Back to the Future Sucks!

The official title of this article is “Back to the Future Sucks and I am glad the clock tower burned down and my only regret is that you weren’t in it while it was on fire!”

If I have to hear one more person pretend to lament the demise of this MOVIE SET, I am just gonna snap.

Oh, you loved Back to the Future? Wow, you must be an original, free-thinker. Usually movies that earn 210 million dollars (in 19fucking85!) aren’t appreciated by the general population, like that. You’re a regular Hunter S. Thompson.

I could go on for hours about why this makes me hate you. Mostly because I know there are like 12 people reading this right now who are taking this as a personal attack because of something they have said or done in the past few days. Let me reassure you: it’s not about you. It’s about you and the 11 other people reading this right now (and the 784 who aren’t) that all said or did something about the fire at Universal and how it has affected the beloved piece of wood that was in a movie 20 years ago.

Instead, I am going to through and systematically show you why you are a jackass for proclaiming this a great movie. Let me spoil it for you, right now: It’s not.

1.) It’s corny.

Lou: You gonna order something, kid?
Marty McFly: Ah, yeah… Give me – Give me a Tab.
Lou: Tab? I can’t give you a tab unless you order something.
Marty McFly: All right, give me a Pepsi Free.
Lou: You want a Pepsi, PAL, you’re gonna pay for it.

Hilarious! Hey Zemeckis, Abbott and Costello called, they want their bit back.

2.) It makes no sense.

I know that it’s a movie, but every time I see Alex P. Keaton pull out that photograph to check if his relatives are disappearing, I want to punch someone in the face.

88 miles an hour? That’s all it takes, huh? TO GO BACK IN TIME? That and some plutonium somehow makes 1.21 gigawatts of electricity, triggering a reaction that bends the space/time continuum. Good thing an instantaneous reaction like that wouldn’t create a lot of heat as a by-product. That might put a crimp in your travel plans if your ugly stainless steel car were to be vaporized along with the whole state you’re in as well as the three states bordering it.

I get it. It’s a movie. But we all know there is a point where “movie logic” runs its course.

“OK, so Neo can fly? Why didn’t he do that 500 other times during the movie? It seems like that really would have come in handy back then.”

I rest my case.

3.) Apparently, Rock n’ Roll was invented by a white teenager.

Not my joke, but it merits mentioning.

It should also be noted he’s the inspiration for Hill Valley’s first black mayor, too.

4.) It’s one big ad.

Pepsi. Nike. Burger King. Mattel. Delorean Motor Cars. Brylcreem.

As far as I can recall, this movie marked the glorious birth of the product-placement deal. Certainly, if it existed, it hadn’t been so blatant and persuasive. So next time you’re watching a movie and someone says, “hey, let’s go grab a delicious and re-freshing Coke Zero,” instead of “hey, let’s go get something to drink,” you have this thing to thank.

5.) They chickened out of their place in movie history.

The scene where Marty makes out with his mother could have been possibly the sexiest moment in a film. Ever.

I guess they felt American audiences weren’t ready for that kind of wish-fulfillment? I don’t know. I mean, who wouldn’t want to vicariously live out every man’s fantasy: i.e. traveling back in time to have sex with your father’s wife?

6.) Those constant callbacks to time-travel aren’t funny.

Hey, did you ever notice how Doc Brown’s appearance never changes? What about how they talk about nobody being able to afford two TVs?? Ronald Reagan, the president?!?!

Oh man, that’s all too much! Show me how the “humor” in this movie isn’t exactly the same thing as every hack comedian’s pop culture act; making constant references to the zeitgeist and the things that are popular now, versus the things that used to be popular back then. In fact, as I’m thinking this over, I wonder how much of this is owed to Yakov Smirnoff.

“In 1950’s America, manure takes dump on you!”

If I still haven’t convinced you, don’t forget Michael J. Fox lip-synching. The whole “Calvin Klein” mix-up. Michael J. Fox inventing skateboarding. Wayne from The Wonder Years. Michael J. Fox going back in time and making his family rich, yet they still figured, “hey, we should continue to live under these high-tension powerlines!”

About the only genuine laugh I can remember is when everyone thinks he’s in the Navy because he has a puffy vest. And that’s what? A hearty chuckle?

I mean, be honest with yourself. Is this a good movie or do you just think it is because when you watched it as a kid, you were stupid and had yet to come out of the closet? Isn’t it time you hipsters drop this “nostalgia for things that actually sucked” bullshit once and for all? I know this means you’ll have to throw out your Poison T-shirts, but you’re 32 years old now. When your dad was your age, he had a wife and 3 kids and a job where he had to wear a tie to work.

