15 Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies Of The 1980s

No decade did it trashier.

Urban Classics

With the 2018 Academy Awards only a few weeks away, debates rage left and right about what constitutes great, important cinema in this day and age - and damn, it doesn't half get tiresome.

Okay, there's a lot to be said in favour of intelligent, sophisticated filmmaking, featuring fine actors at the top of their game, tackling complex themes. But does cinema of this nature always show us a good time?

The term 'guilty pleasure' might be deemed a little (pardon the buzzword) problematic; it comes from an aloof position, making assumptions about what should or should not be deemed to have cultural value.

As Tommy Wiseau learns in the final scenes of The Disaster Artist, if the audience is entertained, then the film has done its job, come what may. Surely neither the filmmaker nor the viewer need feel any guilt in the process.

Every bit as much joy can be taken from a 'good-bad' film as any more conventionally worthy work of cinema; in fact, one 2016 study concluded that devotees of trash movies tend to be more intelligent.

And if it's trash cinema you're looking for, surely no time period did it better than the 1980s. This was the decade of neon, spandex, hairspray, pop socks, synthesizers, power ballads; the era positively oozed with cheese.

Here, in roughly chronological order, are 15 of the most phenomenally cheesy, gaudy, ridiculous big screen spectaculars which trash cinema aficionados have to thank the 1980s for.


Ben Bussey hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.