Tuesday, June 8, 2010

1980, B.N.

As in the 1980's era---Before Netflix.

While I am a super-duper fan of the 'flix, this time of year makes me miss going into the tape shop we used to frequent every summer afternoon after play-time at the pool.

Yes, I said tape shop.

I loooooved this summer ritual. Usually, I'd still be wrapped in my beach towel, as I browsed the walls and walls of VHS tapes. It may sound funny, but I miss the smell the most. It was so distinct. Maybe it was the mix of plastic vinyl and stale popcorn in the machine by the front counter--but whatever it was, if you put me in a time machine blindfolded and I ended up in that store--I could tell you exactly where I was.

I started thinking about my beloved tape shop yesterday, when I saw on the news that The Goonies 25th anniversary is this week. How is that possible? This is a great film from the B.N. era--one that I watched many times growing up--and still do whenever it comes on TV. Chunk, Mikey and the gang made everyone who watched it want to have a big adventure--who didn't want to find a treasure map?

So as a tribute to "Goonies Never Die" I'm sharing my Top Ten B.N. era movies that made my tape-shop days so memorable.

Annie (1982) - I wanted to be Annie. I love this movie beyond explanation-this started my love of musicals. I had a stuffed dog that I carried around and sang, "Sandy, why are you following me...." I danced around my room to "It's the Hard Knock Life" and I know that my parents lost out on a lot of TV shows due to the amount of times I watched this movie.

Labyrinth (1986) -  "Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great...You have no power over me"
Being the oldest of 3, I could relate to Sarah--I wanted to ask the Goblin King to come and take my baby sister and brother away a time or two ;)
I loved the music, the Muppet's, and even David Bowie as the "bad guy" And these days, my siblings and I always quote this movie together. Especially, "Should ya need us...."

Parent Trap (1961) - Anyone else think Hayley Mills really had a twin? I did. For a long time. And even then, I refused to believe it. Still think she has one out there....
I love this movie. Not a fan of the re-make. The original is just SO good. Fate bringing them together at camp, switching places, causing mischief. So the first time I ever went to camp (6th grade) I was convinced I was going to meet my long lost twin. She never showed up. 

The Little Princess (1939) - I loved the story--a little girl that comes from a privileged background, then is forced to live without. She maintains her sweet nature and never gave up hope. Even as a little girl, the message in this movie really stuck with me. I loved watching the happy ending.

Grease (1978) - "Grease is the word, is the word that you heard, it's got groove it's got meaning..." Ahh, the music in this movie. Doesn't get much better. I loved the dancing, the Pink Ladies, pretty much everything about it. "Tell me about it....stud."

The Neverending Story (1984) - I used to pretend I was Atreyu sloshing through the swap--but I'd be in the shallow end of the pool. I always have to Google the name Bastian screams out at the end into the storm to save Fantasia--"Moonchild" And I love almost everything about this tale--except the scary wolf. I would have nightmares about a wolf chasing me after I watched the movie...but I'd still watch it again!

Supergirl (1984) - I should really include ALL the "Super" movies--I watched Superman I-IV ALL the time. I am pretty sure I can dig up a picture of me in my Supergirl costume that I wore quite often. I wanted to fly so bad as a kid--I would even hold my hands in the exact flying position as Supergirl did. To this day, the theme from Superman stays on my iPod--its one of my biggest "motivational" tunes.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) - I picked this one because it's the first movie I remember being in "awe" over because of the special effects. I was amazed they could shrink the characters, and make it all look so realistic. I saw this for the first time at the beach in the summer of '89 with my sister, cousins and grandmother. My "Nana" took us kids to see the movie 3 times that week. Bless her. But I think she enjoyed it just as much as we did :)

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985) - It was a toss up between this and "The Princess Bride"--a fantasssstic movie--but I decided I appreciate that movie more as an adult, since I understand more of the jokes. I saw each of these movies every Sunday (no joke) for a year. We would leave from church, go to our family friend's house--and as the adults enjoyed their time, the movies went in the tape player to keep the kids entertained. Pee Wee and Princess Buttercup were are constant companions. But we all loved them, so it didnt matter. We all loved imitating "Large Marge" and laughing like Pee-Wee.

