THE BEST 1980s

Knight Rider for 8 Cellos

Knight Rider for 8 Cellos

Musician Samara Ginsberg recently entertained us with her lively cello arrangement of the Inspector Gadget theme. She’s back with another fun cover – this time taking on the classic theme song from Knight Rider with an 8-layered cello recording.

Royals: New Wave Edition

Royals: New Wave Edition

Back in 2013, Puddles Pity Party burst onto the scene with toned-down cover version of Lorde’s hit Royals he did with Postmodern Jukebox. Now, our favorite singing clown has returned to the well with a playful new wave arrangement of the track. Seriously, it sounds like it was produced by Ric Ocasek for a Cars album.

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Wonders of the World Wide Web Halloween Special (1988)

Wonders of the World Wide Web Halloween Special (1988)

Retro software experts Squirrel Monkey look back a series of fictitious programs from the late 1980s that were designed to help people talk to the dead and predict the future. Early PC software was apparently way creepier than we remember it. And yes, we know the World Wide Web didn’t actually start until 1989.

Alexa in 1988

Alexa in 1988

We already know what Siri might have been like back in the 1980s, now Squirrel Monkey imagines another virtual assistant existed during a time when voice synthesis and voice recognition were in their infancy. We love how it uses a cassette recorder to download songs from Amazon Music.

Big Boxes.

Big Boxes.

As we move more and more towards digital downloads and streaming, there’s less need for packaging. Ahoy looks back at the days when computer games mostly came in oversize packages with bold box art, and started to standardize on a form factor back in the early 1990s. Despite the dry subject matter, Ahoy makes it interesting.

Replicating TRON’s Light Cycles

Replicating TRON’s Light Cycles

The CGI in TRON seems primitive by today’s standards, but back in 1982 it was not only groundbreaking, it pushed the limits of available technology. Using modern tech, the guys at Corridor Crew decided to see if they could accurately replicate the famous light cycle scene in less than a day.

Pl8ty Retro Bluetooth Speaker

Pl8ty Retro Bluetooth Speaker

Go back to the ’80s with this retro-style speaker that looks like an old-school Walkman. Instead of popping a cassette in, stash your smartphone inside of it, then clip it onto your belt loop for full effect. It has working control buttons and a 3.5mm aux in jack. Why not go all-in and use it with that Bluetooth cassette player?

Action USA (Trailer)

Action USA (Trailer)

(PG-13) Created by stuntman John Stewart back in 1989, this rarely-seen, over-the-top B-movie has been restored for new audiences to enjoy. Packed with action, profanity, blood, and practical FX, it’s a welcome break from the CGI and shakycam fight sequences of today. Available to rent from Alamo on Demand through 10.12.2020.

The Thing: The Board Game

The Thing: The Board Game

Pendragon Game Studio presents a fantastic looking board game inspired by John Carpenter’s gruesome 1982 horror classic The Thing. Up to 8 players head to a research station in Antarctica to assume the roles of characters from the movie as the try and figure out who among them has been taken over by an alien parasite.

Battle Patrol 2084

Battle Patrol 2084

“A once proud city has descended into a den of crime, sin, and misery. A corrupt police force and criminal underworld make every day a savage struggle… Yet one man will attempt a daring escape…” It sounds like quite the premise, but Mark Butchko’s animated short film is basically a modern tribute to the video game Zaxxon.

Dinosaur Hunters

Dinosaur Hunters

(PG-13: Language) Using footage from 1980s and 1990s action movies, mashup filmmaker Antonio Maria Da Silva (Hell’s Club) created an entire feature-length film that brings together stars like Bruce Willis, Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Nic Cage to defeat an army of killer dinosaurs.

MTV’s First Hours (Remastered)

MTV’s First Hours (Remastered)

’80s kids, remember when MTV was all about the music videos? An anonymous Internet Archive poster scrounged and cleaning up old VHS and DVD footage from the first hours that MTV broadcast its cable signal starting on August 1, 1981, and kicking things off with The Buggles’ Video Killed the Radio Star… all in stereo.

’80s Piano Medley

’80s Piano Medley

The 1980s were a good decade for music, giving us bands like Tears for Fears, The Human League, and Soft Cell along the way. To celebrate his love for the new wave, pop, and rock music from the decade of big hair and Rubik’s Cubes, stone-faced pianist Vinheteiro offers up a 5-minute concert of some of the era’s best tracks.

