The 1980s is a classic period of television and cinema that still has a heavy influence on the popular culture of today. Not only is this decade a favoured time for modern fiction to revisit for nostalgia purposes, but some of the characters created almost forty years ago have also lived on in various other forms of media. It’s a tough call, but these could be two of the most iconic bad guys to have emerged from the classic movie era. And if you are a gamer, knowing the Games that defined the 80’s may also interest you.
The Joker was created in 1940 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson, appearing in the first Batman comic. He became the Caped Crusader’s number one rival and featured heavily over the years in the graphic novels, as well as the Batman television series of the 1960s. However, it could be argued that it was in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989 that the Joker earned worldwide recognition thanks to Jack Nicholson’s incredible portrayal of the crazed villain.
Since then, the Joker has regularly topped lists of the greatest comic book villains, and he has been represented across various other media. Most recently, the Joker’s name has had a heavy influence on slot games. These include The Dark Joker Rizes, Joker Lanterns, and Inferno Joker. A lot of the symbols on the reels are related to the character’s quirks, such as playing cards and clown makeup. The Joker has appeared in other games as well, with the series of Arkham titles for console being a great way to enjoy the character. Mark Hamill was lauded for his voiceover work in these engaging offerings.
Freddy Krueger haunted the dreams of viewers in the 1980s and still manages to do so to this day. The serial killer with razor-gloved hands first appeared in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984 and continued to terrorize people in the numerous subsequent sequels. He even got his own spinoff in 2003 in Freddy vs. Jason. In the picture, the dream-entering bad guy took on the psycho from the Friday the 13th franchise.
Even people who haven’t seen Craven’s films should have some awareness of Krueger, as he has been depicted in various forms ever since. One of the most recent ways to enjoy the creepy character is in the game, Dead by Daylight. Behaviour Interactive developed an expansion of the horror survival offering in 2017 that received a strong review from keengamer.com. It allowed players to play as, or run away from Krueger.
While the Joker and Krueger should probably be considered as the most iconic villains from the 1980s who have lived on the longest, there are some other notable mentions. Chucky, for example, has appeared in more than eight films since Child’s Play was released in 1988. Back then, nytimes.com noted how scary it was, and the evil doll still strikes fear into audiences of today. Other classic villains from the decade that are still remembered today include Blade Runner’s Roy Batty and Die Hard’s Hans Gruber. Here are more interesting 80s events that you should not miss to read.