Episode 13: 80s Movie Villains

Welcome back to a new podcast episode! This week is another 80s crossover event from the 80s League! This month’s topic is 80s Movie Villains. Robert and Paul go through some of their favorite/most hated 80s movie villains. Paul also broke down and watched last year’s Ghostbusters movie. Come hear the exclusive review in this show. There is a new Play This, Not That, featuring Survivor. We had a Remember That Song winner, so there is a new one this week.

We would love to hear who some of your favorite 80s villains are. Please comment below, or email us at returnto80s@gmail.com.


Opening Segment of this 80s Crossover Event


Check out these sites that are participating this month:

80s Reboot Overdrive

Killer Kitsch

Old School Evil

Rediscover the 80s

Stuck in the 80s

Weegiemidget

Robert’s Return to the ’80s article

– Paul’s Ghostbusters (2016) review

– Robert’s Journey article – In Defense of Journey Without Steve Perry

– Journey dedicating “Lights” to John Wetton

– R.I.P. Chuck Berry

Play This, Not That – Survivor

Instead of “Eye of the Tiger”

Play “Rebel Girl”

Shall We Play a Game?

Remember That Song

Last Song: “Take It on the Run” by REO Speedwagon

Winner: Candy (@candyissodandy)

New Song: Around the 15:50 mark

80s Trivia

No winners last week. The question is around the 16:10 mark

’80s Movie Villains

– Ian McDiarmid – the Emperor from Return of the Jedi (The Empire Strikes Back was edited to include McDiarmid in the 2004 re-release)

– Thomas Wilson – Biff Tannen from Back to the Future

– Mr. T – Clubber Lang from Rocky III

– Anne Ramsey, Robert Davi, and Joe Pantoliano – The Fratellis from The Goonies

– Clancy Brown – The Kurgan from Highlander

– Alan Rickman – Hans Gruber from Die Hard

– Jim Youngs – Chuck Cranston from Footloose

– Steven Berkoff – Victor Maitland from Beverly Hills Cop

– Glenn Close – Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction

– William Zabka and Martin Kove – Johnny Lawrence and John Kreece from The Karate Kid

Closing

Check us out on iTunes
Also,
returntothe80s.wordpress.com
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter: @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

Remember That Song: 3/22/17

Can you name the artist and song:

Now I’m lonely never more
Since you came into my life


Last Song: “Be Near Me” by ABC from the album How to Be a … Zillionaire! (1985)

Great job Kelly (@KellyCiesielski) and Aurora (@Aurora_Lenore)

All my dreams came true last night, all my hopes and fears
All my dreams came true once more, in tears, in tears

Remember That Song: 3/21/17

Can you name the artist and song:

All my dreams came true last night, all my hopes and fears
All my dreams came true once more, in tears, in tears


Last Song: “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison from the album Open Up and Say… Ahh! (1988)

Hear the DJ say love’s a game of easy come and easy go
But I wonder does he know
Has it ever felt like this

80s Movie Villains

Welcome to the latest 80s Crossover Event! This month, The 80s League is tackling 80s Movie Villains. Look for a Return to the 80s podcast episode on this topic, coming soon. There are so many awesome villains to choose from, so I would highly recommend these other blogs and podcasts, and see who they choose.

80s Reboot Overdrive

Killer Kitsch

Old School Evil

Rediscover the 80s

Stuck in the 80s

Weegiemidget

And in addition to our podcast, Robert wrote this article on his favorite ’80s movie villains. We would love to hear who yours are. Please email us at returnto80s@gmail.com, or feel free to comment below. We’d love to hear from you. Now, make like a tree and get out of here, and check out Robert’s awesome article.


In my high school English classes we read a ton. In different grades, different texts are read including short stories, plays, poems, and novels. While all of these have different difficulty and interest levels, they have one important element in common: conflict. A story does not exist without conflict. Take this for instance: Two friends are sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch. Friend A has a baloney sandwich and is munching away. Friend B has a ham and cheese sandwich and is also silently munching away. No conflict, no story. Let’s try this: now Friend A, who is silently eating that baloney sandwich, looks down at that sandwich and sees way too much mustard on it. Friend A slowly peels the sandwich apart, stands, and smacks Friend B in the face with it. Now we have conflict – and a story.

Clearly, conflict is a necessary element in every story and one of the simplest conflicts to manufacture is good vs. evil. So many movies from the ‘80s used this conflict to intrigue us, manipulate us, enrage us. Think back to all those “bad guys” from those classic ‘80s films. That is just what I am doing here. I have decided to present my list of most hated ‘80s villains, all terrestrial – no aliens or monsters – just humans, dastardly, ugly, conniving, horrible humans.

