Friday, April 17, 2009


I grew up in the 1980’s which in many ways is somehow the best and yet worst decade for movies ever. And I loved (still love) movies. But my mother was protective. So was my father. They worked in a church and movies were a slippery slope and the wrong ones would ruin me forever. 

They were probably right. 

Nonetheless, here are the movies that I missed that everyone else was watching:


This was the coup-de-gras, everyone, everywhere had seen this 1984 gem that had the fingerprints Spielberg and Henson all over it. The playground was buzzing with tales of the Gremlin that mother put in the blender while another was put in the microwave. I was forced to only imagine how cool these scenes actually were, though I didn’t know what a Gremlin looked like. I only knew that they were put together by the same guy who did the Muppets and I could only imagine what it would look like if Kermit The Frog or Gonzo were stuck in a microwave or blender.   


Another 1984 masterpiece. Everyone on the playground was saying, “I’ve been slimed,” and I laughed and said it along with everyone. But I had no idea what a Slimer was. Or a proton pack. Or Rick Moranis.     


Also 1984 film (wow, I had no idea that was such a significant year; I do have a book that I want to write that takes place in 1984 because I think it is the most significant year in Pop Culture ever. I mean bigger then the Beatles significant. The stars aligned that year. Also, totally unrelated, but while I’m still in parentheticals, Gremlins and Temple are the movies that inspired the PG-13 rating.) 

Anyway, wasn’t allowed to see this one either. And I think mom was right about this one. This movie was awful. It was awful in the grotesque sense (monkey brains; priest that rips hearts out) and in the movie making sense. Sadly, this not even the worst movie in the franchise. Indy 4 may puzzle film students for years to come in its awfulness. 


Jump ahead 4 years to 1988. I heard of a movie where Daffy and Donald had piano duel. I heard of a movie where Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny pulled a prank on the same guy. A movie with a place called Toon Town where any and every animated character ever created came to life. And I wasn’t allowed to see it. This may have been the toughest one to swallow. It’d be like being told that there was a movie where Captain Kirk and Luke Skywalker went to fight and Darth Vader as his group of Klingons as they tried to take over the galaxy, but sorry you’re to young to see it. 

Anyway, those were movies I that were censored from me. There were others but these hurt the worst. What weren’t you allowed to see? 


Dave Cranfield said...

OK Rob, you also have to realize the horrific tragedy in 1984 that was Van Halen's album 1984. This was where they introduced synth-pop in to one of the greatest rock bands of all time. This contamination caused a chain of events which caused the band to eventually devolve in to the abomination which became Van Hagar. So, the stars aligned indeed, but for the dark side of the force as well! ;-)

Rob Stennett said...

Yeah, for sure Dave. It was the most significant year ever. For good and for bad. That deserves lots of other blog entries.

~michelle pendergrass said...

Are you saying I was warped because of movies I was allowed to watch??

Yeah. Yeah. You are. And you're right. I wasn't banned from anything and Carrie was my favorite movie as a little girl. Seriously. I loved horror movies.

Then things like Creepshow and Faces of Death. But really if you couldn't watch Gremlins...LOL ;)

Amy said...

my parents walked me out of Footloose and I was mortified.
but now as a parent, when Keith and I try to watch movies from the 80's with our kids we have to turn them off within the first 5 minutes! we tried goonies and back to the future and couldn't do it. i guess we are your parents!

Rob Stennett said...

Michelle, not saying your warped, but Carrie, that movie is crazy. Still I'm huge SK fan, so I'll let that slide...And Amy, yeah, I can't blame you for shielding your kids from those movies. Luckily, no of the kids on the playground (or on Facebook) or talking about Back To The Future. However, they are talking about Hannah Montana and in many ways that's much worse.

Ash said...

i agree, hannah montana needs a few acting lessons just to begin...

ironically, i think my parents got tighter as i got older, i def. remember seeing these movies- of course as a kid, the gremlins scared the crap out of me, ghostbusters was boring and yes, i do think they kept me from "temple of doom," til i was older.

of course, my mother isn't enormously older than me and she (w/ big hair and an 80s flair)(turning me) liked the "pop movies" (i'll call them that for now) such as the molly ringwald flicks and ferris bueller. of course i should include war games and ....well i could keep going,
what can i say, well were big movie buffs.

Mandy said...

Me too. I wasn't allowed to watch He-Man because he said he had the "power of the universe". But some disturbing movies made it through anyway. Movies they never should have let me see because they freaked me out:

Never Ending Story
Care Bears Movie
Sleeping Beauty

Josh said...

With the exception of Indiana Jones, I was prohibited the same flix. Add in some random TV shows like Transformers, Casper and The Smurfs and you have a pretty good picture of my childhood.

I remember the oddest story took place in the 80s, though it wasn't an 80s show. I was very into old Adam West Batman reruns. I'd come home from school everyday and watch a couple of episodes. It almost got barred, I remember, because my mom heard Commissioner Gordon say, "What the devil?" I had to fight, just a little, for my right to party.

Marcy Schorsch said...

I am seriously disappointed that somehow the 1982 classic Poltergeist did not come up here.... only to be seen on HBO after 10:00pm. :)

(Or even the pre-80's truly classic JAWS!)

ps - Love the Indian Jones, Temple of Doom! Prior to the latest debacle, loved them all!

~michelle pendergrass said...

It's okay. I AM warped. LOL My sarcasm doesn't come across as well as I'd like on here. ;)

joshMshep said...

Same for me on prohibited 80's movies. Except I still haven't seen Gremlins.

I agree Roger Rabbit and Temple of Doom are killer movies, but Ghostbusters was a let-down for me after seeing it recently... very strange and not as funny as it could've been.

But that's just me, to each his own.

Dave Cranfield said...

And, although not written in 1984 (but 1948), one of the most disturbing and yet most enlightening books of the 20th century was 1984 by George Orwell... for which that horrible Van Halen album was named. Coincidence? I think not!

OK, on topic, as a kid if we were good we could stay up and watch "Creature Feature" with Doctor Sanguinary as the host. It was a show with "B" horror films late Saturday nights. We never really had any restrictions on movies and tv. Since cable wasn't huge until I got to 7th grade, it's not like any of the networks had anything bad anyway and the only movie I asked to see to which I wasn't allowed to go was "Saturday Night Fever". I didn't understand at the time why I couldn't watch such a cool disco king like John Travolta. However, I found out years later when I watched it on cable why my parents wouldn't let an 8-9 year old watch it. By the time cable came around, my parents were divorced, so my brother and I pretty much watched everything unsupervised. Unfortunately we about lived on MTV from 1982-1985 back when they actually had music.

What's really funny is that I found out in high school when I saw it for the first time, that my mom purposely never let me see "Bambi" as a kid! I was always pretty sentimental and she thought it would be too traumatic for me as a kid. As a kid, nothing!!! It choked me up to watch it as a supposedly tough varsity football player!! :-(

Kendal Franks said...

For me, The Breakfast Club and Young Guns. I guess my folks had a thing against Emilio Estevez. Then again, I was allowed to watch Mighty Ducks. Hm!

Patton Dodd said...

I wasn't allowed to watch "Porkys." My parents were so lame.