What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen These Films from 1986?

After a couple of years ‘off’ (or, if you prefer, combined with Blindspot, because they’re essentially the same thing), “What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?” is back!

Now, it’s part of my All-New 100 Films in a Year Challenge (you may have heard about that — I feel like I bring it up enough) and has a slightly refined focus. Whereas before it featured great or significant movies I should’ve seen from across film history, now I’m giving it a specific theme each year. For the inaugural year of its new version, I’ve picked my birth year: the 12 films from 1986 that I’m most surprised I haven’t seen.

First, the films I’ve chosen. After, I’ll natter a little about how and why.


A Better Tomorrow

A Better Tomorrow

Cobra

Cobra

Flight of the Navigator

Flight of the Navigator

Hannah and Her Sisters

Hannah and Her Sisters

The Hitcher

The Hitcher

Howard the Duck

Howard the Duck

Manhunter

Manhunter

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

The Name of the Rose

The Name of the Rose

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

She’s Gotta Have It

She's Gotta Have It

The Transformers:
The Movie

The Transformers: The Movie


First, for the sake of context, here are all the feature films from 1986 that I have seen (taken from what I’ve logged on Letterboxd, which should be thorough at this point), in alphabetical order…

Iron Eagle
The Karate Kid Part II
Labyrinth
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
Little Shop of Horrors
The Money Pit
Never Too Young to Die
Platoon
Stand By Me
Top Gun
When the Wind Blows
.

Yes, Biggles. I loved the books as a kid, so I guess I had to see the film, even though it’s some weird-ass post-Back to the Future time-travel-based reimagining.

To select the list of films I needed to watch, I had a root around 1986’s highest-rated and most popular films (two different things) on both IMDb and Letterboxd, compiling a long-list of possibilities. That came to around about 30 titles, from which I selected the final 12 based purely on my own level of awareness — for example, Manhunter went straight into the final selection because, given the kinds of films I particularly like, it seems ludicrous I haven’t seen it yet. (It’s partly because I only own it on DVD. I never got round to importing the Shout BD, and now it looks to be out of print, with copies on sale for hundreds of dollars. Mad! And annoying.) I expect, if other people were presented with the same long-list, they might make slightly different selections. Such is life.

One in particular that I nearly included was Star Trek IV. It must be good, right, because it’s an even-numbered one. Also, everyone seems to know about “the one with the whales”, and it’s that one. But as I’m currently working my way through the Trek films anyway (albeit slowly: TMP was last February and Wrath of Khan last July), it seemed unnecessary, even futile, to include one here.

In conclusion, it wasn’t a particularly involved or technical selection process this time. At least that means this explanation is a lot shorter than my normal verbosity. In the unlikely event you’re missing that, there’s always my Blindspot post.

11 thoughts on “What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen These Films from 1986?

  1. Pingback: The All-New 100 Films in a Year Challenge | 100Films.co.uk

  2. I’ve seen six of the above and there’s one of the remainder that I haven’t that I really want to see (which is The Hitcher, and since its getting a 4K release this year, looks like its time will come). Of those six that I have seen, only one is an absolute stinker, and you can probably guess which one that is, but I’ll wait and see what you think…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, me watching The Hitcher this year is dependent on that Second Sight release actually coming out in the next 11.5 months — which, based on their track record with the likes of Martin and Dog Soldiers, is by no means a given. (If it does slip to 2023, I think I’ll choose a substitution for this.)

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  3. I should watch some of those on your lost. Embarrassed to say I haven’t even watched Aliens.
    I remember enjoying The Name of the Rose. Crocodile Dundee, Karate Kid Part II and Stand By Me I can’t remember but know I’ve watched. Top Gun is about all I remember.
    Happy watching.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, we all have our blindspots. I even considered including some of the ones I’ve already seen, because I don’t really remember all of them — it must be 25 years or more since I last saw Top Gun, so I certainly don’t remember it in detail, and there are a few others there that I definitely owe a revisit.

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