For me, 1985 set up all the years that followed. While Scott's great list for 1984 came to my eyes later on public channels and scratchy vhs, 1985 was the first year that I went to the movies a lot, when the occasional visit turned into the almost weekly plan for this 8-year-old. In fact, for me, my beloved summer season stretches well into spring because April brought Ladyhawke and Girls Just Want to Have Fun -- the perfect start for a young girl -- Michelle Pfieffer's tragic love topped with Velcro clothing and crazy dance fests. (Plus, there was a little film called Moving Violations, which would figure heavily into my circle of friends once high school hit with daily recitations of that old batty driver's lines.)
But back to summer. There was one film I was itching to see: Ghoulies. I was too young and out of the movie release loop to know that this was a March release -- I just knew I wanted to see green things pop out of toilets, and I couldn't believe my parents finally said yes and were bringing me to my teeny local 4-plex. I soon learned why: I kept saying Goonies, not Ghoulies, so of course my parents agreed to a kids-hunting-for-fortune flick! When the buggers didn't pop up during the bathroom scene, I knew I'd made a mistake. But luckily it was a mistake that brought one of the best action adventures of the '80s to my attention. And that's only one part of an amazing summer.
5/3 -- When the summer or "movie summer season" started out, it was all about the action and toughness, from a doc called Pumping Iron 2: The Women, to Chuck Norris' Code of Silence and a little Gymkata. But there were two others worth mentioning: Johnny Depp's second film after Nightmare, Private Resort, and Anthony Edwards, Gun-toter in Gotcha!
5/10 -- Since Norris needs enough time to percolate, the next few weeks go slowly. On the tenth, we've got Mario Van Peebles Rappin' and Tom Berenger as a cowboy in Rustler's Rhapsody.
5/17 -- Before American Pie, there was Hot Moves -- where the boys tried to lose their virginity before senior year. What was this teamed with? Katharine Hepburn's Grace Quiqley.
5/22 -- Brewster's Millions // Rambo First Blood Part II // A View to a Kill -- Finally, the meaty fare begins! Richard Pryor and John Candy overindulging, an Oscar-nominated action sequel, and Christopher Walken in Roger Moore's last stint as James Bond ... the tide was definitely turning.
5/31 -- When you've got Fletch, what else could compete? Seriously. Chevy Chase's iconic character hit screens on his own, his only company being his many identities.
6/7 -- The Goonies // Perfect -- John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis might have been "perfect," but nothing could stop the Goonies. Never say die!
6/14 -- D.A.R.Y.L. // Prizzi's Honor // Secret Admirer -- Daryl was doomed to fail in the looming shadow of Goonies and the number of times we all kept going back to see it. The other two didn't even register to my 8-year-old brain.
6/21 -- Cocoon // Lifeforce // Return to Oz -- This is the one weekend of 1985 that I regret: following the parental units to Cocoon. I was too young to really appreciate it and could never look back without some taint of my early disappointed memories. But did anyone actually see Fairuza Balk's Return to Oz in theaters?!
6/28 -- Pale Rider // St. Elmo's Fire -- Clint Eastwood's Preacher wasn't my cup of tea back then, but I so desperately wanted to see Elmo's. Unfortunately, it was R and seriously off-limits. I still remember sitting in the car green with jealousy as we dropped our foreign exchange student at the theater. I was, however, allowed to get the piano sheet music for the movie. No, it wasn't the same.
7/3 -- Back to the Future -- Luckily the jealousy left pretty quickly with Marty McFly. 1985 really was a killer year for youth fare. It'd be nice to get back to that.
7/5 -- The Emerald Forest // Red Sonja -- Boy lost to a group of aboriginals v. Arnie and Brigitte.
7/12 -- Explorers // Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome // Silverado -- For kids like me, it was all about Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix exploring, even if it wasn't as good as Goonies, while the older set revelled in Thunderdome (Tina Turner!) and Lawrence Kasdan's more westerny Big Chill.
7/19 -- The Legend of Billie Jean // The Man with One Red Shoe // Day of the Dead -- Having been banned from horror movies after watching Friday the 13th at a friend's place in first grade, I stuck with Tom Hanks and Christian Slater's cinematic debut. But Christian's fame would come later; it was Helen Slater who mesmerized.
7/26 -- The Black Cauldron // European Vacation // The Heavenly Kid // Kiss of the Spider Woman -- These days, it seems hard to believe that any Lampoons story could come from the hands of Amy Heckerling and John Hughes...
8/2 -- Follow That Bird // Fright Night // Weird Science -- Big Bird. Vampires. Kids who create hot mammas with a little computer. The perfect triple feature.
8/9 -- Pee-Wee's Big Adventure // Summer Rental // Real Genius // My Science Project -- I actually ignored Pee-Wee, but Summer Rental -- the film that started off with bad luck and hot sand and turned into a pirate yacht race -- cinematic gold! I'm still itching to see My Science Project...
8/16 -- Year of the Dragon // Return of the Living Dead // Volunteers // The Bride -- I think I just watched Summer Rental again.
8/23 -- Teen Wolf // Better Off Dead -- It still embarrasses me that I own Michael J. Fox's hairy flick on vhs, but it was perfectly paired with Cusack insanity.
8/30 -- American Ninja // Flesh and Blood // Compromising Positions -- Oh, Rutger should've stuck with Ladyhawke. Better yet, the releases for that and Flesh + Blood should've been switched! It would've made for a much sweeter end to the summer season.
Thanks to Box Office Mojo for the comprehensive release lists!