Two days in the making! Hours and hours of research, endless hours of typing! But the hard work has paid off because its finally here! My monster post for Sci-fi Comedies from the 80’s! Comedies from the 80s have a silly nature to them that I love; they just don’t make them like this anymore; sadly. To tell you the truth, I miss that silly nature that these movies have! But in honor of silliness, I’ve compiled some of the coolest and most memorable sci-fi comedies from the decade of decadence! I left out a couple of sci-fi comedies that I have not been able to see for whatever reason. For example, I left out Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders (1989), Morons from Outerspace (1985) and Star Crash (1978). I don’t know if Morons from Outerspace or Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders are any good, but I’m desperate to see Starcrash which I hear is tons of cheesy fun. Unfortunately, it hasn’t reached DVD or Blueray yet, so I guess my wait continues. Plus Starcrash isn’t from the 80s, so that’s why its not here. I know theres tons of sci-fi comedies from other decades, but I decided to focus only on the 80s. I might be doing a future post on sci-fi comedies from other eras, so be on the look out for that in the future. If I have left out any more that you might have seen, feel free to mention them! This way, I can catch up on them. I hope this will help some of you fill up your Netflix Queue’s and your must watch lists! Enjoy!
Title: Galaxina (1980)
Director: William Sachs
Galaxina stars 70’s playmate Dorothy Stratten as the titular Galaxina. She is an android who is aboard a spaceship with a very special mission, they are out in the search for the Blue Star! But more on that later. Galaxina is on board this mission to make sure everything runs smoothly with the mission, they send her because the captain and the crew aren’t exactly known for being reliable. She is a super hot looking android, but there is a catch. No one can touch Galaxina! If you try to squeeze or touch her in anyway, her body zaps you with an electroshock! That is until she reprograms herself and starts to fall in love with the ships captain. This “Blue Star”they are out in the search for is an artifact that allows its wielder to “control the whole fucking universe” with it! By the way, that is a direct quote from the movie, so now you know the kind of film you can expect. Little did I know that there was another Star Wars spoof in the universe besides Mel Brooks’s Spaceballs, but here it is! Galaxina mainly makes fun of two sci-fi classics: Star Wars and Alien. There are many similarities between this film and Spaceballs, even some jokes are the same. Space ships leave skid marks in space, a person gives birth to an alien. The villain also makes fun of Star Wars. Unfortunately, if you ask me, Galaxina is nowhere near as funny as Spaceballs. Many jokes in Galaxina simply fall flat on their asses. By the way, this is the only other film besides Total Recall (1989) where you will see an alien prostitute with three breasts! Also, this movie has many similarities with another sci-fi comedy from the 60's, I speak of course of the awesome Barbarella (1968). A far superior picture that was an obvious influence on Galaxina. On a sad note, Dorothy Stratten died shortly after making this movie, her jealous husband decided to murder her before the films premiere.
Funny Line: “I don’t eat bars. I’m a rock eater. Rock eaters don’t eat bars; they eat rocks. Bar eaters eat bars. Rock eaters eat rocks; that’s how we get our rocks off!”
Title: Ice Pirates (1984)
Director: Stewart Raffill
Ice Pirates tagline “bad taste in outer space” lets us know exactly what we are in for. On this film, water is scarce on planet earth so Ice Pirates steal ice, and resell it to the highest bidder! As a result, the powers that be are constantly chasing them down. This movie has many crazy things going for it. For example, how crazy is it to see Angelica Houston acting in a space farce like this one? You should see her schwasbuckling abilities! Then we have Ron Perlman on board as well as one of the pirates. Among other crazy ideas this movie has we get to see the good guys break into a spaceship and stumble upon an alien taking a dump in the toilet! One of the androids in the film has intestinal problems! As a punishment to criminals, the government castrates them and turns them into albino man servants! This movie has many funny moments going for it, like one scene in which they travel so fast through space and time, that time begins to speed up, until everyone on board is old! Its funny seeing the heroes of the film running from the bad guys with long white beards! This movie comes to us from one of the worst directors of all time, Stewart Raffill the guy responsible for Mannequin 2: On the Move (1991) and Mac and Me (1988), so take that for what its worth. In my opinion he only made one watchable movie in his life time, and it was Ice Pirates.
Funny Line: “I’m afraid I have some bad news. Well, maybe it’s not that bad. The Princess is pregnant!”
