only means of escape – a dry lake bed where the cargo planes will pick them up. Gurerra sends his tanks to secure the lake bed while Hunter comes up with a plan to attack Gurerra from behind by crossing over a mountain range the enemy tanks had turned their backs toward.

The plan succeeds, and MegaForce manages to break through Gurerra's tanks, but one of MegaForce's cargo planes is damaged in the process. Having to abandon their high-tech vehicles (which they program to self-destruct), the team successfully makes it on foot to the last plane, except for Hunter. The commander, instead, makes his own dramatic escape on his motorcycle after it deploys airfoils and a rocket motor and catches up with the cargo plane in midair. Although he has lost the battle, Gurerra shows admiration for Hunter's cunning, and he gives his old friend a thumbs up.


Hal Needham later described it as:

Kind of a version of James Bond done with a helluva lot of less budget and no Roger Moore, but it was a high tech, good "right wing" film and I thought it was kinda interesting. Those buggies that we built, they were dune buggies and we revamped 'em a little bit, and put the weapons on 'em and all that, and the military sent people out there to look at my weapons and my vehicles and how they run, and how they handle...they were out there in the desert with me for a week watching. And, if you go back and take a look at Desert Storm, there's a pretty good resemblance to my vehicles. They were pretty slick, pretty tricked out, and they had a helluva job putting those together.

The film was poorly received by critics, bombed at the box office and was nominated for three Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture.



See the flying bike scene


Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend 1985


A paleontologist and her husband discover a mother and baby brontosaurus in Africa,  and try to protect them from a group of hunters intent on capturing the dinosaurs.



Starring William Katt from TV show the greatest american hero.

Sean Young From Balde runner and dune and Ace Ventura

Sparked an interest in learning more about actual sightings of dinosaurs. An article in a school magazine wrote about possible sighting in Congo. My imagination was hooked.








Big Trouble in Little China (1986)


Truck driver Jack Burton arrives in Chinatown, San Francisco, and goes to the airport with his Chinese friend Wang Chi to welcome his green-eyed fiancée Miao Yin who is arriving from China. However she is kidnapped on the arrival by a Chinese street gang and Jack and Wang chase the group. Soon they learn that the powerful evil sorcerer called David Lo Pan, who has been cursed more than two thousand years ago to exist without physical body, needs to marry a woman with green eyes to retrieve his physical body and Miao is the chosen one. Jack and Wang team-up with the lawyer Gracie Law, the bus driver and sorcerer apprentice Egg Shen and their friends and embark in a great adventure in the underground of Chinatown, where they face a world of magicians and magic, monsters and martial arts fighters.


The film only gross $11.1M in the box office where it had an estimated gross budget of $25M, but James Cameron’s Aliens came out at the same time and took all of the thunder.

Directed by John Carpenter and starred Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall



The movie did so bad that John Carpenter said he would never do another blockbuster type movie again and went to independent film making from then on out.

IT has since become a cult classic and has a 78% average rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


Better Off Dead 1985


The teenager Lane Meyer has a crush on his girlfriend Beth Truss. When Beth dumps him to stay with the successful skier Roy Stalin, Lane is depressed and decides to commit suicide. However he gives up and tries to improve his skill of skier to ski the dangerous K12 slope to impress Beth. Meanwhile his neighbor Mrs. Smith receives the exchange French student Monique Junot and her fat son Ricky Smith considers Monique his girlfriend; however, Monique has an unrequited crush on Lane that does not note her. When Lane stumbles upon Monique in a high-school party, he befriends her. The upset Lane challenges Roy in a competition on the K12 slope but then he regrets. However Monique is a great mechanic and skier, and fix Lane's Camaro and teaches him how to ski the K12 slope.


Star a young John Cusack Lane Meyer

David Ogden Stiers Al Meyer from MASH

Dan Schneider Ricky Smith Starred in Head of the Class, but later know writing and producing kids shows like Good burger, Drake and Josh and iCarly.

Curtis Armstrong Charles De Mar Who was also in Revenge of the nerds as Booger and later in Moonlighting TV Show with Bruce Willis.


According to Savage Steve Holland, the film is mostly autobiographical. Holland really was suicidal when his high school girlfriend left him for captain of the ski team. Also, he really did have a paperboy named Johnny Gasparini who would harass him for two dollars. According to Holland, when the film came out, the ex-girlfriend contacted him to apologize.


Lane's mother's experimental cooking was inspired by Savage Steve Holland's mother, who did the same thing. "My mom would get McCall's magazine, and she would find these recipes and make these things, and have some excuse why they didn't taste good-because she forgot something or she didn't have an ingredient," Holland told Entertainment Weekly. One year for his birthday-not Christmas-she gifted him with some TV dinners. "She was like, 'And I got you these really cool frozen dinners because you like the peach cobbler in this one' or something. And I was like, 'Wow. Really? This is my life.'"


John Cusack hated the movie when he saw an early cut

The last line of the credits reads The film's over... you can go now.

Badger his bizarre, but genius little brother


Opening Weekend USA:

 $56,371, 25 August 1985

Gross USA:


7.1 on Amazon and 77% on rotten tomatoes

Had resurgence on VHS and Cable


UHF (1989)


George Newman is a daydreamer whose hyperactive imagination keeps him from holding a steady job. His uncle decides George would be the perfect man to manage Channel 62, a television station which is losing money and viewers fast. When George replaces the station's reruns with bizarre programs such as "Stanley Spadowski's Clubhouse", "Wheel of Fish" and "Raul's Wild Kingdom", ratings begin to soar again.



Mean-spirited and cynical mogul R.J. Fletcher becomes furious that the UHF station is getting better ratings than his network's programming. Because of gambling debts, the uncle is forced to consider selling the station to Fletcher, who would only too happily shut it down (he cannot legally own two stations in the same town). George and his friends organize a 48-hour telethon to raise the money by selling investment stock from Channel 62 to save the town's new favorite station.





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