The 90s had Seattle.
The 2000s had Boston.
And for reasons unknown Hollywood’s favorite setting for movies in the 1980s was the otherwise unremarkable state of Arizona. An untold number of 80s Teen Movies were set in the land of cacti’s and sun. Some were legendary. Others less so. But all featured scenes with desert rocks and backyard pools. So leave it to the geniuses at Hi-Top to countdown the Hi-Topper Top 5 80s Teen Movies Set in Arizona.
5. Revenge of the Nerds
Revenge of the Nerds has effectively been “cancelled” as the kids say and for good reason, nary a scene goes by that by today’s standards doesn’t make you at least wince if not recoil in utter horror. But hey it was the 80s, right? Nevertheless the Lamdas and the Alphas do epic battle in an Olympics of Absurdity at the
University of Arizona Adams College cuz of course they would.
4. Just One of the Guys
Just One of the Guys basically has it all and by “all” I mean out of left field nudity that is in no way expected but fully appreciated. Thank you Joyce Hyser. But there’s also envy worthy backyard pools, camping in the desert and the type of endless sunshine that you can only get in Arizona.
3. Can’t Buy Me Love
Patrick Dempsey shines as the ultimate wannabe who is so desperate he’s willing to buy his way to popularity. He also mows lawns for money and knows where the government hides old airplanes. There’s also something about telescopes. The whole thing has a very “believe us when we say this is what people do in Arizona” vibe that’s hard to argue with. Like a high school that has an entire cafeteria outside mineaswell be on the moon to a kid in New England. So Arizona.
2. The Wraith
The Lil’ Dogg has previously broke down the utter inanity of The Wraith here in our Epic Top 100 Movies of the 80s list so I’m not going to re-hatch that but this pup will reiterate the absolute DOPENESS of the featured car that zooms around the Arizona desert.
1. Pump up the Volume
Christian Slater as Hard Harry invented podcasting. And before you get into a whole “yeah but this movie came out in 1990” thing let’s just say this is an “80s movie” through and through and was filmed in the 80s and prominently featured License to Ill era Beasties music and this pup thusly declares it an “80s movie”. Anywhoo, Pump is chock full of shots of vast Arizona nothingness landscape and a pre-fab “neighborhoods” cut out of the desert. It’s the ultimate Arizona flick.
That’s it. That’s the list. Facts is facts and the fact is if your 80s movie didn’t take place in Arizona are you sure it even took place at all.