The 1980s was one of the finest decades for many different forms of art including music, TV, and movies. While there were some extremely successful films from this decade, there were also some lesser loved titles that went on to find a cult audience and stand the test of time. Due to the obscurity of some of these movies, they can be difficult to find today. Here we will explore 10 cult classic movies of the 80s and where to stream them.
Check Out: 8 Best 80s Movies and Where to Stream Them
1. Escape from New York (1981)
John Carpenter is a legendary director and has masterminded some of the most obscure movies in Hollywood history. Escape from New York is set in 1997 and the entirety of Manhattan has been converted into a maximum security prison. After Air Force One is hijacked, it crashes into the prison and the President is taken hostage by some inmates. One of the inmates, Snake Plissken, who is played by Kurt Russell, is recruited to save the president in exchange for his freedom.
2. Midnight Run (1988)
In Midnight Run, a man hires a bounty hunter, portrayed by Robert De Niro, to find an accountant known as “The Duke” and bring him to Los Angeles. He is told that it will be an easy job or a “Midnight Run,” but it turns out to be far from it. While escorting The Duke and putting up with his eccentric personality, the bounty hunter is pursued by the FBI, the mob, and the police.
Midnight Run is available to stream via Peacock Premium.
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3. The Goonies (1985)
A family favorite and a certified cult classic, The Goonies never gets old. When a property developer threatens to destroy the home of a group of kids, the gang discovers an ancient pirate map in their attic. In an epic adventure, they follow the pirate map into an underground cavern to seek out the buried treasure. Along the way, they face a series of challenges and mysteries that are a delight to watch, even today.
The Goonies is available to stream via the AMC+ Prime Video channel or the AMC+ Roku channel.
4. The ‘Burbs (1989)
When Ray Peterson, played by Tom Hanks, takes a vacation in his suburban house, a strange family called the Klopeks moves in down the street. He suspects something is off with the family, so Ray sends his wife and son away while he enlists his two friends to investigate the Klopeks. After a neighbor goes missing, Ray and his buddies must risk their own safety to save the street from an impending evil. The ‘Burbs is a beloved cult classic for its funny, spooky and quirky feel.
The ‘Burbs is available to stream via Netflix.
5. The Blues Brothers (1980)
Starring the late, great John Belushi and Dan Akroyd, The Blues Brothers goes down as one of the best cult classic movies of the 80s. The film is actually based on the pair’s Saturday Night Live sketch featuring the same legendary duo. After getting out from prison, Jake teams up with his brother Elwood to save an orphanage that they grew up in. They do this by getting their band back together and playing some gigs. Along the way, the pair get into a series of entanglements with several enemies and even the police.
The Blues Brothers is available to stream via TCM.
6. The Breakfast Club (1985)
Completely embodying the concept of a cult classic, The Breakfast Club is one of the decade’s most iconic movies. The film opens with five high school students enduring a weekend detention enforced by a strict principal. With extremely different backgrounds, they each tell their stories and start to change their perspective on each other, school, and life itself. It’s a very quotable movie that has become a frequent cultural reference, so it’s worth streaming if you’ve never seen it before. You might recognize more about it than you realize.
The Breakfast Club is available to stream via Hulu.
7. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Another fantastic example of a great cult classic from the 80s is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Matthew Broderick plays a young guy named Ferris Bueller who is prolific at skipping school and getting away with it. With graduation coming up, Bueller is plotting one last day off before finishing school forever. The film sees him calling in sick, stealing a Ferrari, and enjoying a raucous day out in Chicago while evading his principal.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is available to stream via Pluto TV.
8. The Princess Bride (1987)
This cult classic and fantasy movie centers on a humble farmhand named Westley who sets out on a quest to rescue his one true love, the Princess Buttercup, from the evil Prince Humperdinck. It’s told as a narrative tale by a grandfather who reads the story to his grandson who is unwell. The Princess Bride has become a beloved movie in the hearts of people around the world and is perfect for families.
The Princess Bride is available to stream via Disney+.
9. Labyrinth (1986)
Featuring a young Jennifer Connelly, Labyrinth sees a sixteen year old girl who wishes that her baby brother would go away. That is, until he actually is taken away by a Goblin King called Jareth (played by David Bowie). Setting out into a fantastical, sprawling labyrinth, Sarah must reach the center of the maze to rescue her brother. Along the way, Sarah meets a series of friendly accomplices including a goblin called Hoggle and a plethora of terrifying adversaries. Interestingly, the creatures of the movie were brought to life by The Muppets’ Jim Henson. Mystical, whimsical and sometimes terrifying, this obscure movie is one of the finest cult classics of the decade.
Labyrinth is available to stream via Netflix.
10. The Outsiders (1983)
Based on a novel by S. E. Hinton, The Outsiders shows an unconventional family of three brothers living in Tulsa, Oklahoma without their parents in the 1960s. The youngest, Ponyboy, is picked on by an opposing gang, the Socs, which leads his own family and the Greasers to help him. Things escalate until Ponyboy and his friend, Johnny, have to get violent to protect themselves and then flea town. It’s a classic coming of age story with an incredibly stacked cast that has drawn people in for years and solidified this movie’s cult classic standing.
You can stream The Outsiders on HBO Max or rent it via Vudu.