Sunday, October 30, 2011

Let's Dance - David Bowie

There are lots of great albums from the 80s and one that I played constantly was David Bowie's Let's Dance album. So called 'true' David Bowie fans hated this album, but I loved it so much so that when I saw part of a documentary on David Bowie I was glad he was undergoing financial difficulties during the early 80s.

David Bowie came out in this doco and said that he wrote Let's Dance in order to make money because basically he was in a financial black hole as he totally trusted the wrong person and just signed whatever this person told him to so that he could get on with using his creativity.

I don't care if it was commercialism because I loved the album and I can't have been the only person because it sold really well and the singles off of the album also did well. It was Let's Dance that got me interested in looking into David Bowie's earlier work and I have to say I became a huge fan and yet if I hadn't heard his 1983 album I probably wouldn't have looked for other albums of his to listen to.

With the singles off of the Let's Dance album David Bowie really mastered the blue eyed soul style of music and captured the feelings of the time - it was all about being able to dance to the music and singalong at the same time and you could do that with China Girl, Modern Love and Let's Dance and you could do that really well.

When any of the singles from this album are played on the radio I can't help but singalong - it's an album that, in my opinion, doesn't date and I am really glad that David Bowie gave us this album. The Laughing Gnome, Ashes to Ashes, The Jean Genie, Changes and Young American are all fantastic songs, but Let's Dance, Modern Love and China Girl just pull me straight back to the 80s when life was easy (for a teen anyway!) with just a couple of beats!

What do you think about David Bowie's 1983 album - Let's Dance?

Friday, October 21, 2011

80s Movie Night - Spotlight on Red Dawn

For our 80s movie night tonight we're heading back to Colorado in 1984, yes I'm talking about Red Dawn. I loved this movie when it came out and always thought of it as a classic, a couple of years ago I had the house to myself and thought I'm going to rent Red Dawn and as I took it up to the counter the person serving me starting going on about it being a cult hit (he didn't even look like he was alive in 1984!). I enjoyed re-watching it, but a remake?

Red Dawn, like so many classic 80s movies, is being remade and is expected to be released in 2012 with Chris Hemsworth and Josh Peck taking on Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen's characters. I'm not sure if I'm going to even watch this version as some of the remakes of 80s movies have really not turned out very well in my opinion (Fame, anyone?)

Will modern day audiences actually 'get' the movie? I think part of the allure of Red Dawn was that the cold war was still in existence and many people believed that the scenario could actually happen. I must admit my brother and I decided to try and get to our home from the movie theater via all the back alleys we knew to avoid being seen by anyone - I managed it, my brother was spotted by a noisy old lady a couple of streets over from us! We worked on improving our stealth like abilities throughout the school holidays and it kept us out of trouble so I'm sure from that perspective our family must've liked the movie too!!

The movie starts with everyone rolling up to school, but the day gets shattered when enemy paratroopers start landing on the school playing fields. The movie provides a lot of action and it's audience was obviously primarily the youth market as it boosted our belief that we could do anything including saving the country.

I love the little bits of irony throughout the movie, I missed it the first time around, but the second time of watching it I decided that one of my favorite moments was one that caused me to have a little chuckle - a pro-gun supporter had a bumper sticker with the words "they'll get my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hands" well I don't know if his hands were cold, but they were definitely dead when a Russian took it from him!

What did you think of the movie that started Charlie Sheen's career (I bet he never envisaged what he would do to his career back then!) - I loved it, but feel free to disagree if you like :)

Just remember if you're looking to buy an 80s movie check out my 80s Movie Store I get a small commission on any movie that you purchase while you get a great deal - that's what I call a win/win.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rubik Cube Gift Ideas - Great 80s Style Gifts

Did you love the rubiks cube?   There's something about that cube that pulls me straight back to the 80s when I could never solve it, but I can tell you the name of a boy that could and he was really fast as well......I won't embarrass him by putting his name here, but his initials were AB.

