Movie fans love the 80s. We got some of our best action, horror and sci fi out of the decade as well as some of the biggest blockbusters of all time. But when you think of a film that thoroughly defines the 80s, what comes to mind? By defined I mean a movie that when you watch it now, it could not have come from any other time period. Top Gun? Tron? For my money, the movie that will define the 80s will always be Breakin’, and it is now available on Blu-ray for the first time from the movie gods at Shout Factory.
Breakin’ is the story of a jazz dancer named Kelly (Lucinda Dickey) who takes to the moves that are big on the street much to the dismay of her instructor. Under the tutelage of Ozone (Adolfo “Shabba Doo” Quiñones) and Turbo (Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers), Kelly becomes one of the hottest poppin’ and lockin’ princess on the street and Ozone and Turbo’s secret weapon against their rival dance team.
Let’s get one thing straight. Breakin’ is just ridiculous. Mediocre acting at best and a terrible paper thin plot. But if you want to watch a movie that transports you back to the 80s, I doubt any film could do it better. Every single aspect of Breakin’ screams 80s. The clothes, the language, the music, the city itself, the culture shown on screen, the hairstyles, the dancing. It is all pure unadulterated 80s joy. And despite its badness, it is inexplicably fun. The music is great throughout and the dancing is pretty phenomenal. It really is the closest thing to a time machine you will ever experience and if you gather up a group of similar aged friends or just friends that can appreciate 80s cheese at its best, this is the best disc around. And Shout Factory even throws in the unbelievable sequel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, as a bonus. And if you think Breakin’ is crazy, wait until you see Kelly and her dance team try to save a community centre from being demolished by a greedy real estate developer. Yes, it’s that good.
In addition to two quality films with superb restorations here, you also get a new commentary track from the director and Shabba-Doo himself and documentaries on the elements and culture of Hip Hop. All in all, this is a pretty great package for 80s nostalgia night that will not disappoint.