8 Classic Gen X Movies I Still Haven’t Seen

Why should people go out and pay money to see bad films when they can stay home and see bad television for nothing? 

~Samuel Goldwyn

Old Bela Lugosi, patron saint of B-movies

A peculiar thing has happened to me as I’ve slid into my staid 30s from my carefree 20s. I have less and less free time for things like driving really fast late at night down country roads, finding creative uses for M80s, and watching lots of movies. Now, there’s a good reason for that. Several, in fact. Movies are now financially to the point when I have to sell the naming rights to my firstborn child just to make a matinee. Not to mention the advent of torrents, Redbox, and cable TV. I’m not going to shell out my gas and utility money for a flick I can catch three months later for next to nothing.

That’s not to say I’m not still a film junkie. There’s an entire arsenal of faves I can probably quote by heart (The Princess Bride is the poster child for this one), many of which have a loyal cult following. And yet, in my 32 years and countless late-night rendezvous with the DVD player, there are some movies which have somehow passed me by. Either they came out at an inconvenient time, or I didn’t make it to my local Blockbuster’s Going Out of Business sale, or, simply, I just didn’t get around to watching.

Some of these are a shock even to me. The fact that I haven’t seen some of these might land me in the heretical category according to some of my best friends. I have to keep telling myself that there’s still time. In between laundry and blogging and trying to find the perfect date, there’s still time. Now that I’ve cancelled Netflix (those price-gouging bastards!), it might be a little more difficult. But I live for a challenge. So, here we go, ladies and gents…

#8. The Basketball Diaries (1995)

I was one of the few late teens I knew who didn’t have a crush on Leo DiCaprio way back when (and I still don’t, although I loved Inception.) This one consistently comes up on the top 10 list for best ’90s movies, and I’m a sports fan, so still not sure why I never got around to it. Maybe because I was too busy watching Jim Carrey comedies back then. Dunno.

#7. Dazed and Confused (1993)

I’m at the very tail end of Gen X, so sometimes feel as though I’m lost on some of the cultural references. For me, most of what I know of the ’70s comes from bad movies. I know exactly what the movie’s about (a friend of mine adores it), but never was much for druggie culture flicks. The closest I’ve ever come to getting high is flying in a small airplane. Thanks but no thanks, dudes.

#6. Singles (1992)

This is a good example of a movie which I haven’t watched because I simply can’t relate to it in any way. I never got the drama of the 20-something drama scene, I’ve never been anywhere near Seattle, and I certainly didn’t get into the grunge movement (Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me, okay?) Plus, I’m pretty sure it’s the kind of movie without any helicopters blowing up.

#5. Reality Bites (1994)

Ben Stiller’s a guilty pleasure for me. Winona Ryder is not, which is why I probably never got around to this one. If I do, I’ll probably like it because I have yet to hate a movie using “My Sharona” prominently. Weird but true.

#4. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Honestly? I should have seen this by now, if only for a few ideas. I think most of my older cousins went to see it back in the day, then quoted it endlessly. Like its ancestor Animal House, I was the wrong age at the wrong time. I have, however, seen the Gen X classic Real Genius, which is surely a thinking Gen X’er comedy if ever there were one.

#3. Mallrats (1995)

Kevin Smith is like sushi for me. I respect the artistry, I’m cool with other people liking it, but it’s never gonna be for me. Believe me, I’ve tried (with the exception of Chasing Amy, which I kinda liked.) This is the kind of movie kids will probably watch in another 15-20 years and laugh at for its datedness, although I’m sure it’s a nice snapshot of its unique time and place.

#2. Trainspotting (1996)

This is a real question mark. I’ve read the novel upon which the film is based, I dig Scottish accents, and have always had a thing for Ewan MacGregor. Clearly something is amiss. I’ll have to see if the library has a copy of this one.

#1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

You guys can throw TP or anything else at me. I never did get around to seeing it, though I’ve heard the songs and seen countless imitations. No excuse. Really.

And here you were thinking I was going to say Fight Club or Reservoir Dogs or Say Anything. Rest assured we’re safe there.

So, what movies, cult classic or otherwise, are still on your to-watch list? Would love to hear some feedback here!



~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on August 29, 2011.

4 Responses to “8 Classic Gen X Movies I Still Haven’t Seen”

  1. Oh, come now. How could you have not seen Rocky Horror?

  2. “Singles” doesn’t have helicopter crashes, nor ninjas set aflame or mech-based action. It is, however, a fine evocation of time and place. Great acting and one of Cameron Crowe’s best movies. It speaks to the music geek in me, I confess.

    Great blog, by the way.

  3. The only Gen-X movie that really grabbed my attention was CLERKS, so much so I jockeyed at my local Blockbusters just to abuse the customer AKA Randall (all true!). Saw that flick at a time when I really getting into indie and world cinema around 2000 and it whilst I really couldn’t identify with any character, it took the mundainity of the daily grind and made it applicable to me. As it was also licensed by ARTIFICAL EYE, it opened the door to their fantastic library.

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