Anyway the rubiks cube really did become a symbol of the 80s so if you know someone who's still 'stuck in 1984' then what about checking out some of these rubiks cube inspired gift ideas -

Salt and pepper mills based around the rubiks cube are an awesome idea and are bound to get the dinner conversation turned onto the best decade ever!

There are lots more rubiks cube inspired gifts however -

A rubiks cube mug is also cool, in fact I would swap my True mug for that one and you know what a Spandau Ballet fan I am! If you're going to have a rubiks mug then you really need the next idea as well.......a rubiks cube coaster!

What do you think of these rubiks cube inspired gifts? I think they are all awesome and I'm sure if you left this webpage open for someone else to stumble upon they are bound to realize that any of these gifts would be perfect for my 80s loving readers!

Of course my hubby would probably find this last rubiks cube gift idea the best one for me -

A rubiks cube notepad is just perfect for my house, because if I don't write jobs down they basically don't get done. My hubby's a bit sick of saying did you or have you? While I reply 'oh no I forgot', he now makes sure I always have a notepad and asks me to write down jobs that are really important!!

So there you have some of the coolest gift ideas for a rubik cube loving 80s girl or guy, let me know your favorite.

Friday, October 14, 2011

80s Movie Night - Spotlight on A NIghtmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
With October drawing in and Halloween fast approaching I thought it was time to look at 80s horror movies and what better 80s horror movie was there than A Nightmare on Elm Street?

I'm sure some would disagree, but this movie kept me awake far more than any other movie I have ever seen so I'm going to call it the 80s horror movie!

The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection consists of 7 Nightmare on Elm Street films and a bonus disc and is a great gift idea for any Freddy Krueger fan.   It was the first movie in 1984 that kept me awake however, I wasn't as impressed with some of the subsequent movies and I certainly haven't seen all seven of them.

Wes Craven's idea of teenagers being killed in their dreams was, in my mind, a really cool concept.   I thought it was a very original idea, but since the 80s I've learned that he actually read about a little boy who had been having nightmares and one night just died in his sleep ......... maybe Freddy is real??

Robert Englund did a fantastic job in making Freddy Krueger a character that could still scare the #@@# out of any child of the 80s if we should bump into him over Halloween.

Of course if you were planning to go to an 80s party dressing up as the 80s boogeyman himself would certainly bring any 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' style dancing to a halt!

Freddy Krueger and the whole collection of Nightmare on Elm Street movies have gained quite a cult following over the years which is quite amazing considering how much trouble Wes Craven went to to try and get someone to make the movie.   You see back when Wes Craven was shopping the script around he was met with a lot of resistance - slasher movies are on their way out - was comment and the other was - who would believe people could be murdered in their sleep.   Luckily for us (and the coffee industry) Wes Craven persevered and this cult movie franchise took on a life of it's own.

I was reading some Nightmare on Elm Street trivia the other day and they claimed that over 500 gallons of fake blood was used during the making of the original film.   That's a lot of blood, although when you think of some of the scenes it makes sense.

The first time I saw Nightmare on Elm Street I went with a friend of mine - I forget what we were supposed to be seeing because we weren't technically old enough to go to the movie, but being young and foolish..........

I was terrified!

I'm sure I did sleep, but it felt like weeks before I was sleeping, I'd catch myself nodding off and quickly turn on my bedside light (Turn your light off Lou!) to keep me awake.

The first thing that scared me was my lovely best friend of the time, Allison. She saw that I was engrossed in the movie and so she carefully put her arm around the back of the seat and just as Freddy emerged (I forget which scene) she stuck her nails into my shoulder - I screamed so loud the whole cinema turned around to frown! And yet we remained friends.....

The next thing that scared the bejesus out of me was getting outside the cinema to discover it was raining and I'd left my umbrella behind - doesn't sound too scary does it? Well there was an old guy that was the usher at the cinema and hand on heart I have to tell you he could have been Freddy Krueger's twin!

