The Best Christian Slater Movies of the 1980s
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Considered as one of Hollywood’s A-list stars, Christian Slater has portrayed a variety of characters throughout his forty-year career.
His diverse acting and on-screen charisma have made him synonymous with big-budget films throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Despite that, Christian Slater’s acting career actually started during the late ’70s as a child actor.
While many film lovers tend to point to his box-office streak during the ’90s as the apex of his career, Slater has had a number of memorable roles during the ’80s as well. With that being said, let’s take a look at a few films with memorable Slater performances from the ’80s!
The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)
The Legend of Billie Jean marks Slater’s film debut alongside Helen Slater (no relation) as his on-screen sister. In the film, Christian plays Binx Davy, the younger sibling of the titular character Billie Jean Davy, portrayed by Helen Slater. The movie revolves around Billie Jean’s misfortunes and subsequent transformation to a teen icon in the film’s fiction.
Christian Slater’s performance as Binx, a young, rebellious, and slightly mischievous teen from the ’80s is surprisingly endearing. Coupled with good chemistry alongside Helen Slater’s performance as Billie Jean and you have a must-watch for anyone who enjoys the 1980’s retro aesthetic. It is no wonder the movie is considered a cult classic.
1989 is perhaps the most significant year in terms of Slater’s budding film career, with him appearing in a total of five films in that year alone. The first film to be released that year is none other than another cult classic, Heathers. The film revolves around a small group of teenage girls, three of them named Heather, who gets embroiled with a rebellious outsider named J.D. The film itself is a dark comedy coming-of-age film, a contrast to the number of teen films released around the same time that depict teen life in a more optimistic and trivial manner.
Slater plays Jason “J.D’ Dean, a dangerous newcomer with evil intentions. Slater’s portrayal of a troubled teenager is downright unsettling yet enchanting, making it one of the most memorable performances of his career. The film also establishes Slater’s image as a teen heartthrob. The film has since been considered a cult classic, with many considering it one of the greatest coming-of-age films of all time.
Gleaming The Cube (1989)
Another foray into troubled teenager territory, this film finds Brian Kelly (played by Slater) investigating the mysterious death of his adopted Vietnamese brother. The film itself is an eclectic mix of neo-noir, skateboarding culture, and commentary on Vietnam’s Communism.
The movie itself is sort of a mixed bag, with uneven pacing and a somewhat confusing plot. However, Slater’s dynamic performance as a rebellious yet caring skateboarder is still as endearing as ever. The film is also known for prominently featuring skateboard culture, a rarity for media at the time.
The film has several prominent skateboarders as stunt skaters, with the now legendary Tony Hawk even being a member of Brian’s skate crew.
The film, yet again, now has a strong cult following, especially among skateboard enthusiasts.