Most of the people that I talked to about the 1986 Transformers: The Movie had slightly different memories of the experience than I did. Some only remembered Optimus Prime dying, some only had random memory flashes of robots getting murdered in horrific pain and suffering, one friend only recalled the kick-ass soundtrack, and another just responded to my questioning with "That's the movie with the demonic planet that ate shit, right?"
So, I decided fhat for the flick's 30th anniversary I'd gather a bunch of my friends together in Greenwood's home theater and make them watch it. About half of Team Greenwood had never even seen it before, and I was really interested in their thoughts on how 1980s children movies compared to the tame shit we have now. Some of them even plan on bringing their kids... I was originally going to warn them not to (knowing that tots raised on Tangled and Toy Story might not be ready for full-on robot annihilation), but then thought that their young minds might make for an interesting experiment in comparison. As soon as we can get everyone together I will post everybody's thoughts on Transformers: The Movie below.
(VIEWING TO OCCUR SOON)
There are so many great lines in Transformers: The Movie. Some corny, some strange, some dark, some powerful, but all amazing! Below I'll post some of my favorites. Most of which you don't even need any references or set-up in order to appreciate them. Enjoy!
Unicron: I have summoned you here for a purpose.
Megatron: Nobody summons Megatron!
Unicron: [Without missing a beat] Then it pleases me to be the first.
Optimus: One shall stand, one shall fall.
Megatron: Why throw your life away so recklessly?!
Optimus: That's a question you should ask yourself, Megatron.
Unicron: For a time, I considered sparing your wretched little planet, Cybertron. But now, you shall witness its dismemberment!
Starscream: [Carrying a barely operating Megatron to Astrotrain's door in order to hurl him out to "lighten the load"] Oh, how it pains me to do this!
Megatron: Wait... I still function...
Starscream: Wanna bet?
Springer: I have better things to do tonight than die!
Arcee: I was afraid you'd be trapped outside the city.
Hot Rod: Hey, I wasn't worried for a microsecond.
Arcee: Then you probably didn't understand the situation.
Megatron: [Pretending to beg whilst reaching for a hidden gun] No more, Optimus Prime! Grant me mercy, I beg of you!
Optimus Prime: You, who are without mercy, now plead for it? I thought you were made of sterner stuff.
Kup: Bah Weep Granna Weep Ninni Ban.
Optimus Prime: Till all are one.
Unicron: Destiny... You cannot... Destroy... My..... Destinyyyyyyyy!
Megatron: I would have waited an eternity for this. It's over, Prime.
Galvatron: Die, Autobot. First Prime, then Ultra Magnus, and now you. It's a pity you Autobots die so easily, or I might have a sense of satisfaction now.
I've seen Transformers: The Movie more times than any other movie in my life. This is mostly due to me working at Blockbuster Video for five years of my wasted life (through high school and college), and being allowed to watch any G or PG-rated flick on the store monitors that we wanted to while we worked (for the first 3 years at least, before corporate made us start playing their crappy Entertainment Tonight tapes that tried to pimp the newest, shittiest movies to our customers on 2-hour loops). Whenever it was my turn to pick, in went Transformers: The Movie. By the end of my BBV career, my store's VHS tape of that flick looked like shit — half the picture was fuzzy, the sound was messed up in multiple sections, and the screen would "roll" for half its runtime, but I just kept putting it in. I believe I can still quote the entire flick — line for line — even today.
I know that it's not a great movie (bad editing, some atrocious animation, and the massacre of the Transformers for the sole purpose of selling new toys emphasize this), but it still resonates with me. I only have fond memories of this thing.
I believe that the only reason people still talk about Transformers: The Movie — even now, 30 years later — is BECAUSE of the violence and death and destruction, and the unheard of (before or since) heavy metal soundtrack in a flick aimed at kids. Nobody remembers garbage like the '80s Care Bears Movie, the live-action Masters of the Universe movie, or the My Little Pony Movie... But they would if that Care Bear with the four-leaf clover on his belly got decapitated on screen and somebody yelled "Shit! What are we going to do!?!"
What really makes me laugh now that I'm an adult is the fact that the head honchos of Hasbro wanted to make sure that Transformers was PG, and not G. They thought anything G was for babies, and young boys would be put off by that rating. So they ordered characters to be violently killed on screen, and they demanded that there be one piece of profanity in it, no matter how much it stuck out like a sore thumb. They actually thought that without that "SHIT!" that Spike says (even with Autobots getting blown up, crushed, melted, and shot to hell), this thing would be rated G. Wow... The '80s, man.
This movie, probably more than any other event in my life, made me grow up. The violence and deaths of all my favorite characters, the shitty toys that were released that made me stop playing with my Transformers action figures, and the introduction to heavy metal all contributed to me losing a bit of my innocence when I exited the theater that August night back in 1986. Not that I ever fully "grew up," mind you, but I never really did play with my toys with the same open imagination after I saw this movie. It could be a coincidence, but I also remember borrowing my older brother's Twisted Sister and RATT audio cassettes and records a lot more at that age, and I stopped asking for action figures for Christmas.
Transformers: The Movie taught me that heroes sometimes die, heavy metal music was actually pretty nifty (and not the work of the Devil), and that Hot Rod was a total fucking dick. Seriously, why did they think that we'd ever root for the douchebag who was responsible for Optimus Prime's demise? Anyway, despite its flaws, the '86 Transformers movie is still infinitely better than all of the crap featuring giant interchangeable robots that Michael Bay has shit out over the last decade. This animated movie may be violent, but it has heart, and it takes some massive chances with its story (and head-banging soundtrack) that nobody would try in today's cookie-cutter world. And, beyond anything else, TF: The Movie features the most amazing villain of all time. I don't think any bad guy will ever be able to top the awe of first watching Unicron devour a planet and then transform into a giant Satan robot. I am actually amazed that they got away with this stuff even 30 years ago.
Till all are one!
EDITOR'S NOTES: It's always bugged me, but why can only the Decepticons fly? The jet Decepticons I can understand, but how can the tape recorder and the gun guys hover and fly around but the Autobots can't? Can't they just install whatever high-tech hovering gear that the Decepticons have? That's like a huge tactical advantage there.