Movies of my adolescence

Still unable to get enough time to read and take notes.  Though now that Gus is sleeping five hours at a stretch most nights, I’m starting to feel a little more well-rested and can actually consider picking up a book soon. Maybe.  Anyway, here’s another general nostalgia post.  Also, if anyone wants to guest blog, email me at

My four year old son got the movie Toy Story 3 for Christmas, and we’ve watched it a good two dozen times since.  I try hard not to be too annoyed with him, because re-watching movies is a trait he inherited from me.  My obsessive watching and re-watching of movies culminated in my teenage years when I pretty much exclusively watched the same four movies over and over and over again:

1.         Pump Up the Volume:

Christian Slater, Yum.

Christian Slater. Yum.

Christian Slater stars as a quiet new kid in high school who starts a pirate radio show, which begins as a pervy little lark (he called himself Happy Harry Hard-on) and eventually exposes school corruption.  A perfect teenage movie, because what teenager doesn’t want REAL corruption to rebel against?  And what girl in the early 90’s didn’t want to dress exactly like Samantha Mathis’ Nora?  It also has a great soundtrack featuring, among others, The Pixies, Black Flag and Was Not Was.

2.         Heathers:

More Christian Slater.

More Christian Slater. I may have been obsessed.

My first introduction to the art of the black comedy, and I doubt I’ve seen it done as skillfully since.  Winona Ryder is Veronica, who is (for reasons unknown even to herself) trying to ingratiate herself into the cool girls group all of whom are named Heather.  She meets Christian Slater’s JD and the two end up going on a riotous murder spree of all the school’s most popular kids, including the Heathers, and staging them to look like suicides.  I know, it’s great.  If you don’t think so, you can fuck me gently with a chainsaw.

3.         Young Guns II :

Not just Christian Slater. But Emilio Estevez too! And a very young Balthazar Getty. Not to mention the kick ass Jon Bon Jovi soundtrack, which I also totally owned.

Clearly I had a thing for Christian Slater back then, eh?  Emilio Estevez stars as Billy the Kid in this sequel, which is far and away better than the first. William Bonny, aka Billy the Kid’s two friends, Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Doc (Keifer Sutherland),  have been captured and the gang must save them while avoiding capture by their former partner-in-crime and current lawman, Pat Garrett.  It’s totally historically inaccurate, but who cares when it’s a hell of a good time?  Watch this an wonder why of the two Estevez brothers, serial misogynist and drug addict Charlie Sheen ended up with the career. Wonders never cease.

4. La Bamba:

Why is Esai Morales given top billing over Lou Diamond Phillips?

I have no idea why I loved this movie so much, I was a little young for it when it first came out, but within three years, it was definitely in my constant rotation.  La Bamba is a biopic of the life of Ritchie Valens, from his days as a teenager up to his death in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, which technically was still when he was a teenager.  I always found the sibling rivalry scenes between Valens and his older brother (Esai Morales) to be heartbreakingly realistic.  This whole movie has me wondering why Lou Diamond Phillips didn’t have a better career.   I stand by my choice when I say this is a greater musical biopic than either Ray or Walk the Line.  Of course, I haven’t seen the movie in over a decade and I recognize that things can change…. Fun fact!  Ritchie Valens is the youngest member elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  He was only 17 when he died, and is therefore elected as a seventeen year old.

I know I just completely aged myself by admitting to watching these movies.  This was well before DVDs and Netflix streaming, so I actually had to haul my ass to the video store to rent these movies.  My mother was a very good sport about it.  (Eventually, I did own Pump Up the Volume on video and my sister recorded Young Guns II off HBO).

How about you all?  Any favorites that you watched obsessively until you could quote them line by line?


About nikkihb

Wife. Mother. Reader. Blogger.
This entry was posted in General nostalgia, non-book review. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Movies of my adolescence

  1. Vanessa says:

    I had the “Pump Up the Volume” soundtrack! I loved it so much but I never saw the movie.

