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Ten 80's Films That I Like Better Than Ghostbusters?

8 March 2007 - 9:41am -- Joseph

We've been watching quite a lot of films whilst in Cameroon. The tv is generally poor, (and in French a lot of the time...), so unless there's a decent game of football on (well done Liverpool, by the way) we often watch a film of an evening.

Last week were were swapping films with Bill and Brian, our Peace Corp friends. I was running through what we had, and mentioned my equivocal appreciation of Ghostbusters. It's not that I don't like Ghostbusters, in fact when I saw it in the cinema as a nipper, I thought it was the best film ever ever, despite having to eat popcorn covered with HP sauce. (I'd had toffee popcorn recently, and I wanted to get me more of that, so I asked my uncle to get me some 'chocolate popcorn'. Not knowing what the hell I was on about, but not wanting to disappoint, he saw a brown sauce bottle on the counter... On returning to our seats, he told my dad of his error, to which my Dad said 'just give it to him, it's dark, he won't notice'. Well, my tastebuds work fine in the dark, thanks, dad... So I spent the movie picking around the sauce. Tip: popcorn + HP sauce = not good, fusion cooking at its worst.... ).


So I loved Ghostbusters, but having watched it again recently, I found it entertaining, but a little disappointing (maybe it was the absence of soiled popcorn?). Brian leapt to Ghostbusters' defence - 'Can you name a better 80's film?' he challenged me? At the time I only came up with The Breakfast Club and Blues Brothers, to which Brian replied 'good, but not as good' and 'hmm, yeah, good point' respectively.

And that was that, except that I've been mulling over the question all week: which films made in the 80's are better than do you like more than Ghostbusters?. It's quite an interesting question, because Ghostbusters is good, but not great, so can I find 10 80's films that I prefer? I know it's a little unfair to respond to an offhand comment by muling it over for a week and researching it on IMDB, but life's not fair, so here we go...

Ten 80's Films That I Like Better Than Ghostbusters:

Withnail & I
Blues Brothers
The Empire strikes Back
Witness (though this is cheating a little as I only watched it this week, after Brian posed the question)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Breakfast Club
Stand By Me
Er, and that's it, only eight, I can't do it! There are plenty of films that are as good as Ghostbusters, but not many I'd say I definitely prefer. Maybe Ghostbusters isn't so shabby after all (or maybe the 80's wasn't really a great decade for cinema ...).

Anyone got any other suggestions?


I wouldn't say I definitely prefer Back to the Future to Ghostbusters, too close to call.

E.T.? Give me a break...


(I would say 'Alien', but it was released in 1979).

Also, I can't believe you've missed off 'Predator', and 'Terminator'!

Yep, Alien would be on there if eligible, but Aliens, Terminator and Predator are just daft action movies: fun, but not as fun as Ghostbusters.

You could include my favourite film of all time, which happens to date from 1982 - 'John Carpenter's The Thing'.

I still love Ghostbusters, it's a classic film. I watched it for the first time in many years about 18 months ago, and was amused at the number of more 'adult' jokes in it which went over my head as a kid... :-D

too easy..

I agree with, "Withnail", BladeRunner, "Empire" & "Raiders" but you forgot:

Pale Rider
The Untouchables
Good Morning Vietnam
The Dark Crystal
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Raging Bull

and for the girls...

Dirty Dancing
The Color Purple
Pretty in Pink

I could go on, but I don't think I can take the backlash from Joe!!!

Platoon Pale Rider The Untouchables Good Morning Vietnam The Dark Crystal Dune Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Raging Bull

and for the girls...

Dirty Dancing The Color Purple Pretty in Pink

Some fine suggestions (and Bil and Ted), but the problem is with many of them is that I've only seem them once, ages ago, so it's difficult to judge them. Pale Rider and Dark Crystal definitely deserve watching again - and Labrynth...

Dirty Dancing I've never seen (much to Hev's eternal shock) and I intend to keep it that way, since the film's most quotable line seems to be 'I carried a watermelon!'...

Maybe you should watch Dirty Dancing then, you may be suprised and want to add it to your list!

According to this website:

...the top 20 movies are:

Breakfast Club
Back to the Future
Sixteen candles
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Pretty In Pink
Dirty Dancing
Stand By Me
Top Gun
Lost Boys
Fast Times At Ridgemont High
Weird Science
Princess Bride
Empire Strikes Back
Raiders of The Lost Ark
Karate Kid
Say Anything
Better Off Dead

How could I have missed the Goonies...

Crimes and Misdemeanors
Die Hard
Hannah and Her Sisters
Broadway Danny Rose
Elephant Man

While Ghostbusters was an outstanding movie, on reflection I do have to agree that there were movies that I would take first if I was going to be stuck on a desert island ... or in Cameroon ... for 2 years.

So, from Joe's list, I would definitely agree that Bladerunner, Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Blues Brothers are better movies. (For some reason I keep thinking of Blues Brothers as a 70s movie, even though it was made in 1980 - maybe that's why I left it out. Although maybe you could argue that culturally it a 70s movie... but I digress...)

Stand by Me is a close call. Great movie, but not sure I prefer one over the other. We'll call that one a tie.

The others were good but I think I still like Ghostbusters better. Caveat: I have never seen Withnail and I so can't rank it. I have heard many good things about it, but am ashamed to admit I haven't gotten around to seeing it yet.

From the other lists in the comments, there were many films that I like, nay, love, so it's hard to rank them all, but I'd still put Ghostbusters ahead of the pack. Some honorable mentions from the lists posted: Goonies, Lost Boys, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Princess Bride, Better Off Dead.

Agree that the mindless action movies are kind of a separate category. Not sure how I would fit them in. If I had to rank them I'd say Die Hard was the best, with Terminator and Predator close behind.

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