Guest USA TODAY Piece: Weird ’80s Kids Films

Guest blogger: Weird ’80s kids’ movies … and why we love them 

By Zack Smith (Zack)

Everyone remembers classic kids’ movies from the 1980s like E.T., or maybe something more eclectic like The Dark Crystal, The Neverending Story or The Monster Squad.


An unforgettable, yet disturbing ’80s film: ‘The Peanut Butter Solution.’

But there are also those films that are just … weird. And I’m not just talking about how the original Transformers movie from 1986 included the voices of Orson Welles, Judd Nelson, Scatman Crothers, Leonard Nimoy and Eric Idle (not to mention The Touch).


There are many films out there that only briefly played in theaters, but still enjoy a cult following from video, cable screenings or just the childhood trauma they inflicted on their viewers. Some are weird E.T. knockoffs, like Mac & Me, featuring deformed aliens who love McDonald’s (almost as much as Paul Rudd loves showing clips from this on talk shows). And some … some kind of defy description.

Everything from a Claymation Mark Twain to peanut-butter-loving ghosts coming up after the jump …

Published by Zack

Zack Smith is a writer and journalist. He has written for such web sites and publications as, the Independent Weekly of Durham NC, Triangle Business Journal, Comic Book Resources and the Lynchburg News and Advance. He has a Master's in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and a degree in English with minors in Film Studies and Creative Writing from NC State University. He also writes children's books.

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