The best '80s movie trailers

Normally, I think it’s lame when DVDs include the film’s trailer among the special features— but not when I’m watching an ’80s movie. It’s fascinating to look back and see how they marketed "classics" like…

1982’s The Pirate Movie, starring Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins…

…and 1985’s Gymkata, starring Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas

What are your favorite ’80s trailers? Non-guilty pleasure are welcome. YouTube links are encouraged.


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  • suzanne

    When I was little I loved The Pirate Movie, I thought it was so cool. I totally forgot it existed until recently a co-worker and me were chatting about the play Pirates of Penzance and we each were like, “Wait, wasen’t there a bad 80’s version??” and discovered we both watched it like crazing growing up! I’m glad we weren’t the only losers in the country!

  • dangle21

    revenge of the nerds…..and this might dip into the last 70s – The Warriors. I love the guys voice who used to do all the horror and action type movies

  • mark in nyc

    I am pretty sure it is the 70’s but Scanners is the all time best preview ever.
    Gymkata saved my life! Never speak ill of it.

  • Stephanie T.

    1. The Goonies
    2. Vacation
    3. Christmas Vacation
    4. Caddyshack
    5. Back to the Future
    Guilty Pleasures:
    1. Just one of the Guys
    2. American Anthem

  • Tim

    They should remake the Pirate Movie with Jessica Alba and Paul Walker. I’d be hilarious!!

  • Stephanie T.

    You know what? If they stuck to the original script of Pirates of Penzance and added in the songs of The Pirate Movie, it would not be so bad on Broadway.

  • Dinkydunc

    Flash Gordon was my fave! It had it all: special effects, action, flying people, James Bond and Queen! http://youtube.com/watch?v=AMEc_MiLmgw

  • mtank

    5 “classic” ’80s trailers I saw recently (because it’s an obsession!…and there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure as long as no one’s hurt):
    1. Night Of The Creeps (actually a great little sci-fi/horror flick that I wish would come out on DVD already!)
    2. Perfect (starring Travolta’s abs and Jamie Lee Curtis’ legs)
    3. Tuff Turf (James Spader gets beat up A LOT in this one. What’s not to love?)
    4. Over The Top (the only film to combine the wrenching drama of a bitter child custody case with the riveting world of professional arm wrestling!)
    5. Out Of Bounds (Sixteen Candles’ Farmer Ted gets bloody revenge on the drug dealers who murdered his brother!)

  • KOB

    UM, only the greatest John Cusack movie ever: Better Off Dead.

  • KOB

    And honestly if you are going for cheesy camp classics, how could you forget this one:

  • Maggs

    WOW. I was only 2 when The Pirate Movie came out but I HAVE to watch it now, it looks craptastic! Love the Kara-tay sound effects on Gymkata. :( I miss the 80’s.

  • mike

    Not really a trailer, but a video for View To a Kill. Roger Moore’s last James Bond film had Duran Duran singing the theme. The video had clips from the movie and extra foorage featuring the band. Who knew the three and a half minutes of the video contained every bit of excitement of the two hour plus movie.

  • mike

    I’m sorry Marc in ny. My favorite part about Gymkata was when Kurt Thomas was fighting the entire village of the loonies. Fortunely, they had a pommel horse in the village square.

  • fredric

    I almost fell out of my chair when I read the words American Anthem. I totally have to buy that now.

  • ChrisClassof1988

    Definitely the movie Perfect and Two of a Kind, 2 craptacular films.
    Take a look:

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