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ThunderCats CGI

ThunderCats CGI

While teaching himself 3D computer animation, Mike Booth thought it might be fun to practice some techniques by recreating the opening title sequence from the 1980s animated classic ThunderCats. We think he did quite the admirable job. Check out the side-by-side comparison video here. ThunderCats, roar!

Monopoly: The Goonies

Monopoly: The Goonies

Hey You Guys! It’s a version of Monopoly, based on characters, story, and locations from the 1986 movie classic The Goonies. Properties include The Inferno and One-Eyed Willy’s Cabin, and tokens include the Statue of David, Chester Copperpot’s Key, the Gold Doubloon, Little Girl’s Bike, Skull and Crossbones, and Willy’s Eye Patch.

A Brief History of Home Video

A Brief History of Home Video

These days, most content is streamed or played on Blu-ray discs. But there was a time when videotapes were the media of choice. Mental Floss takes a trip in the wayback machine to tell the story of VCRs, the epic war between Betamax and VHS, and how the technologies changed everything for visual entertainment.

Zoom in the 1980s

Zoom in the 1980s

For many of us, working from home means countless videoconferences, with Zoom being the most popular choice for big team meetings. Continuing their Wonders of the World Wide Web series, Squirrel Monkey looks back at what life might have been like if Zoom came out in 1988, and required a special dial-up adapter box to work.

50 Songs a Year: 1979 to 1989

50 Songs a Year: 1979 to 1989

After 8 long months, Chicago remix duo the The Hood Internet has completed their retrospective series, with each of their tracks representing a year from 1979 and 1989, and each brilliantly capturing the best and most memorable music of the era. Enjoy our playlist and let all 11 tracks fill your ears with joy.

Hey Ya!: Synthwave Remix

Hey Ya!: Synthwave Remix

Musician Astrophysics takes songs from various genres, and slathers them with a thick layer of 1980s electronic sounds, then complements them with appropriately retro graphics. There’s lots of great stuff to enjoy on their YouTube channel, but this synthwave remix of Outkast’s 2003 hit Hey Ya! is our favorite (so far.)

The NeverEnding Story Honest Trailer

The NeverEnding Story Honest Trailer

Screen Junkies goes back to the ’80s to poke some fun at The NeverEnding Story, a childhood fantasy movie that’s loaded with imaginative imagery and the kind of darkness you’d expect when you hire the guy who directed Das Boot and Outbreak to make a kids movie.

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Arthur: Synthwave Edition

Arthur: Synthwave Edition

Hey! What a wonderful kind of day! Hot Dad turns the theme song from the PBS Kids show Arthur on its ear, replacing the warm reggae riddims of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers’ original with a moody 1980s synthwave sound. It shouldn’t work, but somehow it does.

Rob Zombie Aerobics

Rob Zombie Aerobics

Aerobics videos were one of the hallmarks of 1980s cheese. And while they might have been incredibly campy when set to Olivia Newton-John music, this video shows how they can be improved upon when the choreography lines up with Rob Zombie’s Dragula. It also works well with Superbeast.

The Origin of Digital Communities

The Origin of Digital Communities

Before the Internet we know today, we had standalone services like AOL. And before that, we had Bulletin Board Systems. These homebrew hangouts let people with similar interests congregate via their computers. Off the Cuf looks back at the first BBS and its creators, and how they laid the groundwork for much to come.

Take on Me: One Man A Capella

Take on Me: One Man A Capella

Vocalist Jared Halley is an expert at creating multi-track recordings of his own voice, demonstrating his excellent vocal range and harmonic abilities. Sure, we’ve heard dozens of covers of A-Ha’s 1985 hit Take on Me, but we’re still not sick of it, so here you go.

DIY Star Wars Cockpit Arcade Machine

DIY Star Wars Cockpit Arcade Machine

’80s kids might remember Atari’s classic Star Wars arcade machine. The sit-down cabinet version always had a line at our local arcade, and it’s become quite collectible, with prices upwards of $7,000. Retro Recipes decided to replicate the machine using parts from 1upArcade’s $400 standup version of the game.

Bill & Ted Face the Music (Teaser)

Bill & Ted Face the Music (Teaser)

Decades after their time-traveling hijinx, Bill and Ted are back for another excellent adventure. Original stars Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter decide they’re heding to the future to visit their future selves and steal the Wyld Stallions song that will save the universe. Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest).

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