Don’t **** with the Babysitter

Welcome to Monsters and Mayhem (we have a little of both in store).

This week, I’m headed off on a tangent…in my time machine. I am an unrepentant child of the 80’s and for some reason, I started thinking about that 80’s classic Adventures in Babysitting this morning. You know the one–Elizabeth Shue’s  date cancels at the last minute so she has no excuse to avoid babysitting her neighbors. Hilarity ensures. My favorite part is when they get stuck on a downtown Chicago El train in the middle of warring gang territory, and Chris (Shue) pulls a switch blade on the shocked gangsters, uttering the most famous line of any babysitting movie ever: “Don’t F*** with the babysitter!”  It never gets old. Then there’s the little girl who’s obsessed with Thor, her older brother who has a raging crush on Chris, the weirdo neighbor kid, and Chris’s best friend, who’s failed attempt to run away via the Greyhound bus station is the reason all of them are stuck in downtown Chicago. You keep thinking, “there’s no way all this could happen to one group of people in a single evening,” and yet, I’m always totally sucked in. They even sing the blues.

Another movie that never fails to suck me in is The Goonies.  I recently showed it to my kids and had a blast watching them squeal, cover their eyes and laugh at all the goofy situations the Goonies got into. It’s even more fun to watch Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, Corey Feldman and Martha Plimpton as teens (kind of like the nostalgia I get watching The Lost Boys — I’ve had a raging crush on Keifer Sutherland since I was 13, y’all). The adventure is really creative, kind of like an off-beat Indiana Jones movie for kids, and how could it not be? It’s produced by Amblin Entertainment, directed by Richard Donner and written by Stephen Spielberg and Chris Columbus. That is a grade-A 80’s movie pedigree right there. Heck, that’s a grade-A movie pedigree today.  Altogether now — do the Truffle Shuffle!

In these days when action/comic book movies are de rigueur, and dark/slick/effects-laden films are expected, I find those zany 80s adventure comedies refreshing. Yes, I love The Dark Knight, but there’s just something about the low-tech, high-gag 80’s flick. In fact, I’d have a really hard time picking a favorite movie from the 80’s–there are just too many. For the holidays, it’s a toss-up between Scrooged, A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation.  For a scare, it has to be Aliens. For a laugh…well, that’s where I get stuck. Probably Ghostbusters, Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, or the two I talked about above. And what about Top GunThe Neverending Story, Trading Places, and….yeah, my list is way too long.

Enough about my picks. What’s your favorite movie from the era of big hair, pegged jeans and White Snake?


  • The ORIGINAL Footloose always manages to suck me in, and you forgot to list LABYRINTH!!!!! *le gasp!*

    The Goonies & Ghostbusters are always favorites, and Aliens is my #1 favorite movie of all time, bar none. I knew I liked you for a reason. 😀
    And as much as it shames me to admit it – I love to watch Critters. The only “classic” I can think of that I hate and everyone else loves is Gremlins. It traumatized me as a child and I’ve never been able to appreciate it, ya know?

    Kiddo is just getting big enough that I really want to start showing her some of the classics, like ET. 🙂 Maybe wait until she’s 5/6 for the NES and Labyrinth, though.

  • Hi Kendra

    I think I’ve just about worn out the movie Labyrinth. Tremors 1 was also a favorite. Or was that the 90s?

    Of course there was also the Dark Crystal which I’ve always liked but only seen once. Maybe Twice. Legend was ok, Labyrinth was much better.

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Still sucks me in. Still makes me laugh. The best of the 80s!

  • Big Trouble In Little China. Jack Burton is my hero. “It’s all in the reflexes…”

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