Director: W.D. Richter
At first glance, this movie might seem a bit hard to decipher. Can’t say I blame first time watchers for being completely lost with this here film. It is a very layered sci-fi comedy, who’s main character is a Neurosurgeon, Rock Star, Superhero, Samurai…you name it and he does it. So the film tends to overcomplicate things, when in reality, it’s simply a film about creatures from another dimension who want nothing more than to conquer the earth! But in order to do so, they must first steal Buckaroo Banzai’s dimension traveling vehicle, which reminds me a lot of the time traveling DeLorean from the Back to the Future movies. This is a very entertaining movie precisely because it has so many elements going for it. It doesn’t spell things out for you either, and it’s a fun ride filled with many colorful characters. The cast includes Peter Weller as Buckaroo, Jeff Goldblum as a member of Buckaroo’s gang of misfits who call themselves The Hong Kong Cavaliers and John Lithgow as the films villain who calls himself Dr. Emilio Lizardo! The always attractive Ellen Barkin plays the love interest Penny Priddy. Its one of those movies that is so convoluted with its plot; that it keeps things interesting and fun to watch.
Funny Line: “We are not in the eight dimension. We are over New Jersey, hope is not lost”
Director: John Hughes
Weird Science is one of those quintessential 80’s comedies. It was part of the films that legendary 80’s director John Hughes directed and produced himself. It tells the story of two teenagers who want to make their dream woman come true. So they mix a little voodoo with their computer, and poof! A mega hot babe appears in their bedroom willing to do whatever they ask of her. Aside from satisfying their sexual fantasies, this mega bombshell helps these two nerdy guys regain their self respect and have a little fun along the way. The gorgeous bomb shell helps them become men, in more ways then one. A climactic scene takes place during a party in which characters from other dimensions begin to appear in their house thanks to their computer, which has gone awry. So suddenly we have mutants appearing in the living room! We have men that turn to monsters made of shit (really!) and nuclear weapons shooting out of the house’s fireplace. Like I said, the movie gets crazy! Which is precisely what makes it such a fun movie to watch, I wish they would still make movies like this one.
Funny Line: “Making a girl…actually making a girl. Like Frankenstein, only cuter.”
Director: Robert Zemeckis
For those not in the know, the Back the Future films are a series of films that spans centuries! Marty McFly and Doc Browns adventures through time are always fun, and fast paced. Part one is all about Marty McFly having to escape through time from a bunch of terrorists that are trying to kill Doc Brown because he used the plutonium he was supposed to use for building a bomb for them for his newly constructed time machine. So he uses the time machine, to escape. Only thing is he doesn’t realize he is traveling back in time to the year 1955! When he gets there he meets his mom and dad when they were teenagers! Things get complicated when his own mother falls for him! He has to get his mom to fall for his dad, or else he will cease to exist! This is a series of films that has some great continuity to it, part II continues right were the first one left us. I like the second one for different reasons, but most of them have to do with the inventive action sequences that take place in the future which involve flying cars, hovering skateboards and 50 dollar soda cans. It’s a very imaginative sequel that I love. On the second film we are even treated to an alternate future in which Biff (the films villain) is the most powerful man in the world! And the world has fallen into chaos!
Funny Line: “Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn’t take Lorraine out, that he’d melt my brain!”
Director: Jonathan R. Betuel
This film is extremely similar to John Hughes's Weird Science. The basic premise is the same. A group of teenagers comes across a machine that can bring all sorts of creatures and strange beings from other dimensions. But, while Weird Science concerns itself with two teens trying to gain their self respect and become men, My Science Project is more about showcasing some nifty visual effects. This movie doesn’t really want to teach you anything, the machine that can open rifts in time is simply an excuse for adventure and special effects! These kids turn on the machine right in their highschool, so suddenly dinosaurs roam free in the schools gymnasium! Mutants from the future run rampant through the schools hallways! Will these crazy kids be able to shut off the machine before god knows what comes through the time rifts? An added bonus for this film is that Dennis Hopper appears in it as a crazy science teacher who gets sucked into a time rift and travels back in time! An amusing and entertaining flick that aims at nothing more than making you have a good time.
