This post is my second (and LATE! sorry, guys!) submission to the League of Extraordinary Bloggers, which is a fellowship of online writers such as myself who assemble weekly to crank out various blogs centered around a specific topic.
This Last week’s topic:
Summer’s over, it’s time to go back to school! (Interpret it as you will.)
Look, the fall and the “back-to-school” movement may come with some level of anticipation for the popular kids, the jocks, the cheerleaders, the kids with friends from last year, the kids with summer romances, adventures or vacations who want to brag to their friends about them. Kids are ready to show off their freshly bought threads from the mall. Parents are happy to have their couch-ridden fridge-emptying tax write-offs out of their homes for a few more hours a day. Howevah….!!
If you’re a freak, geek, nerd, weirdo, are poor, just got out of juvie or just happen to be a new kid, well going “back to school” is NOT so awesome. One of two major obstacles get in the way for the poor kids just mentioned: (a) the school bully or (b) being shunned by ‘”the in-crowd.” Look, nowadays we’re more aware of bullying and there are movements out to prevent it as well as counsel kids who may be suffering as victims, but back in the 80’s?? Sorry, kid, you’re on your own. At least for the first few weeks or months of the school year. Watching these old 80’s flicks makes you just want to press the fast forward button to the spring semester.
Here are a few examples:
Not even going to explain this one, see the trailer for yourself.
The 1980 film debut of actors Adam Baldwin (no relation, but he was in Full Metal Jacket & Firefly) and Jennifer Beals (Flashdance) and the first major film for Joan Cusack, My Bodyguard also featured a young Matt Dillon. This solution against the bullies is probably the easiest, if you can find it– make friends with a protector. However, it wasn’t until after weeks of torment by the bullies that the tables turn.
Three O’Clock High
As covered here on an earlier edition of “Classick Cinema”, this 1987 flick follows poor geek Jerry as he runs afoul of the violent new kid on the first day of school. Scrambling all day to avoid the eventual confrontation at the time in the title, Jerry only needed until that afternoon, some courage (and a loose pair of brass knuckles) to triumph.
Boys aren’t the only bullies in school and the torment isn’t physical in this 1988 movie in which a chubby girl gets called “Dumptruck” and suffers at the hands of a clique of influential girls. The cruel teens, all named “Heather”, meet their comeuppance,albeit in a dark fashion as they are each murdered. Winona Ryder and Christian Slater star as the deliverers of fatal retribution in this classic high school movie, which also features a pre-Education Connection Shannon Doherty.
Revenge of the Nerds
Yes, the nerds do get their revenge. And yes, Stan Gable does find his girlfriend’s topless photo plastered on several thousand top-selling pie plates. And yes, Betty Childs does get it on with Darth Vader in the Moon Room. The panty raid & hidden cameras in the women’s dorms, drunk Takashi on a tricycle, Lamar’s limp javelin, the dopest hip hop concert ever and the greatest use of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” in cinematic history all happen, but NOT until the spring semester! The first few weeks of school at Adams College? This stuff happens.
The nerds from this 1984 title get their keisters handed to them repeatedly by Stan (played by sitcom grim reaper Ted McGinley), Ogre and his fellow Alpha Betas. It’s not until the nerds are inducted into Lambda Lambda Lambda and gain the backing of President U.N. Jefferson (played by the awesome Bernie Casey) that they gain the guts, girls and glory.
The Karate Kid
Ralph Macchio stars in this 1984 classic film, playing New Jersey to Reseda transplant Daniel Larusso, who unfortunately gets the attention of the worst bully ever by trying to kick it with his ex-girl. School hadn’t even started yet, but Bananarama’s Cruel Summer never seemed more appropriate for a movie soundtrack. Johnny Lawrence (played by the incomparable Billy Zabka) and his cronies happen to be karate students of the local Cobra Kai dojo and proceed to beat up poor Daniel repeatedly, forcing him to don Blu Blockers by day, take the long way to class and resort to karate lessons using a book sold at the local Woolworth’s. It’s not until the weird old Okinawan maintenance man (RIP Pat Morita) from Daniel’s apartment complex steps in that we see any glimmer of hope. After several violations of child labor laws, Daniel-San gets a car, the girl, and eventually his respect by way of a wicked tournament montage and kicking the holy bejeezus out of Johnny’s grill in the final frame.
Oh yeah, and Elisabeth Shue… (hi, there!)
Well, that’s my submission for this week’s edition of The League of Extraordinary Bloggers. Like what you’ve read? Did I miss any? The comments are further down the page, add yours!
Also, check out these other awesome entries from fellow (and lady) League bloggers:
Thanks for dropping by!