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McDowell’s from ‘Coming to America’ comes to life in LA

If you ever wanted to try a “Big Mick” (same as a Big Mac, but with no seeds), now’s your chance. A legally-it’s-not-McDonalds restaurant called McDowell’s is open Monday and Tuesday in LA. The restaurant, based on the fictional fast food spot in 1988’s Coming to America, is open at Fat Sal's Hollywood at 1300 N. Highland Ave on Monday, October 30 and Tuesday, October 31.

According to the LAist.com, specialty menu items include: “The Big Mick," "The Sexual Chocolate Shake" and "Zamunda Fries.”

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New podcast: Best Halloween songs in the '80s Part 2

We thought we were pretty clever a couple weeks ago when we created our own personal playlist of spooky '80s songs that were perfect for Halloween. We played our 10 songs, felt pretty proud about it, and then asked if you thought we missed out on any. Boy, did you ever sound off!

We got a ton of email - some not so nice - telling us that our list just didn't cut it. And you gave us an amazing list of songs - many of which I admittedly missed out on in the '80s- and we felt even worse. So we created a Part 2 podcast just for you. This episode of Stuck in the '80s features YOUR picks for best halloween songs of the '80s. You did a great job. Now please remove the knife from my back. 

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Lethal Weapon 5? We’re ALL too old for this …

Oh, Hollywood. You’ve been drunk-dialing again, haven’t you? How else could you explain the new that Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Richard Donner are exploring the idea of creating Lethal Weapon 5. 

Deadline.com reports Donner would direct and and Channing Gibson would write the sequel. If it’s been a while since you considered this crazy idea, let us remote you that Lethal Weapon 4 was released WAY BACK in 1998. Yeah, they were still worrying about the Y2K bug when this was last in theaters. 

Of course, Lethal Weapon lives on today as a TV series (in its second season on Fox), so why exactly do we need another movie version? Because to paraphrase our on-screen heroes, we ain’t got no choice! And God hates us.

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Last-minute Halloween '80s costume idea: Joel Goodsen in 'Risky Business'

When it comes to easy '80s Halloween costume ideas, some might be a little TOO easy. Take Tom Cruise's role as "Joel Goodsen" in 1983's Risky Business. This might - at one point - have been the most-cliche '80s costume out there. How cliche? It was featured in a Drew Barrymore movie. 

Still, when a crisis hits, it's not hard to find an oxford shirt, some white socks, a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses and a small trophy to sing into. It never hurts to have someone playing "Lana" next to you. 

BTW, Cruise recently confessed that most of this iconic scene was improvised. In a May 2017 interview with the British press, Cruise said he only put on socks so he could slide across the floor butter. Dust was added to the flooring to make it more slippery. And some sticky tape was added at the middle point of the film frame so he would stop where he needed to. 

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Last-minute Halloween '80s costume idea: Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the USA'

The last-minute mania to find the perfect '80s Halloween costume continues. You can thank Adam Sandler for this one. In the movie Grown Ups 2, his gang of friends from childhood throw the wildest '80s costume party I've seen to date on film. 

But Sandler takes the easy road: a pair of jeans, a red ballcap and a plain white shirt. Turn around and you're Bruce Springsteen from the Born in the USA days. 

It really can't get much easier than this.

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Acoustic 'Take On Me' is another career milestone for a-ha

How do you turn the most eletronica of all '80s tunes and make it acoustic? You dig up that acoustic guitar, slow things down and let 'er rip. This version of a-ha performing Take On Me will blow you away.

The band has a new acoustic album out - MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice - so expect to hear a lot more from them in the coming weeks.

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Last-minute Halloween '80s costume idea: The one-armed violin player

The stress is real. Every year. What are you dressing as for Halloween? Will it be an '80s costume? Because, you know, you've been writing a blog about the '80s for 13 years now, so we figure you have some good ideas. 

I do. Sorta. And I'll try to share some easy, last-minute ideas with you for the next couple days. 

Today's suggestion: The one-armed violin player from the 1980 movie The Hollywood Knights. We were still in the middle of '50s nostalgia overload when the '80s began, thanks to shows like Happy Days. And yet this flick - starring Robert Wuhl - as the head of a high school fraternity known as the Hollywood Knights - doesn't have the staying power of other period flicks like Back to the Future or Grease.

Who cares? It still has the infamous One-armed Violin Player scene. Granted, this is a gag you probably want to save for an adults-only party (though technically no nudity or flashing is involved; it's only implied). All you need is a tux, dark glasses and a violin. See the full gag online (sorta/maybe NSFW due to language and your eyes playing a trick on you).

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The lunatics have taken over the '80s

Edgar Allan Poe may have died in 1849, but his influence is still felt in the horror genre today. Perhaps it was Poe that inspired today's spooky song by Fun Boy Three entitled The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum).

In 1845, Poe published the story The System Of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether that was the inspiration for the same named song by the Alan Parsons Project on their Poe-inspired 1976 debut album entitled Tales Of Mystery And Imagination. The story concerns the odd happenings at a mental hospital where (spoiler alert for a 172-year-old book) the surprise twist is that the audience learns that the patients have switched places with the medical staff.

Cut to 1981, when Fun Boy Three emerged after the breakup of The Specials. Their first single was The Lunatics (Haven Taken Over The Asylum) and was a Top 20 hit in the U.K. The video for The Lunatics is pretty low budget with the members of Fun Boy Three looking in a trance in the midst of some plastic plants that are supposed to be part of a jungle. Regardless of the basic set, the song is a perfect combination of mysterious music with a great song title. …

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Even in the '80s, only a Ouija Board could get answers out of Morrissey

Whether you've ever messed with one or not, everybody knows a story about someone who has used an Oujia Board. The mysterious board even worked its way into an '80s song and video as the equally cryptic Morrissey gets under the '80s wire with Ouija Board, Ouija Board.

