Vintage Video: Siskel and Ebert Talk About 1985’s Worst Films

Lately here on MovieFanFare, we’ve been spending some time looking at the films of 1985 as they celebrate their 35th anniversary this year. While flicks like Back to the Future and even George Romero‘s  zombie favorite Day of the Day continue to delight fans, not all films from that year share the same luxury. Enter Gene Siskel and Robert Ebert. In a memorable episode of their beloved At the Movies program, they presented a retrospective of the worst movies of 1985, and whoa, is it amazing. Focusing on Return to Oz,  Godzilla 1985, Perfect, St. Elmo’s Fire, and others, the pair mercilessly rip apart movies that they felt failed on every level. What is especially interesting is how many of the films that get blasted here have gone on to become cult classics, proving yet again how subjective the art of film criticism is. While some of these movies featured are obviously dogs, there are some surprising inclusions — none more noteworthy than Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Tim Burton‘s debut feature was hit during its initial release, and remains a crowd-pleaser. But here, Siskel, who goes on record as being a Pee-Wee Herman fan, declares how much that he hated the film. (For his part, Roger Ebert mentions that he didn’t see it, but was enchanted enough by the clip shown in this episode that he compared Pee-Wee to comedy great Harold Lloyd, much to Siskel’s chagrin). With both Siskel and Ebert being gone now, watching this episode is a bittersweet reminder of how great they both were. You may not agree on their selections for 1985’s worst flicks, but you can’t deny how entertaining they were just by being themselves.

Previously on MovieFanFare:
Create-A-Caption: Day of the Dead
Create-A-Caption: The Breakfast Club