William Zabka and Martin Kove – Johnny Lawrence and John Kreece from The Karate Kid

I first saw The Karate Kid upon it’s release in 1984. The only actor I recognized was Pat Morita who played Daniel LaRusso’s karate instructor Mr. Miyagi. The protagonist, LaRusso is new to California and goes to a new high school where he knows no one. He is the natural underdog who becomes an easy target for the Cobra Kai, a local karate dojo. Two members of the Cobra Kai, instructor John Kreece and his star pupil, Johnny Lawrence, take it upon themselves to make a living hell for poor Daniel. Johnny and his boys continually jump a helpless LaRusso who receives no sympathy from dojo leader Kreece. Johnny continually beats the tar out of Daniel with the full support of Kreece who does not believe in any sort of mercy for anyone. Kreece’s ultimate nastiness shines through during the finals of the All Valley Karate Championship, LaRusso picks up an injury to his knee in the semifinals (another Cobra Kai member delivers an illegal blow, at the behest of Kreece). During the final round LaRusso is pitted against Johnny. He is clearly bothered by the knee injury and Johnny can see his weakness. After dropping a few points, LaRusso is able to claw back a bit and get a point himself. Johnny gets a bloody nose and, during the time out, talks to Kreece. It is during this talk the Kreece delivers his horrible line, “Sweep the leg. . . You have a problem with that? No mercy.” Of course, Johnny does it. Even though he knew it was wrong, he does it. Both are nasty to the core.

Thomas Wilson – Biff Tannen from Back to the Future

A year later I saw Back to the Future in theaters and and other pretty nasty character reared his ugly head – Biff Tannen. Biff is a sarcastic bully who is used to getting what he wants all of the time. He picks on the hero Marty McFly, accosts Lorraine, and makes George McFly do his homework. He verbally abuses everyone around him. From calling George an “Irish bug” to labeling Marty a “butthead” (in the same scene), Biff is an insufferable jerk. Perhaps his ultimate barbarous nature comes out during the film’s climax. Biff spots Lorraine in a car by herself. Biff takes it upon himself to attack Lorraine, saying that she knows she wants it. There is not one redeeming quality of Biff in the entire film. How happy were we all when George punched his lights out?

Anne Ramsey, Robert Davi, and Joe Pantoliano – The Fratellis from The Goonies

Same year (1985), different bad guy, or bad guys. In The Goonies, the evil doers were a sweet, loving family – the Fratellis. The Fratellis are a family of criminals who are hiding out in an abandoned restaurant. Unfortunately, the young, adventurous kids, looking for a way to financially save their home, encounter this nasty clan. From housing a dead guy in the freezer to threatening Chunk with putting his hand into a blender, the Fratellis know no boundaries. They let their greed get the best of them and follow the Goonies as they trace One Eyed Willy’s lost treasure. Perhaps one of the worst things this detestable family does is chain one of their very own in the basement, brother Sloth. Sloth is sweet, loving, albeit physically deformed man who is left alone in the basement, chained to his chair with a TV all that keeps him company. Thefts, murder, lies, and abject cruelty is all this family knows. Horrible.

Alan Rickman – Hans Gruber from Die Hard

One of my good college buddies was a foreign student from Chile. He loved 1988’s release Die Hard – this is not unusual. What is strange, though, is that he loved Hans Gruber, the bad guy! Whenever he saw me, he would look at me and utter in (in a Spanish influenced German accent, “We must not alter the plan.” It always made me crack up, but I could have absolutely no sympathy for this nasty terrorist. Gruber and his minions attack and take over a high rise building in Nakotomi Plaza. While Gruber feigns the attack as a protest against the company president, Joseph Takagi, his real motivation is greed. Gruber wants to $640 million in bonds that are kept in the building’s vault. So much for ideals. Gruber does his best to, not only steal this money, but knock off a few innocent workers and make life extremely difficult for hero, John McClane. A scene that perfectly shows Gruber calm maniacal nature takes place with company president Takagi sitting right in front of him. With a gun on the table, Gruber insidiously says, “I’m going to count to three. . . One. . .Two”. . . [Takagi pleads ignorance] Three [Gruber calmly puts a bullet through Takagi’s head].” Yes, Hans Gruber is calm and always in control; he is intelligent and quick witted, as well. Unfortunately, he uses these talents in a malicious manner for self serving reasons. His self righteous confidence is nearly as bad as his villainous actions.

