These Movies Are 30 Years Old? (Or 1984 Was A REALLY Good Year)

Terminator, Arnold SchwarzeneggerOrion Pictures Corporation via Everett Collection

It’s 2014 and I was looking back at the movies that came out in 1984. I was blown away by the number of good movies that came out that year. I was then moved to tears that they are now 30 years old … which means I’m getting older, since I saw most of, if not nearly all 10 of these in the theater.

The Terminator

Conan The Barbarian had put Arnold Schwarzenegger on the map, but this was the one that made him an A-list action superstar. The funny thing? He originally was supposed to play the role of the good guy, but he decided to be the unstoppable killing machine instead. Somewhere, in an alternate universe, some puny wimp is uttering “I’ll be back …” and their movie world is much poorer for it.

16 Candles

Molly Ringwald and John Hughes formed such a perfect tag team in the ’80s Teen Movie genre that they could have probably won the WWF (it was called that in the ’80s) Championship. Anthony Michael Hall also owes SUCH a huge debt of gratitude to this movie. There’s also a very strong chance that the character of Long Duk Dong would probably not exist if this movie was made today.

Beverly Hills Cop

This was another star-making vehicle, this time with Eddie Murphy driving it. The former Saturday Night Live actor played wisecracking Detroit detective Axel Foley to perfection. Add Jonathan Banks as a dead-eyed hitman and Judge Reinhold as a hapless Beverly Hills Detective and it’s no wonder this movie stayed in the theaters as long as it did.


Admit it – when you saw this movie, you SO wanted a Mogwai. Gizmo was SO cute and it was very sad that he was really a mechanical creature. The Gremlins, though. They scared the living daylights out of me. But Phoebe Cates … mmm. Yes. Phoebe Cates.


I’m amazed that I’m at the fifth movie and am JUST getting to Ghostbusters. Who can forget Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis as they tracked down supernatural ghosts. Dean and Sam Winchester would have learned a thing or two from these guys, like answering Yes if someone asks if you are a god. Ooh. I think I hear a doggie that someone left outside.

The Karate Kid

Forget the Jackie Chan/Jaden Smith remake: this is the best Karate Kid. Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita gave us an unforgettable film, and it also helped keep Billy Zabka in the spotlight, with his recent guest appearances on How I Met Your Mother. Wax on, Wax off, indeed. Also, I had SUCH a huge crush on Elizabeth Shue back then.

Red Dawn

Another classic that blows the horrible remake away. Sorry, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen’s combined starpower incinerate the cast of the 2012 version. Also, that opening scene with the Russians parachuting to the ground gave me nightmares for MONTHS.


Kevin Bacon’s version didn’t even NEED a remake. I don’t understand what the powers-that-be were thinking when they greenlit the new film. As cheesy and corny as it is, it’s also awesome, what with John Lithgow and Lori Singer turning in some fine performances. Also … Kenny Loggins, man. Kenny Loggins. That is all I have to say.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

This is the only movie that I didn’t see in the theater, because I am a huge wimp and I do NOT like seeing gory horror movies. This was such an innovation though, what with the genre being populated by the silent Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. Freddy Krueger and his persona were such a huge change. That was before it devolved into silly sequels before the remake tried to breathe new life in the franchise.

This Is Spinal Tap

This is the mockumentary to end all mockumentaries. It’s hilarious from the get-go. Who can forget Harry Shearer getting stuck in the chrysalis? One word: Stonehenge. Also, despite the dangers that this movie espoused, I am a drummer to this very day. I can proudly say that I have yet to spontaneously comb