POP GOES THE DECADE- A totally rad look back at the glorious 80's and all the flicks, fashions, tunes, and TV shows that made the decade so cool and memorable in the first place. Like, for sure!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


      Released as a single in early 1983 and known as the breakthrough song for British group The Eurythmics, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) became an instant smash, making it all the way to the #1 position on the Billboard charts.  The accompanying video made a huge impact on young MTV viewers- I for one will never forget the astonishing sight of androgynous Annie Lennox and her brightly orange, close-cropped hair brandishing a cane.  She was super cool, and kinda scary at the same time...  Her gender-bending identity quickly became a household name in the early 80s, although "Sweet Dreams" would become their only #1 smash in the US.  Still, they were extremely influential, and honestly the song sounds as if it could be released today.  The video is widely considered a classic of the era, and was in heavy rotation on MTV throughout '83 and '84.


     On top of "Clue" being my all-time favorite board game, they just had to go and make a kick-ass, madcap comedy based on it.  Starring an absolute divine cast of crazies, including Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, and Colleen Camp-  "Clue" is a non-stop and downright insane murder mystery comedy that is as hilarious as ever and even more fun today.  The amazing group of actors they rounded up for this are literally on fire here- the chemistry and zippy dialogue is nothing short of phenomenal.  The script isn't really the best, but it's the actors that make "Clue" work so well.  Watching "Clue" is almost like watching a play instead of a movie, with the rapid-fire dialog and situations.

     This is easily Tim Curry's best role- dare I say he's even better here in "Clue" than in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"?  Yes, I think his performance is a marvel to witness here.  He is absolutely brilliant in his delivery of Wadsworth, the butler.  Curry steals the show- that is, until Madeline Kahn and Eileen Brennan show up.  But honestly, there is not one dull moment or performance to be found anywhere in "Clue".  It's a laugh riot from start to finish.  This movie starts off firing on all cylinders, and is almost exhausting just watching.  This is classic comedy here- although it did not fair well at the box office, and received mixed reviews at best.

     I think more and more though, as time goes by people are starting to realize just what a great comedy it really is.  It's thought of much better than it was 20 years ago, for sure.  If you like such manic, madcap comedies such as "Young Frankenstein", "Airplane!", and "What's Up Doc?", then you should love "Clue".  I honestly don't see how you couldn't.

     "Clue" is endless with deliciously quotable lines and hilarious insanity.  The casting, as mentioned earlier, is perfection.  I cannot imagine anybody else inhabiting Wadsworth, the butler, played to perfection by Tim Curry.  The delicious Madeline Kahn is brilliant as always as Mrs. White, Eileen Brennan gives her all-time greatest performance as cuckoo Mrs. Peacock, Leslie Ann Warren is divine as sultry Miss Scarlett, Martin Mull camps it up as Cl. Mustard, Christopher Lloyd is his usual deranged self, and as for Michael McKean, this might be his best performance after "This Is Spinal Tap".  He is wonderful as befuddled Mr. Green.  Colleen Camp has never looked more beautiful in a film, and she owns the role of mysterious Yvette, the French maid.  Even Go-Go Jane Weidlin makes a memorably hilarious cameo.  They certainly do not make movies like this anymore- and it's such a shame.

     This could easily be a contender for the funniest movie of all time.  "Clue" is so fast-paced with so many jokes hidden here and there, it requires repeat viewings just to catch them all.  It brilliantly takes your classic Agatha Christine-type murder mystery and turns it into one of the most darkly humorous and witty comedies of all time.  It's silly, it's over-the-top, it's campy, and it's ridiculous.  It perfectly spoofs whodunits, and outrageously offers up every genre cliche there is- the dark and foreboding mansion on a stormy night, multiple suspects, secret passageways.  It's all here.  On top of some criminally underrated and superb acting from all players.  This is pure comedy gold and most definitely in my top 5 favorite comedies.