If someone said “Name the most terrible yet awesome movie you watched as a kid,” what would you say? I bet you could name a few! Let’s revisit some of the weirdly cringey films that we grew up with and, with no shame, still kinda enjoy today.
Now, there’s tons of movies out there – so if we don’t mention your favorite, just let us know what it is! Heck, maybe it will make it on the next list! We’re hitting up movies from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s here. Let’s dive right in…
Mac and Me (1988)
You ever want to challenge the strength of human civility? Make one of your writers do a full review piece on this film. If they come out of it and don’t start delicately plotting your demise, you may need to figure out what’s wrong with them. Mac and Me was a movie that pretty much fully bit chunks out of the film E.T. but did it in a way that made it a 90-minute McDonalds commercial. Now, the film did terribly when it came to critics but children enjoyed going to see it with their parents. You know, kids that had no idea they were being pandered and used as a means for Big Hamburger to sell you some fast food. The 80’s were a peculiar time. A decade where Ronald McDonald, a burger-chain-food-mascot, got a win for Worst Actor via the Golden Raspberry awards. If you want cliches, overacting or underacting in equal measure – sit down and hurt so good with Mac and Me.
Shane McDermott is someone you might find difficult to place his face nowadays, but you could with co-stars Jack Black and Seth Green. Heck, Green was damn near a staple in cringe kid/teen films of the 80’s and early 90’s. Nobody was too bummed about their presence, in fact, they far outshone the lead character by a mile. Airborne is about a surfer boy who misses his waves and his sick ocean gnar but who is now landlocked and miserable about it. It follows the tragic formula of “New kid from a different lifestyle teaches these kids about themselves and, subsequently, himself.” but in a charming way that makes you like it. Which, let me add, is a feat in and of itself. Extra Credit: “I think I’m starting to like Cincinnati!” stated all because he rollerbladed with a girl in a botanical garden. Shaka-brah.
Long before A.I. Artificial Intelligence brought us a lil’ boy Haley Joel Osment android, we had ourselves Barret Oliver (of The Neverending Story fame) playing a kid robot. That’s about where the real uniqueness ends, however, because then we quickly derail into E.T. territory all over again. Daryl has himself a human BFF who then protects him from the military who wants to abscond sweet baby D for themselves once they found out their precious creation got adopted out accidentally. Man, what a bunch of wacky hijinx. Daryl’s got some sweet Pole Position skills though, so it’s worth fighting the government to keep that kind of talent on your team.
Football playing Donkey. I don’t know what else you want me to say here. The premise is just that: The donkey plays football. We all have a laugh. It’s a cute little movie. There’s also Ed Asner. I’ve got nothing else to sell you here, just go check it out and have a heart-warming chuckle.
Camp Nowhere (1994)
The 80’s and 90’s were FULL of movies where teenagers tried their hardest to get away from their parents for even just a moment and play-act like they were adults. In the 80’s, this was a bit more of a promiscuous cinema situation but the 90’s were the Disney-kid counterculture. So, you get the most adorable little boogers you can find in an agent’s office and you toss them into a movie where they con Christopher Lloyd into being a faux Camp Counselor. The concept is broken, and you kind of test if you’re an adult or not by how many arguments you can make about why a camp rented out to children and left unsupervised would never happen. The bullies in the movie prove quickly they have zero conviction and everyone’s bestest pals and buds by the end of the movie. Why? Because if you’re all grounded then you’re in it together, I guess. The movie was always charming in a “Yeah, sure.” kinda way and Lloyd is really good at being skeevy as a con-artist, but doesn’t go so far as to make you think “OH NO, THOSE KIDS ARE IN TROUBLE!” and that’s the balance. Check this one out for some rad 90’s nostalgia.