Anyway my friend refused to go back into the cinema with me (she was too scared as well.......I'm starting to wonder why we remained friends!!!) and I had to walk into a darkened room with Freddy Krueger!!!!! I swear I've never run back down the stairs of the cinema building so quickly in my life.

Anyway let's talk about the movie, but first here's another interesting nugget of info -

An interesting piece of trivia that I only discovered in recent years is that the iconic Freddy sweater wasn't supposed to be red and green, but Wes Craven read an article that said the two most contrasting colors to the human retina were red and green and so decided that those were the colors that the sweater should be.   

A Nightmare on Elm Street - The Movie

A Nightmare on Elm Street is about Freddy Krueger who was a child murderer, unfortunately he escapes going to prison on a technicality and walks out of court a free man. A group of people in his town decide that they will put an end to his crimes and murdered him by setting him on fire.

Nightmare On Elm Street - Movie Poster
The movie starts years later when somehow Freddy Krueger has found a way to come back for revenge - in dreams. He haunts the dreams of the children of the people who murdered him and manages to kill them while they are sleeping.

Wes Craven had a lot of problems convincing a studio to make this movie as they purported that no one would believe in a villain killing people in their sleep.....well they were wrong. This movie kept millions of people awake after they watched it.

Where Did the Idea for 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' Come From?

Exploring Wes Craven's mind

Where on earth did Wes Craven come up with the idea of people being killed in their sleep? From the news! The scary thing is that there have actually been cases where people have died in their sleep for no known reason. In one case a little boy had been having nightmares and didn't want to go to sleep.....when he finally did sleep his family heard him scream, but by the time they had reached his side he was dead. I am so glad that I didn't know about this at the time that I watched the movie - maybe Freddy is real!

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The Stars

The main characters in the movie are Nancy, her boyfriend Rod, Nancy's best friend Tina and her boyfriend Glen. As Nancy's friends start dying in their sleep Nancy tries desperately to get her parents to believe what's really happening..........................of course they don't which really helps to sell this movie to a younger audience. Teenagers taking on demons by themselves is a classic movie grab.

Original Cast of A Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger - A Nightmare on Elm Street's Infamous Villain

A Nightmare on Elm Street could not have been successful without Freddy Krueger, he has become a cult movie anti-hero with his own huge following. Every Halloween fancy dress stores sell Freddy Krueger costumes, but where did he come from?

Freddy Krueger
Copyrighted by Louanne Cox, Aug 2014
Apparently Freddy Krueger was inspired by a grown man Wes Craven saw as a child. Wes Craven describes this person (who he didn't know) as being the source of one of the scariest moments of his life. As an 11 year old Wes was looking out of his apartment window and saw a man (who in later interviews he has described as homeless), the man spots him looking and stares back at him which for some reason scared him. In later interviews he expands more on the story, but I think at that age we do see people who we view as scary for no real reason don't we?

Freddy Krueger is still considered a scary character which is why you sometimes see him immortalized at 'horror houses' and the like as you can see opposite.

Do you think A Nightmare on Elm Street was the best horror movie of the 80s?

Welcome to 80s Movie Night

I must apologize for the fact that I'm not posting very regularly with this blog - I've decided that instead of just writing about anything 80s when I feel like it I should have a blog plan so that I can bring you posts more regularly.   Introducing 80s Movie Night - this is where I plan to spotlight types of movies ie John Hughes movies or 80s dance movies or even individual movies.

There's just something about 80s movies which are cool so what will be the first movie that I spotlight?   Well you don't have long to wait, only minutes in fact!   While I'm introducing the 80s movie night concept though please feel free to leave the names of any 80s movie that you'd like me to spotlight in the comments section.

If you can't remember them all then feel free to check out Lou's 80s Movies Store and browse through the titles, the memories should come flooding back.   Stayed tuned the first 80s movie night spotlight will be coming right up.