Steven Berkoff – Victor Maitland from Beverly Hills Cop

As I ran through ‘80s movies and tried to think of all the bad guys, I thought my list was complete. Then, while I was listening to an American Top 40 countdown from 1985, Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F” came on. Hearing this song brought me back to the hilarious movie and it’s nasty denizen, Victor Maitland. Maitland is a high end art dealer in Beverly Hills who has had his men assassinate hero Axel Foley’s best friend Mikey Tandino. Foley wants to solve his friend’s brutal murder and traces the bonds Mikey stole to Beverly Hills and Victor Maitland. Maitland is another one of those calm villains who has his henchmen do most of his dirty work. He is sneaky and gets past most laws through bribery, threats, and outright intimidation. His calm passivity is just a mask for his true ruthless nature. He is an honest to goodness devilish character who most should not mess with.

All five of these character are horrible, dirty, lowdown, despicable, diabolical, heinous (the synonyms could go on for a while) people. They have no redeeming qualities and we are all happy when they lose. Oh yes, they do lose. In true archetypal fashion, in the conflict between good and evil – good wins, always. After all of these movies we are left with true relief as Daniel LaRusso beats Johnny at his own game; as George McFly lays out Biff; as the Fratellis are outwitted by the Goonies; as John McClane watches Gruber fall from the top of Nakotomi Plaza; and as Axel Foley blows Victor Maitland away. Our heroes always defeat these villains, reassuring us that, although the world can be a harsh, chaotic place, there is room for good to prosper.

Quote of the Day: Ordinary People

Conrad “Con” Jarrett: It’s impossible after all the shit I’ve pulled.

Dr. Berger: What shit have you pulled?

[pause]

Dr. Berger: Hey, remember, I’m talking proportion here, now what shit?

[pause]

Dr. Berger: C’mon, you must be able to come up with at least one example.

[pause]

Dr. Berger: And don’t give me, “I tried to kill myself.” That’s old turkey.

Happy 82nd Birthday to Judd Hirsch!!!

Remember That Song: 3/15/17

Can you name the artist and song:

Hear the DJ say love’s a game of easy come and easy go
But I wonder does he know
Has it ever felt like this


Last Song: “Human” by The Human League from the album Crash (1986)

Great job Andrew (@WassyTLO)!!!

So many nights I longed to hold you
So many times I looked and saw your face
Nothing could change the way I feel
No one else could ever take your place

Coming Soon: 80s Movie Villains

The 80s League is at it again! Next week members of the 80s League, which consists of podcasts and blogs who love the 80s, will be covering 80s movie villains. Robert and I will be recording a new Return to the ’80s podcast episode on the topic. We would love to hear from you, and find out who some of your favorite 80s movie villains are. Please email us at returnto80s@gmail.com.

And here are the other podcasts and blogs participating this month. So go and show these people some love:
Rediscover the 80s

Weegiemidget

Killer Kitsch

80s Reboot Overdrive

Stuck in the 80s

Geek Out Loud

In Defense of Journey Without Steve Perry

In Defense of Journey Without Steve Perry

by Robert Mishou

I LOVE JOURNEY! ever since I bought the Escape album with my own money in 1981. I had heard their songs on the radio for years as a kid, but when I heard “Stone in Love” I knew two things: that I had to have this album and that Journey would become one of my favorite bands of all time. As it turns out, I was right. I bought everything that Journey put out after Escape, got a hold of everything before Escape, and bought all of the music the band put out as solo artists or with other musicians. I follow the band and it members on Twitter and I am eagerly anticipating seeing them perform on March 25 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Oh, wait, wait . . . that’s not Journey – Steve Perry is not with them.

So?

If you follow guitarist Neal Schon on Twitter, you will understand what I am about to say. I am appalled at how many Journey “fans” ask Neal about Steve Perry. They ask and ask and ask. Neal replies (again, again, and again) patiently that the ball is in Perry’s court. If he wants to come back to the band, he will be welcomed back with open arms (see that, two Journey songs in one sentence).

Journey has been an excellent rock band since the release of their first album Journey in 1975. Album sales were not great, but they followed with Look into the Future (1976) and Next (1977). While each of these albums performed better than their predecessor, Journey was not a huge hit. With the Infinity album, things changed. The band added a vocalist, Steve Perry, and they took off. This album included classic rock hits “Wheel in the Sky” and “Lights.” The band started to hit the radio and the charts. They did not have any huge hits yet, but they were clearly on their way. Their next two albums Evolution and Departure would be Journey’s first top 20 albums and contain their first legitimate hits, “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” and “Any Way You Want It.” They followed these albums with a string of top 4 albums: Escape (#1), Frontiers (#2), and Raised on Radio (#4). These albums contain such Journey classics as “Open Arms”, “Don’t Stop Believin’”, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”, and “Be Good to Yourself.”

