10 More Eighties Movies We Still Need On Blu Ray

We list ten more movies from the 1980's that still need a formal blu-ray release.

Some of these titles have been released internationally but are still not available domestically. 

Streets of Fire
Middling eighties icon Michael Pare leads this jumbled mish-mash of the 1950's and futuristic yet romantic gangland warfare in a movie that doesn't really know what it wants to be other than really cool. Director Walter Hill's vision is absolutely confused but strangely beautiful while audiences got a great soundtrack, kick ass faked performance footage and a SUPREMELY HOT young Diane Lane playing off a hunky Pare in his short lived prime. Streets of Fire may not be perfect but it's a shining example of a movie that deserves a proper high definition release. I can dream about you.......if I can hold you tonight.

"Can you tell me why The Dead Zone hasn't been released on blu-ray yet?"

The Dead Zone

A youthful and charismatic Christopher Walken began his reign of the 1980's with his performance as accidental psychic, Johnny Smith. The Dead Zone took Walken to lead status and pushed his already thriving career over the edge as he shows his full dynamic range in one of the best movies of the decade that still holds up extremely well thirty years later. This is exactly why we need The Dead Zone remastered and re-released for audiences to enjoy. This David Cronenberg masterpiece is hands down one of the best adapted Stephen King works ever made and should be presented in a new master for audiences to enjoy.


Based on author Whitley Strieber’s autobiographical account of alien abduction, Communion represents truly one of the strangest films of all time, UFO themed or otherwise.  Starring Christopher Walken in a role only an actor of his caliber could work to his benefit, the film depicts Strieber and his family vacationing in their forest home when strange occurrences and bizarre hallucinations begin to plague the household.  Cabin fever, or something far more otherworldly?  Directed by Philippe Mora (Death of a Soldier with Reb Brown), Communion is a low budget little number that isn’t always successful at horror with its plastic looking aliens standing alongside creatures which look a bit like Jawas from Star Wars: A New Hope.  But it is remembered well in cinema history as that alien movie where Christopher Walken gets an alien anal probe.  Over the years, Communion has existed in several editions on VHS and eventually DVD, including a unique director’s edition which reframes the film’s theatrical aspect ratio from 1.85:1 to 2.35:1.  But with lackluster image quality and rights issues, the DVD is something of a disappointment and thus begs for a blu-ray release.  This would be a good Shout! Factory disc, as they seem to be releasing great cult classics in elite editions.  After all, what’s a high-definition video library without Christopher Walken getting an alien anal probe in it?

"Hi. Rectal probe anyone. Anyone??"

Silver Bullet
Pre-crazy Gary Busey and pre-crazy Corey Haim star in one of the best Werewolf movies of the eighties, if not one of the creepiest films ever produced in that genre. Silver Bullet was made long before CGI strangled the life out of creature design and features excellent looking practical effects by mastermind Rick Baker. Silver Bullet maintained tactful jump scares along with bucket loads of old school tension at a time when horror was being overrun by perverted burn victims and mentally challenged drowning victims in hockey masks. This was scary when audiences were being reprogrammed to only care about slasher flicks and bare breasted virgins. If you've never seen it, find it and watch it. 

Related Article:
Ten 1980's Movies We
Still Need On Blu Ray
*The Decline of Western Civilization
Whenever all-time great rock movies are brought up in conversation, Penelope Spheeris’ iconic punk-rock documentary The Decline of Western Civilization usually gets a notable mention.  Featuring Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X, the film is a compendium of concert footage and interviews with members of the Los Angeles punk rock music scene.  Decline provides viewers a front row seat to what was a lesser known musical arena at the time of its release.  Due to various, unresolved legal issues concerning the rights to the music and concert footage, Decline has only seen a handful of expensive VHS releases before disappearing into obscurity.  Considering the following chapters that would form Spheeris’ Decline trilogy of life in Los Angeles and its now legendary status in the canon of rock movies, The Decline of Western Civilization is crying for a Criterion Blu-ray release.  Let these monetary issues finally be resolved so the rest of the world can enjoy this classic without resorting to bootlegging.  

