It's tag time again! For this round of tagged goodness, the name of the game is to share the ten best offerings from on-screen entertainment (movies, TV and video games) that were released the year that you were born. (Check out the tag's originator, William Eguizabal and his original post here.)
Luckily for me, I was born in a pretty awesome year. (At least, I think so.) 1985 was the year that Windows released the first ever OS, Windows 1.0. CDs hit the market. The Titanic was located, Live Aid raised millions for famine relief, and kids everywhere begged parents for a Wuzzle. (Look it up, kids. You won't regret it.) Meanwhile, on screen, my birth year resulted in a host of to-be classic games, movies and TV series...some of which were so good that they are being re-made today.
10. Re-Animator (Movie)
This is a movie that almost made it into another tag for me...#SOBIG (So Bad It's Good). Starring Jeffrey Combs, Re-Animator is the first of three films that center on a psychotic med student obsessed with bringing the dead back to life. He lives with another, far less deranged (at least at the beginning!) student, conducting "secret" experiments in their basement, which (you guessed it) do not end well. Re-Animator has elements of zombie and monster horror, glowing green ooze in beakers, scary white guys in lab coats, creepy lairs, talking heads and a zombie cat. It's also full of dark humor and campy goodness, and is an absolute cult classic.
9. Jem (TV)
If you were looking for the epitome of the 80's in an animated series, I would point you toward Jem (aka Jem and the Holograms). It's a cartoon about an all-girl rock band fronted by music company owner Jessica, and their rivalry with other bands (The Misfits and The Stingers). All of which sounds pretty tame, until you add in the fact that Jessica uses incredibly sophisticated holographic technology to completely alter her appearance to become frontwoman Jem, and spends a vast amount of time protecting both her secret and her tech. She and the band are also responsible for no less than twelve foster children (the Starlight Girls), because why on earth not? It's full of big hair, big earrings (with holo tech in them) and is about as 80s as you can get. The band has a keyboarder and a synth drummer for Pete's sake!
ICYMI: This is currently being revived as a live-action movie coming out this October.
8. Anne Of Green Gables (TV Movie)
I have absolutely no shame in admitting that I absolutely adore the Anne of Green Gables series, and I just couldn't leave it off the list. The plucky (and ridiculously optimistic) red-headed orphan girl has been tugging heartstrings for over a hundred years, and with good reason. It's sweet and nostalgic and uplifting, but it's not overly cloying and you will be bawling your eyes out by the end.
7. Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego (Video Game)
Carmen Sandiego is such an iconic character that she launched tabletop games, TV shows, comic books and more, but it all started in '85 with the original video game. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego is a mystery game where , as the scarlet-clad Sandiego, the player travels the world in search of criminals to arrest. Bystanders are questioned for maddeningly unhelpful clues, travel time is taken into account, warrants are required. Simultaneously one of the most amusing and infuriating games of my childhood.
6. Ice Climber (Video Game)
If you were a kid in the 80's, you may have been lucky enough to own an NES. Those two-dimensional 8-bit games may look primitive now, but they were mesmerizing at the time, trust me. They were also usually incredibly simple, lacking the technology for the kind of vast and complex worlds and storylines we see in games now. Ice Climber has one very straightforward idea. You are a small person in a parka (pink or blue, because the 80s were shameless about their gender specificity), carrying a big hammer-mallet-thing. With said hammer-mallet, you had to break a hole in the ice above you, and jump through it. There are also villains making more ice, and you have to wait for your partner to catch up. It sounds too simple. It sounds boring, and easy, and nothing compared to Call of Duty. In reality, it is gloriously frustrating, and I will still sit down and play it for hours. (Yes, on the same Nintendo system.)
5. She Ra: Princess Of Power (TV)
'85 was a good year for girl power cartoons, and who can forget She-ra? The spin-off to the '83 cartoon He-Man, She-ra was created to cater to the female audience, and boy, did it ever! Like He-Man, it's set in a fantasy world where evil must be repeatedly battled (and always beaten back), but in the place of the muscle bound master of the universe, we have Princess Adora. Adora has a magic sword (obviously) which transforms her into She-Ra, the most powerful woman in the universe, who also has knee-high boots, impossibly perfect cartoon hair, and a talking horse who turns into a unicorn. It's some amazing 80's animation with a kick-ass female role model, and it's another chance to see Skeletor in action.
4. The Goonies (Movie)
The Goonies is essentially live-action wish-fulfillment, and the perfect movie to watch if you need a little cheering up. Didn't every kid want to find a treasure map in their attic and go on an adventure? (I still search for secret passages and trap doors, and I'm in my thirties!) In this comedy/adventure, a rag tag group of kids do just that, and head out to an abandoned building in search of pirate gold. They do find it (thirty year old spoiler alert!), but to get there they have to take on villainous counterfeiters and booby traps at every turn. Of course, in the end, they succeed because of their kindness and good hearts (and friendship. Can't forget friendship.). The perfect film to remind you of all the possibilities and goodness that the world held when you were a child, and give you a laugh along the way.
3. The Breakfast Club (Movie)
What is there to say about The Breakfast Club? It's the Breakfast Club. It's a film that became a classic despite being nothing more than a group of teens sitting in a room and talking. No car chases, no wacky adventures, no need for anything but the dialogue - and it's perfect. Enough said.
2. Super Mario Bros. (Video Game)
The game that launched a thousand ships... or close enough! The adventures of Mario and his friends are still expanding and developing today, and they owe it all to this little platform game. Super Mario Bros is a timeless classic, despite some relatively bizarre elements (or perhaps because of them). Why is a plumber rescuing a princess? Why was she taken by what looks like a punk-rock turtle? Who cares? There are secret bonus levels, shortcuts, power ups, giant venus-plumber-traps, and some of the most satisfying music in the world. Awesome.
1. Back To The Future (Movie)
What other film could take the top spot for 1985? Back to the Future was the highest grossing film of the year, but it deserves the top spot for so much more than that. Along with the two sequels, Back to the Future has become a phenomenon, all from the simple premise that Marty has to travel back in time to make sure his parents fall in love so that he can be born. It's hilarious, action packed, and a perfect sci-fi adventure. It also led to hoverboards in the sequel, which, let's face it, should really be a thing already.