As we all know, Raised on Radio would be their last release for ten years. The band fractured a bit; Steve Perry had some health issues, and . . . well, you know. Trial By Fire would be released in 1996, but it would be the band’s last album with Steve Perry on vocals. Yes, Perry has what many consider the best voice in rock. I love him and the songs he has with Journey – – but is it time we moved on. Journey is still an excellent rock band who has continued to produce fantastic albums and, more importantly, play live shows that live up to their legendary name and are packed with fans. I will not discuss the “Perry years” here; instead I will defend Journey as a band who deserves their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and should be supported as an all time great American rock band.

Let’s begin with plain old musicianship. It is impossible to define Journey as anything but a tight group of musicians who play as well as anyone out there. The present line up of Steve Smith (drums), Ross Vallory (bass), Jonathan Cain (keyboards), and Neal Schon (guitars) are just plain good. Let’s just isolate Schon. No one can deny that the riffs he plays with Journey are excellent! Need a reminder? Just pop in the song “Escape.” Need I say more? Do you still need more convincing? OK, let’s give a listen to Schon’s work outside of Journey. He has several solo albums: Late Night, Vortex, The Calling to name three (my personal favorite track is “I’ll Cover You” from the first album listed here). Schon also released two albums with keyboardist Jan Hammer, Untold Passion and Here to Stay (give “No More Lies” a listen). He was also a part of two groups: HSAS with Sammy Hagar (listen to “Missing You”) and Hardline’s first album Double Eclipse (listen to anything on this album). What all of these have in common is the presence of a virtuoso guitarist who can play any number of musical styles. Yes, Neal Schon can rock – and he does – but he can do so much more. Watch Schon play live, no matter what the songs are, is most assuredly worth the price of admission.

Great musicians keep releasing high quality albums, not matter who is singing. Since Steve Perry’s departure, Journey has released four original albums: Arrival (Steve Agueri on vocals), Generations (Steve Augeri on vocals), Revelation (Arnel Pineda on vocals), and Eclipse (Arnel Pineda on vocals). The last two of these albums with Pineda both reached the top 20 on the album charts. On these albums the band still sounds great! Solid rock music with some experimentation and some fusion of sounds. Several songs like “Never Walk Away” and “After All These Years”, and “Higher Place” are just plain ol’ classic Journey tracks. Are any of these albums Escape? No, of course not, but consider other bands and ask what their best album is. Are all of them great? Does U2 have another Joshua Tree? Does Bon Jovi have another Slippery When Wet? (OK, New Jersey is dang close). I think you get my point, Escape may be the pinnacle of Journey albums, but there is no reason to ignore what has been done since 1981. As much as I love Raised on Radio, it does not hold a candle to the brilliance of Escape.

Take musicianship and post-Perry albums, now add concert receipts. Journey still sells concert tickets. Vocalist Arnel Pineda clearly sounds quite a bit like Steve Perry, and perhaps this has helped ticket sales, who knows? Pineda’s story is amazing and he is a great vocalist. I would love to have Pineda’s talents; I would be on the road right now, belting out Journey classics – “Someday, love will find you, break those chains that bind you . . .”, but I digress. Simply put, the man can sing and he deserves the respect of all Journey fans. In fact, the entire band does.

I am no different than the rest of you Journey fans – I miss Steve Perry. I wish he was still with the band singing those classic tunes. I never had the chance to see Journey perform live with Perry, although I have several live cds and dvds. I know it is not the same. I would give anything to have Perry lead me (and the crowd) in the Na-Na-Na-Na-Na chorus of “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’”, but it is not going to happen. Instead of pining for this and tweeting Neal Schon endless and repetitive questions about Perry’s return, I chose to enjoy Journey for who they are, a legendary American rock band! I will continue to listen to all of the albums. I travel with my Journey Essentials collection and Time 3 and will continue to do so. I am thrilled that they finally received the Rock and Roll Hall of fame induction that they have deserved for years.

I will attend the Journey concert (with Asia opening for them) in a few weeks. I will sing all of the songs with Arnel. I will bounce my head to Ross’s bass. I will pump my first with Steve’s drums. And I will air guitar with Neal until my fingers bleed. Journey is Journey – appreciate them while we still have them.

Come back here in a few weeks for a review of their show.


Do you agree or disagree with this? We would love to hear from you! Please email us at returnto80s@gmail.com.

Remember That Song: 3/13/17

Can you name the artist and song:

So many nights I longed to hold you
So many times I looked and saw your face
Nothing could change the way I feel
No one else could ever take your place


Last Song: “Finish What Ya Started” by Van Halen from the album OU812 (1988)

Great job, Jim (@JimVilk)!!!

I like to look, to long run
I like to take each step, one by one
Right on time, you will arrive
By keepin’ the dream alive