I mean, I don’t have any of those things, but I’m different. I like things nobody likes: like Back to the Future 2. I’m special!

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46 comments

    1. The cheesy dialogue never interested me in BTTF. The acting was good and it was a big budget film.but it was very very overrated. I am glad they took BTTF out of universal studios
      I am hoping Waterworld will be removed.

    2. Those movies are so lame. I remember at the end of pt 2, the entire audience BOOED! Loudly cussing and airing our collective disgust. There is no room for debate. The BTTF SUCK!!!

  1. I remember when Back to the Future came out, I wanted nothing more than Marty McFly’s black 1985 Toyota pickup truck. It was probably the coolest looking truck I had ever seen in my seven years of hard living.

    Then I saw part of the movie on TV the other day, and I was like, “WTF? That’s just some junky 23 year old truck! What happened to the sweet brand new truck I remember from my childhood? That thing looks like it’s straight from the fuckin’ 80’s or something!” Apparently they must have gone in and done some George Lucas-style CGI enhancement, replacing the awesome truck with an old one. Why they would do that is beyond me, but it really makes the movie seem dated. Bad decision, movie guys.

    Also, I remember Lea Thompson being really hot in that movie, but I saw her on a rerun of “Caroline in the City” recently, and she looked all old and shit! I guess I was wrong about her being hot in the movie. I don’t remember her being that old.

    On a completely unrelated note, I just got back from the doctor, and he told me I have some weird new disease that makes it so that my brain can’t understand the concept of time, especially as it relates to continuity in film. I’m not even sure what that means, so whatever.

  2. First of all, I am not going to point out that you were complaining about this movie the day before the fire. Motive. You live in close proximity. Opportunity. I’m not a cop, so I don’t know what the rest of those deals are they always say, but I would say that if you have any matches in the house.. well, as I say, I’m not going to point it out. You’re welcome.

    B) I think I already made a “Pepsi Free” joke. I don’t care if you didn’t like it, Carlos, just quit stealing the act I barely don’t have. Or maybe you’re just ignoring me. I mean, it’s like my Roger Ebert “Jaw-Dropping” review. I mean, that was highly insensitive , yet I have yet to be condemned. I am not just talking to hear my soul sizzzle, here, Plus I really hate manure, so I think I have some kind of legal claim there, too.

    Roman Numeral Four: I don’t know if you know anything about the Delorean, but I think that 88 MPH was probably stretching it for this piece of shit unless you drove it off a cliff. It had a net power output of 130 HP, which means that if they COULD manage to get it up to 88, it would take approximately 137 suburban shopping mall parking lots to get there. Not to mention the weight and wind resistance of the jigabooker. I knew right then that this film was highly detached from reality, so I just left the theater at that point, got in my kick-ass Renault Turbo Fuego , and went for a Whirla-Whip. Howd’d it end?

    Have you ever seen those early eighties Bond movies? I think it was Moonraker where the guy ends up plowing into a 7-Up sign on a gurney? They held the shot for about 8 seconds. I threw my Fresca at the screen, left the theater, got in my bitchin’ Triumph TR-7 and hauled ass to Bennetton and bought a few knit ties.

    Since I haven’t heard anything about the phone booths, I am going to assume the worst and suggest my next best idea for a remake, or remakes as it were.

    Two of the best movies of the 80s were, of course, Cobra, and Purple Rain. I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but the scene where Appolonia asks what do Prince (The Kid) dream about (if you watch it, you will understand why I wrote it this way- you don’t fuck with Shakespeare), and then she jumps in the lake, and then he tells her it’s the wrong lake (I think the one she jumped in was full of mercury or hexavalent chromium or something-haha!)- man that’s classic. And the part where Sly tells the bad guy “Go ahead, I don’t shop here”? It’s not your average cop that has the stones to talk a guy into blowing up a Safeway. Say something bad about it. I’ll fight you right here.

    My proposal is this: Shot by shot remakes of both films. Same script, same stars. One catch.

    This time, switch roles. Kind of a Freaky Friday thing. Just Imagine it: Prince as rough and tumble streetwise LAPD Sargeant Marion Cobretti. I think we know Brigitte Nielsen will go for it, what with her affinity for tiny brown men. I don’t even remember anything else about the movie, but who would need to see anything else after seeing Our hero show up in his mirrored sunglasses and purple velvet tails, ready to kick some terrorist ass.

