Great realizations seem to always strike at the most random of moments. A little earlier today, while idly watching Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers on AMC’s Fear Fest, I came to a great realization about myself. Or rather…this sneaking suspicion that I had solidified into a tangible realization.
Halloween 5 exemplifies the type of movie I loved growing up. Released in 1989, it’s a schlocky slasher sequel (say that five times fast!) full of blood, teens, and sex. It embodies the era in which it was made. The characters, the clothes, the cars…they’re all so fucking eighties it hurts.
To paraphrase a classic opening line: As far back as I can remember, I loved the eighties. I loved the music, the fashion, the vintage electronics, the movies. The whole nine yards. Hell, I still do. Though I dig pretty much everything that happened between 1955 and 1990, the eighties holds a special place in my heart.
I’ve often wondered why. I mean, why didn’t I wind up like so many of my peers, living in (and digging) the here and now?
Today, the answer hit me.
When I was a kid, my cinematic diet consisted of eighties horror movies…supplemented by the occasional eighties non horror movie: The Goonies. Back to the Future. And was I a glutton! I binged on movies before it was cool. All day, every day. I guess you could say that, to me, they were the world. The eighties slang, the eighties dress…that was all normal to me…as normal as it was to anyone who actually grew up in the eighties. Hell, for all intents and purposes, I did grow up in the eighties. I spent so much time immersed in the world of Marty McFly and Clark Griswold that I got lost and never came back to my own world. I disappeared down the rabbit hole and dropped into the middle of the year 1985. My idea of a “cool guy” is the same as some moviemaker’s from 1988. The Lost Boys. I don’t know if that’s the first one I saw or not, but I think everyone in that movie is cool as fuck. The perms. The leather jackets.
Movies are like time travel, aren’t they? Perfectly formed little capsules of the times they represent. I took a time machine to the past and liked it. Maybe that’s my personality type. Maybe if I was someone else I would have found my way back.
But I’m not someone else. I got stuck in the decade of excess and you know what? I’m glad I did. It was a hell of a time to grow up, after all.