While many cultures have recorded history about "automatic writing," the modern day Ouija Board dates back to 1890 when it was coined the Ouija Board as a made up word that combined for French and German words "yes" (oui and ja). In 1966. Parker Brothers bought the Ouija name from American William Fuld and manufactured the game until Hasbro bought it in 1991. The whole concept of the Ouija Board is to make contact and communicate with the dead, which is precisely is what Morrissey is trying to achieve in Ouija Board, Ouija Board. …

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Don't fall asleep at this classic Cure 'Halloween' video

As the poster band for goth rock in the '80s, so many Cure song/videos could be promoted as Halloween homages. But what about Lullabye? At least we can all agree the video is creepy.

Lullabye was the third single released in the U.S. off the 1989 album Disintegration. Their previous single, Love Song, was the Cure's most successful single in the U.S. peaking at No. 2. While a Top 10 hit in most of Europe, Lullaby quietly peaked at No. 74 in the last month of the decade.

While the song has been rumored to be about depression or drug abuse, the video for Lullaby puts Robert Smith and his smudged on lipstick in the middle of a spider horror dilemma as Smith and the band are gradually covered by spider webs. But webs and creepy eight-legged crawlers are only the beginning of Smith's nightmare as extra hands appear before being devoured as the main course by a giant spider.

While the Cure is still considered together, there was no official action in 2017 and it's been almost a decade since their last new material. 

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Making this video was anything but a dream for Dokken

It might be hard to explain to someone who see Nightmare On Elm Street at the theater in 1984 how scary and original it was before countless sequels were made milking the legend of Freddy Krueger. While an movie about an urban legend was quite original in 1984, there are many stories about the debauchery on music video sets in the '80s, so what better forum to tell the story behind the Dokken video for Dream Warriors.

Even though it made its debut in 1984, the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise still crammed in five movies during the '80s. While all the sequels pale to the original, the sequel that was considered the best was 1987's Dream Warriors. Just as the original Nightmare heralded the film debut of Johnny Depp, Dream Warriors is notable for the film debut of Academy Award winner Patricia Arquette.  

Dokken was one of L.A.'s most exciting heavy metal bands in the '80s and in 1987 they paired up with executive producer Wes Craven to provide the title song for third movie in the series - Dream Warriors. Dokken just got lucky and had the good fortune to have both Arquette and Freddy Krueger himself - Robert Englund star in their video. …

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Robert Guillaume, TV's Benson, dies at age 89

Emmy Award-winning actor Robert Guillaume, best known to ‘80s fans as the star of the TV sitcom Benson, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home. He was 89, Variety reports.

According to reports, the actor died from complications of prostate cancer.

Guillaume originated his Benson character on the ‘70s series Soap, before it was spun off in 1979 for Benson. He would win Emmy’s for both shows.

Other ‘80s credits include roles in TV movies and series such as The Kid With the Broken Halo, The Kid with the 200 IQ and the miniseries North and South. In 1989, he starred in the short-lived series The Robert Guillaume Show (opposite Wendy Phillips), which featured a then-rare interracial romantic relationship.

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Concert review: Johnny Clegg dazzles in Montreal

Our Canadian correspondent, Peter Ryan, knows how to find a good '80s show any given week. Last week, Peter caught Johnny Clegg's show in Montreal. Here's his review.

Savvy members of #80snation will immediately recognize South African Johnny Clegg as one of the most pervasive musical acts over the 20th century’s best decade. And, while perhaps best known for his musical contribution to the anti-apartheid movement, many his songs have been synonymous with '80s greatness.

Clegg was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but has already toured through Europe and Africa through the course of 2017, and Montreal’s Place des Arts concert hall was one of this first North American stops. The show kicked off with Johnny’s son, Jesse Clegg, who played a solid set of four songs. Following a short video tribute to the global career and influence of Johnny Clegg, the crowd then welcomed the headline act to the stage. …

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New show: 'The Princess Bride' turns 30? Inconceivable!

Our love for 1987's The Princess Bride should be more complicated. On one hand, it's a fairytale - with little or no footing in the themes of the 1980s. Pirates? Eels? No. True love? Maybe.

It also features a cast of actors who certainly had their moments in the '80s, but few of whom had any real headlining blockbuster success. (Billy Crystal's biggest '80s hit - When Harry Met Sally - wouldn't arrive until 1989. Cary Elwes likewise waited until '89 for his sidekick role in Glory.) Truth be told, the most successful actor in the '80s was Wallace Shawn, who had more than 20 roles in the decade.)

And yet through it all, The Princess Bride would eventually thrive and endure. It's as quotable a movie as there was in the '80s. Each Halloween, '80s fans by the thousands dress up as the Dread Pirate Roberts, Princess Buttercup or Inigo Montoya. (Maybe I'll try to go as the six-fingered man one year.)

In this week's Stuck in the '80s podcast, we explore the pop culture that surrounds The Princess Bride on its 30th anniversary. And we conclude the show with our picks for the top 10 memorable lines of the movie. Prepare to die ... laughing.

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U.S. fans almost missed the genius of Duran Duran's 'Night Boat'

While the slasher movie was maybe not born but perfected in the '80s, I think most of us agree that the best horror movies go beyond the blood and the gore as psychological terror is equally scary as a classic monster. In that vein, comes one Duran Duran video that wasn't played non-stop on MTV in the '80s called Night Boat.

In 1981, Duran Duran was all the rage in the U.K. with the release of their self-titled debut album, but it the U.S. it didn't catch on.  However, when Rio went gangbusters in the U.S. in 1982, it stimulated a re-release in the U.S. of the album that included favorites like Girls On Film and Planet Earth. Included on the album is the album track Night Boat. …

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