Sunday, August 1, 2010

25 Years Ago This Month (August 1985)

*Clicking the label "1985" below will take you to a list of all posts related to movies of that year including other "25 Years Ago This Month" entries.

August 1985 was the month of teen comedies with the release of the John Hughes comedy Weird Science in which geeks Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith create Kelly LeBroc from a doll. I used to watch it a lot as a kid, but it's a lesser Hughes film.

Next up was Real Genius, still one of my favorites, starring Val Kilmer and Gabriel Jarrett as two super geniuses at a super genius school unwittingly designing a new powerful laser to be used as a military assassination weapon.

Fittingly, time has not been kind to My Science Project starring Dennis Hopper as a hippie high school science teacher whose students bring him a glowing orb they found which can transport them to different times and places. Yeah, you didn't miss much.

Another classic from my childhood released this month was Better Off Dead with John Cusack as a recently dumped, suicidal teen who screws up each suicide attempt. Sounds hilarious, doesn't it? It really is though. And it's totally bizarre with the two Asian characters who learned their English from watching Howard Cosell on "Wide World of Sports" and the paperboy who chases Cusack around for the "Two dollars!" he's owed.

Less classic was Teen Wolf. Despite starring the hot-at-the-moment, fresh off the release of Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox, this film only took $33 million. It was enough to be #1 for August releases but only 26th for the year.

Other notable releases of 25 years ago were...actually there weren't any:
-The forgettable and forgotten American Ninja with Michael Dudikoff.
-The forgettable and forgotten John Candy comedy Summer Rental.
-The forgettable and forgotten vampire comedy Fright Night with Chris Sarandon.
-The forgettable and forgotten Volunteers starring Tom Hanks and John Candy.

- Actress Gale Sondergaard, aged 86. She was the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, winning for her film debut in Anthony Adverse.
- Actress Ruth Gordon, aged 88. Won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Rosemary's Baby in which she played the devil's servant neighbor of Mia Farrow who helped plant the spawn of Satan in her womb.

Non-movie events:
-Susan Lucci failed to win a Daytime Emmy Award for her role in "All My Children" for the 6th time (5th in a row). She would lose 18 times before finally winning in 1999.
- Japan Airlines flight 123 crashed in the mountains 32 minutes after a mechanical failure caused cabin depressurization and loss of hydraulic thrust. 520 people died and 4 survived making it the deadliest single-aircraft disaster in aviation history. Many more would have survived if Japanese officials had not rejected offers of U.S. military assistance (who had located the crash site). Japanese rescuers found the site in the night but didn't descend until morning. Postmortems revealed that many of the victims died of shock and exposure and would have survived had they been rescued shortly following the crash.
- The New York Yankees retired Phil Rizzuto's number 10.
- Announcement of the establishment of a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
- Michael Jackson bought ATV Music, which included the entire Beatles catalog, for $47 million.
- Madonna and Sean Penn got married on her 27th birthday.

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