    Likewise with Sly’s performance of “Darling Nikki”. Who wouldn’t pay ten bucks to see that? I sang this song earlier with a sandwich in my mouth, and I can tell you, it was something (the sandwich- I finally found somebody to make me one!). Plus, if Morris Day won’t do it, he could always get his multi-talented bother Frank to lead the rival band. That way, those of us in the know can give a wink and a high five during the “How’s the family” scene because we understand the implicit irony.

    3: What the fuck is zeitgeist? I heard it’s some kind of Swedish term, and I am against the Swedes. That’s why I stopped eating at Swensen’s years ago and I only eat Dippin’ Dots now.

  3. Was Back to the Future 2 the one with the “wild west” theme? Or was that three? I liked that one. Then again, I haven’t seen it since I was very young. Probably won’t watch it again so I can continue to like it.

  4. 3 is the wild west one. Usually people claim that one as the one they hate. I liked 2, but probably because I had gone to Universal and seen the sets when they were shooting it and I could go back home and divulge all my “insider secrets”. Plus, the hoverboards, which turned out to be a huge lie.

  5. Wrong! Hoverboards are real, but they were never put on the market because parents groups were concerned about safety after a kid died during product testing. Robert Zemeckis even said it himself! Didn’t you listen to the kids on the playground at your school as a child? If I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s that kids are natural investigative journalists that rarely, if ever, get their facts wrong. Maybe you just went to a really crappy school.

    I credit the fact that I am still alive to this day to those knowledgeable schoolyard chums. Without them, I might have accidentally drank some Dr. Pepper after eating Pop Rocks and had my stomach explode, just like that Mikey kid from the “Mikey Likes It!” commercials.

  6. You know, there was a time when I thought I had hallucinated that “behind the scenes of the hoverboard” thing they did. I remember thinking it was real and me and my friends not being able to wait til they came out. It was really the first viral marketing campaign. I was just looking for any mention of it… and I can’t find any.

    It existed, right? Did anyone else see this “behind the scenes” featurette thing? They showed an assembly line making the pink Mattel hoverboard thingies. No?

  7. According to Snopes, you are right, Eric. There’s an extra on the DVDs that includes stunt men testing out the hoverboards. All a fiendish prank at the evil hands of Robert Zemeckis. I have a vague memory of seeing that on TV somewhere years ago, maybe an HBO “Making of” special.

    “The DVD set of the Back to the Future trilogy has Zemeckis saying, ‘We got our hands on a couple of these hover boards after toy companies were banned from producing them’ and one of the features includes fottage of stunt men testing the hoverboards in a field. But this is just more of the leg-pull.”

    http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/hoverboard.asp

  8. Dude, you’re a genius. Why aren’t you replacing Roger Ebert? You’re so against the grain that it just shocks me, you’re so radical that I……………….zzzzzzzzzzzz.

  9. Back to the Futures are the best movies ever. Just forget for a moment all you remember about the movies. Good. Now I have here in my satchel a series of three movies that will contain.

    1) A principle with a shotgun

    2) Hoverboards

    3) A future where we don’t need roads

    4) freeze dried pizzas

    and lest I forget 5) a steam train that can travel through time.

    Now tell me you don’t want to watch.

    So fuck you hollywoodphony. screw your mother your father and your whole family all your friends. Hooooraaayyy!

    P.s. thank the emmys for being so boring.

  10. Dear 80’s guy, thanks for reading!
    Your points all relate to parts 2 and 3. Here’s the thing that I didn’t have the guts to say: I actually like Back to the Future 2 better than the original. Oh wait, I did say that. So yeah, I agree with you? This is confusing.

  11. You have never heard of escapism?

    Plus, the whole trilogy brings up issues involved that every scientist wonders about.

    I suggest you learn Einstein.

    Dr. Akiko Ito

  12. I played the contra-bassoon in my elementary school orchestra. We had to learn “Einstein” in less than a week for a performance at the P.S. 137 Spring Fling Wing-Ding.

    I still have scar tissue on my lungs from the part where the time signature goes to second order linear equations..

    But, by God we learned “Einstein”.

  13. Wow, no mentions of the Delorean (sp?) at all! Back to the Future is like Beverly Hills Cop–we look back and wonder what the hell we were laughing at. Why did we find any of it remotely funny? Because we were kids. Watch either movie and tell me it’s actually funny, I dare you, you’ll be lying.