Director: Joe Dante
I have two Joe Dante film on this list! Well, he rightfully deserves this because during the 80’s he produced some fine sci/fi horror films, I only wish he would go back to making movies that are worth a damn instead of crap like Space Jam (1996) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003). But what can you do, the man loves his Looney Tunes. What I like about Explorers is that it’s kind of like a love letter to that time in your life where you are a pre-teen, in between being a kid and being a young adult. It’s the story of these three friends who get contacted by aliens! They are sent plans so they can build a spaceship! They are sent messages through dreams! Somebody is definitely trying to contact these guys. So, they do what they have to do, they build their little spaceship made from spare parts they find in a junkyard and off they go! Special make up effects for the aliens was done by none other than special make up effects GENIUS Rob Bottin. I gotta say, these are some of his wackiest creations! The film stars a very young Ethan Hawke and also a very young River Phoenix. It also has some of the first computer generated graphics ever. This was when CGI was in diapers, when the first few computer generated effects started to appear in films like The Last Starfighter (1984) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985).
Funny Line: “Look, I know I must look weird to you, but how do you think you look to me? Listen, I watched four episodes of Lassie before I figured out why the little hairy kid never spoke. I mean, he rolled over, sure, he did that fine, but I don’t think he deserved a series just for that”
Director: Richard Benjamin
This is the story of Johnny 5, a robot who suddenly becomes aware that he is alive! Johnny 5 is a robot that was created by the military for destructive purposes, but when lightning strikes Johnny 5, suddenly he doesn’t want to be a war machine anymore. Now he loves and respects life and is willing to do anything for his freedom. Most of the film has Johnny 5 running from the military on his search from freedom. The film in my opinion serves as an allegory for personal freedom. Same as Johnny 5, we might be programmed when we are children to think and act a certain way, but just like Johnny 5, there comes a time in our life when we reprogram ourselves and take reign of our own lives and start thinking for ourselves. This movie is funny and sweet; it’s a childhood favorite that still works today. Short Circuit was followed by a lesser, yet still enjoyable sequel. Funniest part of the movie is the chemistry between Ben Jabituya (a very funny Fisher Stevens) the creator and designer of Johnny 5, and the military guys who are trying to catch the runaway robot. The film also stars Steve Guttenberg.
Funny Line: “What if it goes out and melts down a bus load full of nuns? How would you like to write the headline on that one? Nun Soup?!”
Director: Ted Nicolaou
For those of you who don’t understand my obsession with this movie, Terrorvision is about this crazy family who’s satellite dish is malfunctioning. A lightning bolt hits it and through that lightning bolt from space, an alien creature suddenly invades their home! A vicious and hungry creature willing to devour anything and anyone that gets in its path. It’s up to Sherman, the pre-teen son to stop the creature along with his war crazy grandfather. What I love about this movie are the crazy characters. Sherman’s sister, Suzy looks like a Cindy Lauper/Madonna wannabe, her crazy boyfriend; a metal head known as O.D. looks like a KISS reject. And if that wasn’t enough, Sherman’s parents are a pair of swingers! I mean this movie is all sorts of crazy and that’s precisely why I love it. The monster effects are pretty creative, and I really think they achieved a lot no such a low budget. The movie has all sorts of gooey and slimy effects, cause you know, it was made during the 80s. A time when latex monsters and slime where king. Those were the days…
Funny Line: “Remember that movie? You know, the one about the little space guy? Made you cry like a butthole?”
Director: Joe Dante
I happen to think that Innerspace is Joe Dante’s finest day as a director. I mean, yeah, he has made many wonderful films that I love. Amongst them Explorers (which is included on this list) and the Gremlins movies. But in my opinion, Innerspace is his best film. It’s about this group of scientists that have perfected miniaturization. And speaking of miniaturization, this film works like an update on the idea presented in the science fiction classic Fantastic Voyage (1966) where a group of scientists get shrunk down to microscopic size and travel through the human body. On this one, Dennis Quaid serves as the guinea pig for the project. Dennis Quaid is miniaturized, while inside of submersible pod. He is to be injected into a lab rabbit, only problem is after Quaid has been miniaturized and placed inside of a syringe ready to be injected into the rabbit, terrorists attack the lab and attempt to steal the project from the scientists so they can use it for military purposes! One of the scientists escapes with the syringe and injects the miniaturized Dennis Quaid into the first schmuck he encounters, which happens to be Martin Short. The film turns into a race to get Quaid out of Martin Shorts body before his pod runs out of oxygen! Don’t know how many of you guys agree with me, but for me Martin Short is a comedic genius! Everything he does just makes me burst into laughter, so for me, this movie is made that much more special just because it has Martin Short as its central character for most of the running time. Aside from that, the film has excellent visual effects; it even won an Oscar for them, the only Oscar that any of Joe Dante’s films has ever received.