*Dead Ringers

Following the success of his remake of The Fly, David Cronenberg unleashed this ice-cold, jet black clinical nightmare that manages to evoke even more discomfort than some of his overtly slime filled gore fests.  Starring Jeremy Irons in dual roles as a pair of twin gynecologists who share each other’s identities and women, Dead Ringers depiction of medical malpractice and identity crises is so uncompromising you just have to fold your arms while watching it.  It’s also an even stronger downward spiral work than its predecessor and launching pad, The Fly.  Cronenberg’s downbeat, cool masterpiece of psychological and physical horror has had its share of home video releases over the years, including a DVD release from The Criterion Collection.  Despite the existence of a few international blu-ray releases, you would think a film of this stature would have received a North American Blu-ray disc at this point.  With the forthcoming Criterion Blu-ray of Scanners on the horizon, maybe Criterion will finally do Dead Ringers a just and certified release.

"Ok. Get ready. This is the part where our arms
get ripped off by a speeding boat and the crowd stands
 around and laughs at us. It's gonna be great!!!""

*The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors is a bona-fide classic slapstick comedy of the late 1980's which amazingly is still without a blu-ray release.  Starring John Candy as a family man who ventures up to a log cabin for a tranquil vacation, the family’s peace is shattered by the arrival of his obnoxious in-laws.  With Dan Aykroyd in full throttle with his manic energy and crass behavior, he quickly proceeds to drive Candy crazy.  His uptight wife and strange kids don’t help matters, and before long a giant grizzly bear shows up.  Truly goofy and always funny, The Great Outdoors is a timeless summer vacation comedy.  Written by future Uncle Buck director John Hughes, you would think The Great Outdoors’ inclusion on the blu-ray format would have been a no-brainer by this point.  Sadly, that has yet to be the case. Considering how well this title continues to sell on DVD over the years, I fail to see what the wait is about.  Just release it, already!

*Pennies From Heaven

Herbert Ross’ adaptation of Dennis Potter’s BBC teleplay Pennies from Heaven is one of the great musical black comedies of our time.  Simply put, it’s a staggering delight with some of the most opulent musical numbers put to film.  Starring Steve Martin in inarguably his most challenging role, Pennies from Heaven depicts a sheet music salesman in the Great Depression who escapes into musical numbers to cope with his otherwise bleak existence, all the while beginning an affair with a schoolteacher (Bernadette Peters) before things start to go genuinely wrong for the two.  Contrary to expectation based on the cast, Pennies from Heaven didn’t mesh with audiences who got the bitterly funny writer of Brimstone and Treacle instead, and the film flopped at the box office.  In the years since, it has developed a strong following and is considered one of MGM’s last great Hollywood musicals.  Sadly, however, the DVD is out of print and no Blu-ray appears to be in sight.  A real shame. Maybe one day it’ll receive a Warner Archive blu-ray, or even a Criterion if we’re lucky.

"What do you mean, no blu-ray release? I've grown this beard in anticipation
and all we got was 3000 lousy copies? That's it! I officially HATE aliens!"

Enemy Mine

Released by Twilight Time in a limited edition pressing of 3000 copies in the U.S., Enemy Mine has never been given proper respect as a classic eighties sci-fi flick. Loosely based on the same story as Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Enemy Mine deserves a respectable release for its timeless story of enemies putting their differences aside to work towards a common goal. As a childhood fan of its predecessor, Robinson Crusoe On Mars, I saw Enemy Mine numerous times in theaters and still pray for a worthwhile wide release of this Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. team up. 

"Yup. We are total bad asses!!"
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension
Peter Weller stars alongside a stellar cast featuring John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Lloyd in a movie that didn't quite light the box office ablaze. Expected to be a massive hit at the time of release, Buckaroo Banzai totally bombed financially and critically. It was a misunderstood mess of sorts that audiences never really latched on to despite its unique flavor and awesome cast.  It may have been ahead of its time with it's multi-tiered comedy, sci-fi, action angle, but never found even footing until years later as it developed a small yet loyal cult following. Why this doesn't have a blu-ray release, we'll never know. This is a prime candidate for a re-edited, extended director's cut in a definitive dimension jumping box set package. 

-Chris George

*-Andrew Kotwicki

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