    Now Top Gun–that’s a fucking great movie, forget that Orson Welles asswipe.

  14. Hahah, this is an old blog hollywoodphony, but anyway…the fact that you’re funny is the only thing preventing me from hating you and the fact that you like the sequel also makes it okay. You made good points here…
    Although, I think the 2nd movie is the most weird one. Why does Marty even HAVE to mess with the future? Why couldn’t Doc just tell him? Makes me question the whole beginning, but worth overlooking because the rest is all fun! I like all 3 movies. Now…
    As for Marty not disappearing at all while he’s able to watch his siblings disappear…It’s because nothing has happened yet–he’s in some weird limbo I guess I would say–he has the opportunity to make things go their course, it’s all unsure. So he shouldn’t start to disappear until the moment his parents actually fell in love (at the dance), and if he screws it up. It works. And the car, there’s probably more inside it that somehow prevents the plutonium from burning up everything–ah, who knows, Doc is a genius, so of course he made that piece of shit car into something–only takes 88 mph? That’s a good deal! What if he just had to press a button? Cliche.
    Also, The McFlys still live in the same place because Hill Valley is where they grew up, they don’t want to leave. Now if you wanna get into the theory of parallel universes, I’ll start geeking now…It says for every decision there’s an opposite universe created where the decision isn’t made…so in other words, there’s a shitload of other dimensions,and possibly one where Marty wakes up in a completely different country in a huge mansion–but instead he decided to travel 15 minutes to Hill Valley, where he was—-how is he able to control that? Too hard to explain, so they simple saved time and didn’t show it *wink*. BTTF has no problems with the time travel that I can’t argue against—I dare someone to try me! Although, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the number 1 weird thing…

    1) Why the hell did they stay friendly with Biff in the future? Who knows what he was going to do to Loraine in ’55 in that car…but I think he was too dumb as a teen to be truly evil…
    2) Also Biff was NOT the one who helped the parents fall in love, it was the mysterious Marty kid they met as teens…So what the hell? Maybe Biffy did something else that made the parents accept him, who knows…

    3) They don’t recognize Marty, but oh well. 30 years ago, only knew him for a week. I’d forget too.

    I love this movie because I also went to Universal and went on the tour tram every time and that Clock tower brings back memories. I seriously paid no attention to the movies all my life until a year ago. Also you like the second movie because you saw the sets…sounds like nostalgia to me man…The second is actually the most flawed, and you still LIKE it! hah. You like because it gives you memories. Just like how us jackasses like the first movie even if it’s awful…or wait…no it’s not. As for the cheesy lines you claim…Well, that’s your tastes, you have right to that. Goodbye

  15. How do you feel about Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure?

    What about Forrest Gump? You know, he really was responsible for all those things – I bet Nixon really hates him!

  16. Doc Brown: Tell me, Future Boy, who’s President of the United States in 1985?
    Marty: Ronald Reagan.
    Doc Brown: Ronald Reagan? The actor? Then who’s vice-president, Jerry Lewis? I suppose Jane Wyman is the First Lady? And Jack Benny is Secretary of the Treasury!

  17. Dude it’s just a movie take it easy ! BTTF is awesome but it’s just a movie so calm down and get a life. By the way, I still want those power lace nike trainers !

  18. Maybe I misread it or its some joke, but is your fantasy really to travel back in time and have sex with your own mom? What type of sicko are you? Is this really a wish-fulfillment as you call it for non-Americans? Jeez I feel like I’m going to throw up.

  19. @hollywoodphony – glad someone said that the movie sucked. I agree with you in most of the points. I first saw this movie couple of days ago only because I found it on list of recommended sc-fi movies (in the company of Ridley’s Scott Alien & Blade Runner, Kubrick’s Spacey Oddysey etc.) and while I always suspected that the BTTF will suck I decided I’ll give it a chance(well it can not be that bad if it’s on the same list with those movies mentioned – can it ?).

    After watching it I could hardly find a single thing that woudln’t suck about it. There were like two moments that made me smile (not laugh) while most of the jokes were sooo convulsive and annoying (like with the pepsi free) Note that’s not because I lack sense of humor – as I consider Red Dwarf, or books of Douglas Addams to be an excellent sci-fi comedy = something that BTTF definitely is not. Then the characters were up to the most basic cliches you can ever come up with – so predictable and boring ! Then the story – ouch ! Like when his mother tells the story of how she and her husband met – and you already know that something in the past will screw things up and they will have to fix it ! And I’ve seen similar causality correction concepts probably only in 1000 other movies / tv shows. It didn’t offer anything a slightest bit inventive or interesting that e.g. a regular star-trek time-travel episode couldn’t offer.

