Next year, Shane Black’s teen classic ‘The Monster Squad’ will celebrate its 30th anniversary – and luckily for us, there might be more on the way. Director Black has said he’s interested in having “two movies” in the series – set “30 years apart”. We’re obviously very much behind revisiting the franchise, but there are plenty of other ’80s classics worth a revisit too. Here are 10 of the best teen flicks that’ll make you want to hop in the Delorian and head back in time.
1Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future (1985)
Robert Zemeckis’ classic sci-fi adventure features a fresh-faced Michael J. Fox as high school time traveller Marty McFly. The film so captured the collective imagination that it spawned two sequels, an animated series, several video games, a forthcoming musical and a mildly irritating pop band named after Fox’s character.
2Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
Our gallery of great ’80s teen movies begins with this coming-of-age classic featuring three future Oscar winners: Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage and Forest Whitaker. Fast Times feels especially authentic because writer Cameron Crowe based it on his own experiences during a year spent undercover at San Diego’s real-life Clairemont High School.
3Sixteen Candles (1984)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
One of four films from late, great writer-director John Hughes to make our list, Sixteen Candles features the break-out performance from Molly Ringwald, queen of the ’80s teen flick. She stars as Sam Baker, a high school student whose “sweet” 16th birthday is hit by a series of excruciating (but horribly watchable) embarrassments.
4The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Probably the most beloved of John Hughes’ teen movies, The Breakfast Club centres on five superficially different teens who find they have more in common than they think when they spend a Saturday together in detention. It’s an illuminating film that’s become inextricably linked with its classic theme, Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’.
5Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me (1986)
Based on Stephen King’s novella The Body, this touching ode to teenage friendship follows four boys as they embark on a hike across the Oregon countryside in a bid to find the body of a missing child. Beautifully observed and sensitively performed, Stand By Me feels even more poignant in the light of star River Phoenix’s untimely death in 1993.
6Pretty In Pink (1986)
Pretty In Pink (1986)
Molly Ringwald’s high school senior Andie faces a choice between a handsome player (Andrew McCarthy) and her doting best friend (Jon Cryer) in this John Hughes-penned romantic comedy. Her dilemma unfolds memorably to a cracking soundtrack featuring The Smiths, New Order, Suzanne Vega and of course The Psychedelic Furs, whose song the film is named after.
7Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
John Hughes’ whimsical comedy stars Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, a high school senior who decides to throw a sickie so he can spend the day larking about in downtown Chicago with his best mate and girlfriend. It remains so popular that Broderick says “nearly every day” someone taps him on the shoulder to ask, “Hey Ferris, is it your day off?”
This coal-black comedy starring a young Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and Shannen Doherty wasn’t a big hit at the time, but has gone on to become a cult classic. Offering a chilling glimpse at the deadly potential of high school cliques, Heathers is still shocking and subversive today – in comparison, Mean Girls almost looks like a Disney movie.
9Say Anything… (1989)
Say Anything… (1989)
Former rock journo Cameron Crowe, who’d written Fast Times At Ridgemont High seven years earlier, made his directorial debut with this charming comedy-drama about a post-graduation romance between likeable slacker Lloyd (John Cusack) and high-flying Diane (Ione Skye). Sweet but realistic, it’s a first love story that remains resonant today.
10Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter play time-travelling high school metalheads in this totally bodacious sci-fi comedy. A less excellent sequel followed two years later and Winter recently said that Bill and Ted 3 is close to happening.