When those of us of a certain age think back to 1980s teen flicks, we see visions of Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Anthony Michael Hall and such – the brat pack. But just like all the onscreen high schools they frequented, there were different social cliques. While many of the B-list brats are familiar to us today, do you remember any of these movies?


Just One of the Guys (1985)
Stars: Joyce Hyser, Sherilyn Fenn

Sick of not being taken seriously as a writer due to her lack of dangly bits, Terry Griffith (Hyser, who had also appeared in the Nic Cage classic Valley Girl) enrols in a rival school – as a (dramatic sting) boy! Needless to say, things get complicated in all sorts of romantic entanglement ways… Looking at that trailer, man filmmakers got away with murder back in the ’80s.


One Crazy Summer (1986)
Stars: John Cusack, Demi Moore

We’re amazed when we get blank stares upon mentioning this follow-up to the genuinely brilliant Better Off Dead (even if grumpy old Cusack has disowned it). From the same wild director – Savage Steve Holland – it sees aspiring writer Hoops McCann (Cusack) spending a summer in Nantucket (it’s actually a real place). Add a motorcycle gang, greedy developers and Bobcat Goldthwaite and it’s inspired madness.


Hiding Out (1987)
Stars: Jon Cryer, Annabeth Gish

Sort of a more grown-up role for Jon Cryer (who was 21 when he played Duckie in Pretty in Pink), Hiding Out did see the baby-faced actor doing what he’d done best back then – playing a teenager. This time though he was doing as the title says, as a stockbroker on the run from the mob. Cryer’s career obviously kicked on, and so did love interest (ahem) Gish’s, with roles in every second TV show ever since.*

* An approximate figure


Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home (1987)
Stars: Jon Cryer, Lynn Redgrave

Disowned by Cryer, even though it’s one of the better ’80s teen hardly-seens, as he was bitter as the entire everything of the movie was changed after he’d already signed on. While some may think that there’s a reason the director took his name off the flick – using ‘Alan Smithee’ is a Hollywood tradition for the practice – this tale of a horror-loving teen trying to connect with the world’s stiffest parents (sorry, Ms Redgrave) after returning from years at boarding school is great fun. Oh, and yes, the title was changed to try to cash in on the success of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.


Nice Girls Don’t Explode (1987)
Stars: Michelle Meyrink, Wallace Shawn

With a CV featuring Valley Girl, Revenge of the Nerds and another of our faves of the era, Real Genius (with Val Kilmer), Ms Meyrink must be the greatest unsung ’80s teen queen. Here she had the lead role as the daughter of a controlling “mom” who’s convinced her child that her hormonal urges cause things to burst into flames (poor Fluffy). Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy? Meyrink next starred alongside Keanu Reeves in 1988’s Permanent Record, then gave up acting. Make of that what you will…


Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
Stars: Mary Stuart Masterson, Eric Stoltz

OK, so this is the best known of the “forgotten” ’80s teen flicks here – after all, it’s a John Hughes masterpiece to many – but it’s also one that tends to live in the shadow of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Sure it’s Molly-free, but this tale of a love quadrangle between a boy, a girl (Lea Thompson – Marty McFly’s “mom”), a jock and and a tomboy is an absolute joy. Still. Really! Also, like wow – totally awesome soundtrack!


Three O’Clock High (1987)
Stars: Casey Siemaszko, Richard Tyson

The name may not jump out like lots of the others here, but Mr Siemaszko also has Back to the Future, Stand By Me and Young Guns on his resume – that’s serious B-brat pack heft. We remember this tale of a bully and his prey (Siemaszko, now a TV bit-part regular) as being formulaic-yet-fun – but admittedly we’ve not seen it since, ooh, about 1987. Tyson, who played bully Buddy Revell, is still busy, with current projects numbering some 20 (seriously!)


How I Got Into College (1989)
Stars: Lara Flynn Boyle, Corey Parker, Anthony Edwards

Another unfairly overlooked Savage Steve Holland flick, this tale of which the title is self-explanatory had serious teen star muscle. It had Goose from Top Gun for goodness’ sake (and we know that wasn’t a teen movie)! Yep, and alongside he of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, two Revenge of the Nerds flicks and The Sure Thing Edwards was the future Donna Edwards of Twin Peaks and the relatively forgotten Corey, whose B credentials are still being put to rent-paying use today.


None of these rather obscure movies are available currently at JB Hi-Fi, but Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Stand By Me and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off sure are!