    But the most ridiculous part of all of that is the science. Time machine in a stylish car and 88 mph ! What a pile of nonsense ! Stupidity of “science” behind BTTF really offends me. It’s obvious on so many places how they artificially adjust “science” for needs of “story telling” e.g. as people disappearing from a photography or car at 88mph is really something that adds chills to a movie – so yes let’s come with as many stupid science principles as we can to make this movie more attractive to wide audience. For example nearly everyone likes fast cars – right ? So let’s make the time travel possible at 88 mph as it will not only be fast but can lead to many thrillingly dangerous and funny situations (like the car crashing when it jumps to/from another time, or the problems when for no apparent reason the car won’t start just seconds before the lightning is supposed to strike etc.)

    And the absolutely most stupid thing (the one you forgot to mention): how they collected the energy of the lightning. 88mph equals ~ 40 m/s so even if the collector would be about 40 cm = 0.4m wide (while in reality it was much shorter) they would still need a pinpoint 10ms accuracy at timing. (10 ms is the time it takes a car at 88mph to travel 0.4m) so even if they knew the time of the lighting stroke within 10ms tolerance (which they had no chance of knowing) it would be still impossible to do. The newspaper mention that the lighting hit the tower EXACTLY at xy PM is just yet another example of how ridiculously the facts are adjusted to suit dramatic effect – in a really offensive way (as the best you could get from that is the exact hour + minute of the event) . The entire movie just felt profoundly stupid and uninteresting. Maybe with exception of his young mother being quite hot and the skateboard scenes bringing bits of action that was actually OK/non-irritating for which I would give it a generous 3/10. BTTF is not a comedy nor art and it’s not a sci-fi but rather some weired stupid pop-culture rubbish. I totally don’t get how this movie can be so highly praised.

    1. That’s a really good “analysis”; if you do the same with any other movie in the world of course you would say it sucks. A cyber machine that comes from the future to save the world? We all know that’s not possible but that doesn’t make Terminator the worst movie ever, does it? All fiction movies have things you can explain and prove wrong, SO? It’s a movie, a fictional story and it’s fun to watch, PERIOD.

      Besides, if you watched the movie 25 years later that’s your fault, you missed it… If I watched BTTF for the first time today I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it, but seing those nike trainers, that car and the whole time-travelling thing at 13 years old was really cool, that’s all.

      So as I said before, take it easy dude, it’s just a movie, with some illogical funny stuff like so many other ficional movies…

  20. Damn, all you really seem to do is attack anyone that likes this movie. Well you know what, all that does is weakens your argument. You show emotional fallacy in this and your argument seems pretty weak as well. In fact, I’d dare say some of your arguments are plain wrong (like the one about chickening out of their place in movie history).
    Maybe you have some kind of beef with this movie or its popularity. Maybe you just want to go against the grain. Maybe you had an ex-girlfriend who really loved this movie and now you’re bitter so you take it out on this film. I don’t know. I can’t say. All I can say is, this type of hatred for something that’s really popular is just unhealthy.
    Nobody’s opinion is wrong. Just because this is my favorite movie doesn’t mean I’m wrong or any smarter or dumber than you. You didn’t like the movie? Fine. That doesn’t mean we have to dislike it as well.

  21. ONE was good.
    TWO meh..started getting dumb.
    THREE Was just shit.

    And the 1st Jennifer was WAY hotter!
    Screw that other chick with th bad wig.

  22. Is it wrong that I want to dump my boyfriend for liking this movie so much? It really wasn’t all that funny or endearing and the incest moment(s) were just WRONG. Screw this. It makes me wish that A Nightmare on Elm Street (made just 1 year prior) would merge with this crummy movie and give it a good plot twist. …courtesy of Freddy Kreuger

  23. Quite true, but you forgot the annoying soundtrack. That’s not music, it’s a patchwork of pieces stuffed together that (seems to me) weren’t supposed to be joined. Many transpositions and mode changes probably supposed to be “surprising” that just underline the patchiness of it all. And of course, the sheer amount of repetitive appearances of the same trumpet / horn part throughout the movie that make you feel they had just that and Huey Lewis to musically support the story. Really, one must **hate** this soundtrack. Almost as bad as the one from Jurassic Park which basically suffers the same symptoms.

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