• 'Streets of Fire' (1984) (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
Embrace the synths, perms and all-round cheese this February, as we revisit some retro classics from the '80s every Wednesday on SBS VICELAND.
SBS Movies

31 Jan 2017 - 1:35 PM  UPDATED 8 Feb 2017 - 5:14 PM

Wednesday 1 February

The Blue Lagoon


USA, 1980
Genre: Romance, Adventure, Drama
Language: English
Director: Randal Kleiser
Starring: Brooke Shields, Christopher Atkins, Leo McKern
What's it about?
Despite being panned by critics at the time of its release (Brooke Shields even nabbed a Razzie for what remains her best known performance), this romantic adventure by the director of Grease was a commercial success. (It even spawned a 1991 sequel starring Milla Jovovitch, Return to the Blue Lagoon, which didn't quite meet the same fate.) Based on the 1908 novel by Henry De Vere Stacpoole, The Blue Lagoon follows two small children, who after surviving a shipwreck find safety on a desert tropical island. As the two grow up into adolescents, they have to figure out by themselves how to face the challenges of puberty and sexuality. 

Road Games 

Available after broadcast at SBS On Demand

Australia, 1981
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Richard Franklin
Starring: Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, Grant Page
What's it about?
Australian director Richard Franklin, an avid Hitchcock fan, was inspired by Rear Window for this road movie, which in turn, became a significant influence on Quentin Tarantino's work, the latter often citing Franklin as his favourite Australian director. Road Games follows Pat, a truck driver (Stacy Keach) on his way to Perth through the desolate Australian Nullabor Plain to deliver meat. Pat and "Hitch", a young hitchhiker (scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis), suspect a strange-acting van driver to be a serial killer and start playing with him a dangerous game of cat and mouse, with deadly stakes.

Watch by the same director: Patrick (1978)


Wednesday 8 February

Streets of Fire


USA, 1984
Genre: Action, Thriller, Music
Language: English
Director: Walter Hill
Starring: Michael Pare, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Willem Dafoe
What's it about?
Acclaimed action movie director Walter Hill (The Warriors) dreamt about a movie which would celebrate all the elements that he loved as a teenager in the late '50s: custom cars, motorbikes, leather jackets, and kissing in the rain. The result was Streets of Fire, a rock 'n roll fable in which a gang of merciless bikers led by Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe, in his first film) kidnap a rock singer Ellen Aim. Ellen's former lover Tom Cody, a soldier-for-hire, will battle through dangerous cityscapes of neon-lit streets, fast cars, and killer assassins, to get her back.

Fright Night


USA, 1985
Genre: Horror
Language: English
Director: Tom Holland
Starring: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse
What's it about?
In this 1985 horror classic by Tom Holland (Child's Play), teenager Charley Brewster starts harbouring suspicions that his new neighbour, the charming Jerry Dandrige, might actually be a vampire. But no one believes him, and Charley sees no other solution that to turn to washed-up actor, Peter Vincent, who hosts Charley's favourite TV show, Fright Night. Together, they set out to destroy the blood-thirsty creature, but things don't quite go to plan. A funny and scary flick, that benefited from great make-up and special effects (for the time) by the team that worked on Ghostbusters


SBS On Demand: Essential '80s
Retro classics from the '80s drop Wednesdays on SBS VICELAND throughout February, but there are more gems waiting for you at SBS On Demand.

Wednesday 15 February



USA, 1979
Genre: Action, Comedy
Language: English, German, Japanese
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi
What's it about?
1941 is the zany account of the hysteria, paranoia and total pandemonium that reigned in Los Angeles six days after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbour. Directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Robert Zemeckis and starring the "who's who" of American '80s comedians – Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, John Candy – this big budget period comedy follows an Army Air Corps Captain, a civilian with a deranged sense of Nationalism, civilian defenders, and a Motor Pool crew as they attempt to defend LA against an imagined Japanese invasion.

The Golden Child


USA, 1986
Genre: Comedy, Adventure, Action
Language: Italian, English
Director: Michael Ritchie
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Charles Dance, Victor Wong, Charlotte Lewis
What's it about?
Fresh from his Beverly Hills Cop success, Eddie Murphy starred in this funny and entertaining madcap fantasy adventure, playing Chandler Jarrell, a detective specialising in missing children. He is told he is the 'Chosen One' and sent on a madcap mission to save the 'Golden Child', a youth with mystical powers who's been abducted by an evil cult in Tibet.


Wednesday 22 February

Flash Gordon


USA, 1980
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Language: English
Director: Mike Hodges
Starring: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max Von Sydow
What's it about?
In this '80s camp classic, star footballer and everyday hero Flash Gordon leads the charge to save the world from certain destruction by Ming the Merciless, a bored alien king who keeps conjuring up a series of disasters on Earth. Retrotastic special effects and a soundtrack by Queen make this required viewing for any self-respecting B-movie buff.

Heavy Metal


Canada, 1981
Genre: Animation, Science Fiction
Language: English, Hungarian
Director: Gerald Potterton
Starring: Rodger Bumpass, Jackie Burroughs, Joe Flaherty
What's it about?
With graphic violence, sexuality, and nudity abounding, the animated movie Heavy Metal (1981), based on the eponymous adult fantasy magazine, offers an anthology of various science fiction and fantasy stories told via Loc-Nar, a green crystal orb from outer space ("the sums of all Evils") to a terrified little girl. Not one for the kids.

Heavy Metal (Jacket) a Baghdad nightmare


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