Funny Line: “Eat Me, drink me? What is that? From The Exorcist? No! Alice in Wonderland! Alice drank something to be big and ate something to be small!”
Director: Matthew Robbins
This movie is a film about people. It might have little aliens who come from another world in their miniature spaceships, but this is primarily a film focused on characters who are struggling to survive in the middle of an ever growing city. You see this small group of people live in a little apartment building that is being threatened by the construction of big buildings for a private corporation. The corporation is looking for a way to get everyone out of the building so they tear it down and continue on with their “progress”. In other words, it’s the story of David and Goliath. The people vs. the system. The poor vs. the rich. When we meet these characters we get to know them on a personal level, we know that this is their home, and they shouldn’t be forced to go anywhere. One is a lonely mother to be, one is a struggling artist, and the elderly couple runs a little restaurant on the first floor of the building. So you kind of get to hate Big Money when they come with their gangster techniques to try and get them to move out. Good thing the little aliens known as “the fix-its” (because they can fix anything that is broken) come from another galaxy to watch over them, like some sort of miracle. A heartwarming, light family comedy that comes to us from producer Steven Spielberg and director Matthew Robins, the director of such 80’s classics as Dragonslayer (1981) and The Legend of Billy Jean (1985).
Funny Line: “Frank, it’s the love boat to Cuba! You know what they do? They put little umbrellas sticking out on the top so that when it rains, it doesn’t thin out the liquor!”
Director: Susan Seidelman
Jeff is a scientist who is cold and disconnected from society because he thinks everyone is inferior in intellect to him. He thinks the most important thing humans should be focusing their minds on is deep space exploration (actually I wholeheartedly agree with this character, the answers are in space!) so he builds an android specifically built for deep space exploration. One that wont be affected by being isolated from humanity for long periods of time. Frankie is the public relations person assigned to handle Ulysses, she is supposed to humanize him a bit so that congress will be happy with who they are sending out into space. Problem is, Frankie ends up falling in love with the Android!
This is one of John Malkovich's first film roles. Its really interesting to see Malkovich who is cast in serious roles all the time playing the complete opposite of that. On this movie he flexes his comedic muscles playing the android who knows nothing about women, and has everything to learn from Frankie. What I personally enjoyed the most about this movie is how Malkovich plays Ulysses with such innocence and naïveté. Kind of like Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands. The innocent sensitive fellow who has everything to learn in life.
The real highlight of the film is of course John Malkovich who plays both the Ulysses robot and the scientist who created him. There’s a very marked difference between the two. One is cold and calculating, only caring about his "work" and concentrated on eliminating feelings from himself. The other (the Ulysses robot) is open to learning everything he can, especially from the women he meets. Ulysses was built to be cold and calculating; but when the Ulysses robot comes in contact with a female he begins to develop feelings and see things differently. And he discovers he wants nothing more than to be loved. Ultimately what the movie is really about is relationships between men and women. This movie goes all over the spectrum of relationships, leaning more towards a woman’s point of view of things, which can be of course quite informative and refreshing.
Funny Line: “Paging Dr. Nebitol. Dr. Nebitol, your pizza is here”
Funny Line: “Paging Dr. Nebitol. Dr. Nebitol, your pizza is here”
Director: Mel Brooks
Along with Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs is one of Mel Brooks’s best and funniest films. It makes fun of various science fiction films, not just Star Wars. This one spoofs films like Planet of the Apes and Alien…but lets not kid our selves, this one mainly makes fun of the Star Wars universe. In Spaceballs, the good guys have to stop the inhabitants of Spaceball City from stealing all the oxygen from the peace loving planet of Druidia. Bill Pullman plays this films Han Solo, Daphne Zuniga is this films Princess Leia, John Candy is Chewbacca… and Joan Rivers is C3-PO. If that doesn’t sound crazy enough for you, Rick Moranis is this films Darth Vader! Only he has a Jamaican accent when he speaks with his helmet on! On this film they don’t only have light speed, they got ludicrous speed! Since the Star Wars universe is so vast, this movie had a lot to feed from, and at the hands of Mel Brooks, well, they even make fun of Princess Leia’s hair do on this one. As in most of his films, Mel Brooks himself makes appears. On this one he plays the role of Yogurt the wise…Yogurt the magnificent…or as he prefers to be called “Please, please, I’m just Plain Yogurt.”
Funniest Line: “It’s not that were afraid. Far from it! It’s just that we’ve got this thing about death…its not us!”