The Watcher in the Woods (1980) - My first scary movie. I still can't stand outside by myself when the wind is blowing really hard in the woods--it.still.creeps.me.out. My sister and I would cover our eyes through a lot of this movie--but we loved it. So please understand if I don't accept an invitation to go on a "merry little walk" through the woods on a windy day. :)

Since you walked down memory lane with me, I'd like to give you a little something in return. Leave me a comment about your favorite VHS memories--a list of faves, or a memory that goes along with one of them--and I will do a drawing next week and send the winner some Summer Movie Goodies! Better yet, write your Before Netflix memories on your blog, come back and tell me, and you'll be entered twice.

Now, I'm off to update my 'flix queue to send me some of my oldies, but oh so goodies.


  1. Oh how I loved the Goonies! And the video store! I had to go out and search for a VCR to buy a few years ago, because I still have some of my great loves on tape.

    My absolute favorite - the one tape I watched over and over? The Road Warrior - back when Mel Gibson was HOT (and not so crazy). That movie was hilarious, because it wasn't supposed to be.

  2. My favorite old-school movie is The Snowball Express! I think I secretly still wish I had an abandoned ski lodge in Colorado in my name! :)

  3. Oh my gosh what a crazy walk down memory lane this post was! Thanks! I love all the movies you listed. The Goonies and The Labyrinth were definitely favorites of me and my sisters (I'm the oldest of three too). The Lost Boys was another of my favorites from that time.

  4. I totally forgot about Watchers in the Woods! Gonna have to add that one to my 'flix :)

  5. Oh wow - so many of those were my favorites - particularly Annie, Goonies, Labyrinth, Parent Trap, Grease and Neverending Story. I also loved Lost Boys, Dirty Dancing and Hey Cinderella/The Frog Prince (with the muppets). Granted, my total obscession was MGM musicals like Singing in the Rain but I got through a lot of movies thanks to my dad!

  6. When we lived in England, we used to go to a fair during the summer every year which was in the town that Hayley Mills was from. And her father still lived in. I would get so excited each time we went.

  7. Goonies without a doubt is at the top of my list too. I mean, me and my friends watched that movie more than I care to remember. Loved it then and still love it now.
    Other movies on my list are Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and of course Romancing the Stone.
    We didn't have a VCR until I was in 7th or 8th grade. Oh! And Footloose too.

  8. Several of the movies you listed, were my favorites growing up. Labryinth, Grease, Parent Trap, Neverending Story. I wouldn't say these were my favorites, but they got watched a lot, Raising Arizona, Red Sonjia.

  9. GREASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sqweeee!!!!!
    we are friends!!!!! :)

    I love that the sounds and smells and movies take you right back to summer. I'm a "Little" older than you...so my list will be different but I will put it up tomorrow ok?

    The Goonies...oh I love that movie too. And since you love Musicals..well come see my list tomorrow.
    I LOVED this post, thanks for the sunshine


  10. I've seen 7 of your 10. Big tape memories are renting White Nights 1000 times. Every Disney movie with people in it--like Pollyanna. Of course every Brat Pack movie.

    We owned Goonies on beta!

  11. Ditto Grease and The Parent Trap.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I want to check out Labyrinth now.

  12. Ohmygoodness I love these movies. I have songs from Labyrinth on my iPod and it takes me back every time I hear them.

    Also, my dream home happens to look whole lot like Brian Keith's California pad in "The Parent Trap." Gotta love those movies.

  13. The Goonies is my all time favorite movie! I watched it so many times on VHS it literally broke and I had to buy another. THanks for the walk down memory lane!

  14. Goonies is at the very top of my list, too. LOVED that movie. It was one of two VHS tapes we had and we watched it over and over again. The other one was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. We could recite every word to both movies. The other movie we watched all the time at our friend's house was Dirty Dancing. We didn't quite get every nuance of the film (as in what the whole movie was about!!!), but it didn't stop us from enjoying some Patrick Swayze! :)

  15. Movies my brother and I watched over and over again: Gremlins, Tootsie, Mr. Mom, Vacation, Breakfast Club. There were parts that we would rewind and watch again and again and giggle because someone said "hell" or "bullshit." Still makes me giggle just thinking about it.

