Let’s be clear here when we’re talking about ‘understanding’ the movie and say that it’s not because the main point was so horribly muddled or because it was so painstakingly provocative that it takes a true intellectual to unlock the mysteries. This time around it’s a lack of understanding the logic that went into these movies since there are some points that kind of get thrown out there and then left to the imagination of the audience without any recourse or look back at what might have come from them. That’s easy enough to count as confusing, right? There are plenty of movies from the 80s that tossed out interesting points and then never came back to them in favor of moving the plot forward and we usually just toss our head back and say ‘it doesn’t matter’ since really it doesn’t considering that we want to see how the movie ends and as a result it becomes less important to us as we continue to move along with the overriding narrative in order to see what becomes of the main characters and just whether or not they get to reach the end in a happy or at least satisfying manner. The 80s weren’t really unique in doing this, but they were definitely in on the act. Erik Barnes of Collider could attest to this.
Here are five movies that we still don’t understand to this day from the 80s.
So Ren dances when he’s mad? Okay, that’s not too bad, but an entire town voting to ban dancing and rock and roll music based on the premise that someone’s son was killed in a car crash that had something to do with dancing? That’s overkill to the kind of extreme that could be called fascism and rightfully so for once, since locking down the enjoyment that people can get from dancing and listening to passionate music that can lift the soul without forcing anyone to rebel in a harmful way is kind of, wrong, to be fair about it. But hey, in the movies anything is pretty much fair game, even if it’s a movie dealing with realism while introducing a very unrealistic plot device.
There can be only one. That kind of leaves the argument of whether or not the immortals have been actively avoiding each other for so many years or if deep down they’re really afraid of the prize and are doing what they can to just stay away. This movie might have made more sense had it been a one-off, but as we’ve seen it spawned at least a few other movies that were every bit as ridiculous and a series that was kind of, well, just as dedicated to drawing out the idea that immortals weren’t really from this world. Seriously, out of so many fantasy movies out there this is one of those that plays about as fast and loose with its own facts as it can while still somehow coming back to the guy that helped start it all at one point. If there can be only one, and immortals can’t have kids, then where in the world do they keep coming from?
3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Like a lot of movies this one just pushed the envelope in reality to the limit and back while definitely taking a peek over the lip a few times. Anyone that’s played sick at least once or twice knows that clueless parents are easy to fool, but most parents are attentive enough to note that their kid has been sick a few times in the last few months. Raise your hands, how many people would be getting dragged to the doctor by their parents at that point? Plus the fact that Ferris is just lucky enough to avoid being seen by his parents on the way home is kind of a stretch, but it’s still insanely entertaining all the same.
2. The Breakfast Club
Saturday detention comes and a group of students somehow manage to bond with each other. That’s not the issue since high school is a confusing time and friendships can form and wither within a day or less as many people know. According to the bible it took longer to make the cosmos than it takes for a relationship in high school to begin and end. But here’s a good question, how many more detentions would the group get for leaving the library in the state they did? It’s likely the janitor cleaned it all up, sure, but would be cool and just say ‘damned kids’, or would he report any of it? Plus, it’s hard to explain away a broken pane of glass, though it’s a bit easier than explaining how Andrew broke it in the first place. Aly Semigran of Bustle had something to say about this.
1. Pale Rider
Have you ever noticed that Clint Eastwood’s ghost characters tend to act more like live people? That must have been how it was out in the west at that time since there’s another word for a dead person that can affect the physical world, and that’s a zombie. Well, there’s a vampire as well, but either one would have been kind of out place in an Eastwood flick. But the whole fact that he was confirmed to be a ghost made sense in the end, even if it didn’t during the entire movie. For a ghost he had one heck of a good swing. Stephen Chapman of the Chicago Tribune wrote a piece on this.
There are plenty of other movies that are hard to understand in this light.