    I would obsessively watch “Rebel Without a Cause” and “SLC Punk” as a kid. I can still quote both movies by heart. I have yet to watch them with my husband, mostly because he has no interest in either James Dean or punk rock. I think I may go and listen to some Rancid right now.

  2. As a kid, I was OBSESSED with Girls Just Want To Have Fun, that movie with Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt with all the dancing. I wanted to wear a Catholic school outfit, I forced my friends to have dancing contests with me in the backyard [which I always won because it was my yard], and I just knew one day I’d fall for a hot dark haired guy on a motorcycle.

    Well, the dark haired guy part was right, at least.

  3. magnolia says:

    christian slater. yes indeed. you are NOT alone with that particular obsession. although i did see the promo for his new show that’s coming out soon, and my lord, the man needs to stop the plastic surgery right now. he’s starting to look like a wax figure of himself.

  4. Lucy Smith says:

    As a child, I would obsessively watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – I think, even now, my parents could still recite it line-by-line. I think my dad regretted taping it from the TV for me.

    Later it was 10 Things I Hate About You, and I can definitely recite that line-by-line. I can also happily rewatch Sleepless in Seattle, Dirty Dancing, and Labyrinth as many times as you care to let me.

  5. Melissa says:

    I watched “Pretty in Pink”, “The Breakfast Club”, “16 Candles”, “Edward Scissorhands” and “Heathers” so much I could probably still quote them today. 🙂

  6. Amiee says:

    For my friends and I it was Clueless. We even tried to rock the knee high socks and plaid skirts, nuh I don’t think it worked.

  7. Ally says:

    Wait, why can’t I view some of your images from this post? Weird! Figures they are of Christian Slater too – I loved him in Pump up the Volume. Heathers was awesome too and I loved La Bamba. Do you remember Christian Slater in The Legend of Billy Jean? I swear for the longest time I thought Helen was his real life sister, ha ha!

  8. Ally says:

    PS I had no idea you moved your blog to Word Press! I just updated my blog roll with your new url 😦 Sorry about that!

  9. Dory says:

    Ah, I am the same way…when I obsess, I OBSESS. Unfortunately, there are dozens of things I can quote verbatim, too many to name…from having watched them over and over and over again. At some points (even within the past six years, and I’m 23 now), I would literally watch a certain film once daily.
    No wonder I decided to major in it at my university. xD
    OMG, Toy Story 3…now that I could watch every day. 8-3 I’m an animation addict.

    And I remember the days of video stores and VHS tapes as though they were yesterday. *sniff* Much of a blessing as Netflix is to me and my DVD players, I really do miss the good ol’ days.

    Those four are all good movies, I have to say. The other comments are loaded with awesomeness: Dirty Dancing, Labyrinth, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Breakfast Club, Clueless, Edward Scissorhands, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink, Rebel Without a Cause, etc. Loooove, so much love there. =3 John Hughes and 80s movies in general tend to be great.

  10. I remember watching Pump up the Volume at your house and every time I see Christian Slater I think of you! 🙂

  11. I loved Pump Up the Volume. I also watched Dirty Dancing every time I found it on TBS, which was practically every weekend.

  12. Caitlin says:

    Troop Beverly Hills, Clueless, and Newsies. God I loved Newsies.

  13. rachierach says:

    Oh, I was all about the Corey’s! I loved “License to Drive” and “Dream a Little Dream.” I totally just aged myself!!! Half you posters here are probably 80’s babies and most likely have no idea who “The Coreys” were! I remember thinking 80s Heather Graham was so gorgeous in LTD. I also looooved “Adventures in Babysitting.” And, my fave, my heart, my soul was “Ladybugs” because of my crush on Jonathan Brandis.

  14. K says:

    Absolutely Clueless. And the soundtrack for that is actually pretty good.
    And I love Heathers too. Christian Slater was SUCH a hottie.

    I’ll add:
    Ferris Beuller’s Day Off
    So I Married an Axe Murderer
    Dirty Dancing
    Cry Baby
    The Labirynth.

  15. experiences says:

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am having problems with your RSS.
    I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

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