  16. Our video store just closed up last year...I have the same memories of it as you do...wrapped in a towel on the way home from the pool.

    Love Shirley Temple! I only just watched Goonies for the first time a couple of years ago...never seen Labrynth (my uncle took me to see it when I was 4, he wanted to see it, it scared the bejeezers out of me and I made him leave...he was mad). Love Parent Trap.

  17. Most of those movies I have seen and like (although you will never get me to admit I liked the Annie movie). Here's my blogpost about some of my B.N.s: http://polantworld.blogspot.com/2010/06/bn.html

  18. YOU GOOOOOONIE!!!!!!!!

    And wait- no Dark Crystal??!!! No ET??

    I would also add:
    Ghostbusters (oh man do I loooooove that movie)
    Indiana Jones movies
    Back to the Future (only the 1st one)
    Princess Bride

    I have never seen nor heard of the last movie.

  19. OMG! Can I come hang out with you on B.N. movie day!?! We definitely have the same taste. For realz.

  20. I can't tell you how many times I watched Annie as a kid!

    I even remember Beta. I don't think it lasted long, but I remember when the tape shops had Beta and VHS. Yeah, I am old. :)

  21. I loved the Goonies, but for us it was always Dark Crystal or The Princess Bride. I even blogged about it!

  22. Oh man, I have so many B.N. faves...The Rocky HOrror Picture Show, Dirty Dancing...oh hell, I'll just go write a post.

  23. I should put some of these on my Netfl.ix queue, too!

    And yes. I was totally obsessed with Annie. I went to see the musical the year before the movie came out, and I insisted on being called "Annie" for several weeks afterward. And once the movie came out, that just kicked things into overdrive. I would act out scenes from the movie, climbing all over whatever furniture could suffice as various pieces of the movie set. Sigh. I was a *really* weird kid...

  24. Oh my gosh, there were a few VHS tapes we'd wear out we watched so much. Unfortunately those aren't available at all to purchase (even on VHS) as my mom taped them off TV for us:
    *The Leftovers - a story about a group of orphans and starring John Denver! LOVED this movie :)
    *Merry Andrew - my favorite old Danny Kaye movie, he plays a teacher who finds an archaelogical treasure beneath a circus and falls in love with one of the performers. Classic, and funny :)
    Definitely loved Neverending Story, too!

  25. I love all of those!!!

    And I thought Hayley Mills had a twin until I was about 20.

  26. In the summer of '89 I was home from college and was dating a boy who worked at the local video store. Let's just say that we "watched" a lot of movies that summer. My favorites: "The Adventures of Buckeroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension" and "Repo Man" - I loved those weird SciFi flicks!

  27. My favorite memory was going to this little independent movie rental place by my house - they always had neat movies and were super nice. They were gone before DVDs really became popular.

  28. Loved almost all of those.. one you were missing for me was "The Flight of the Navigator." We watched that movie so many times as kids, I could still more than likely quote the entire thing.

    Fun post!

  29. You have so many classics on here! I'd put The Dark Crystal and Star Wars on my list.

    urchiken at gmail dot com

  30. Ah, what a great post! I remember so many of those, too. :) I remember seeing Honey, I Shrunk the Kids with just my dad (also, Home Alone) and enjoying a "date night" with him while my mom was out shopping.

    I need to get some good stuff in my queue...

  31. Oh, I should have added The Cutting Edge and Field of Dreams. I remember watching Field of Dreams at a slumber party, and re-winding it over and over to watch a certain fella. :) (and NOT Kevin Costner!) :)

  32. MY POST IS UP....sorry I'm late..but I did it!!!
    Happy Happy Friday JJ!


  33. My memory is renting Top Gun with my high school boyfriend and...um...watching it. (That means making out and pretending to watch only when anyone else walked in the room!) great list!

  34. I love so many of those movies. Goonies was the staple of snow days. If it snowed, the neighborhood kids sledded down our hill and once we were cold, we'd get cocoa and watch Goonies. I also loved Weekend at Bernie's, Big, Splash & Mr. Mom like nobody's business.

  35. Love these movies!

    And I just did my own BN post!


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