Director: Richard Benjamin
This one is about a scientist whose scientific experiments dealing with gravity cause a disturbance on an alien planet which causes the alien race to become curious about our planet and its scientists. So they send one of their own to investigate. The alien comes in the form of Kim Basinger, and the scientist she must investigate is Dan Aykroyd. It’s a fish out of water story where the alien must adjust to our planet and our way of life. Many funny situations ensue where the alien almost gives away her true nature, like for example, when she eats cigarette butts for dinner or juices her self up by sucking on car batteries. And she carries a huge alien inside of her purse! But, Aykroyd ends up falling in love with her in spite of her being from another planet. I know what you are thinking. It’s completely unrealistic for a bombshell like Basinger to fall for a nerdy guy like Aykroyd, but remember, she’s an alien. She doesn’t know any better! Will the aliens end up destroying our world or saving it?
Funny line: “I saw her drink the battery juice from your Honda!”
Directors: The Chiodo Brothers
This is one of the craziest movies ever. Killer Klowns from Outerspace have just crash landed on earth, and they are looking to eat a human or two! It’s up to a pair of teenagers and the town’s police to stop these killer clowns! What I love about this movie is how inventive it is. The evil clowns are essentially monsters who kill people in the most creative ways. They have little popcorns that turn into monsters! They have toy guns that turn you into a cocoon! They suck your blood with a straw! The film is filled with all sorts of gags like for example a clown who boxes with a guy, and knocks his head off with one punch! The creativity displayed on this film comes to us from the Chiodo Brothers, a threesome of brothers who do everything from traditional animation to stop motion animation, to commercials to films like this one. They filmed this little movie with less than 2 million dollars! There was talk of a possible sequel, but somehow, it never came to be.
Funny Line: “I’m supposed to read you your rights. But you’re in Mooney’s Jail, and in Mooney’s Jail you ain’t got no rights!”
Director: Stephen Herek
This comedy is about two complete losers who are the best of friends. They are flunking school, but ask them if they care! It’s all a joke to them! But anyhows, things stop being funny when they realize that if they flunk high school they will be sent to military camp! All they have to do in order to pass is prepare an incredible presentation for their history class. Pretty soon, they are visited by Roofus (George Carlin!) an old dude from the future who tells them they have a time machine at their disposal to do their history presentation. All they have to do is travel through time, gather the different historical figures they need for their presentation and boom, they pass. I mean, how are you not going to pass if you bring the real Abraham Lincoln to your presentation? Or how about the real Genghis Kahn? I like this movie because of the friendship between Bill and Ted which is obviously profound and genuine, and I love the crazy story. Traveling through time to gather historical figures for your history exam? Ha, genius. This film stars a very young Keanu Reeves. Its worth watching it for that alone, to watch Keanu acting all juvenile. And then theres Alex Winters, who went on to have a career as a film director. He directed the film Freaked (1993), and is currently directing the remake for The Gate. This film was followed by a superior sequel, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1990). On that one, Bill and Ted go to heaven, to hell and even end up playing a game of Battleship with Death for the redemption of their own souls!
Funny Line: “Okay Ted. One George Washington. The Father of our Country. Two: Born on Presidents Day. Three: The Dollar Bill Guy!”
Director: Joe Johnston
This one is another classic of mine. A crazy scientist leaves his shrinking machine unattended and his kids start to play around with it and suddenly, the kids all get shrunk down to microscopic size! The cat sees them and mistakes them for lunch! So they run off to the safest place they could think of, the backyard! This movie has some great special effects; the kids confront all sorts of dangers like giant ants! The lawnmower! And giant drops of rain! Will their dad every find them even though they’ve been miniturized? And will they ever be restored to their natural size? Rick Moranis plays the father which of course is a plus. Something interesting about this movie: It was produced by Disney! But it was written by Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna two writer/director/producers who are better known for directing grizzly horror movies like Re-Animator (1985) and Bride of Re-Animator (1990)! Can’t blame them for wanting to make some cash. Thing is, Honey I Shrunk the Kids! is a very entertaining children’s movie and it became a huge success that summer. So much so that it was followed by a sequel called Honey I Blew Up the Kid (1992) a film in which they took the story in a completely different direction by making one of the kids a giant rampaging through the city!
Funny Line: “I don’t think were in the food chain anymore Dorothy!”
Funny Line: “I don’t think were in the food chain anymore Dorothy!”
Well, thats it boys and girls, hope you enjoyed this blog post! Now, which ones did I leave out? Have you seen any that werent mentioned? Share them with me!