The eighties are noteworthy for so many reasons. I may be biased, as I grew up during that decade, but I think it's the most radical decade ever. The eighties were so colorful, so excessive... so tubular. Back then, the attitude seemed to be "Anything goes." The eighties brought us Jem and The Holograms, Leon Neon, Pogo Balls, the Mad Scientist Monster Lab, the slasher boom, bangle bracelets, MadBalls, and Pee-Wee Herman. The eighties are also responsible for a variety of somewhat regrettable hairstyles that, while fun at the time, should never be worn again. Just like disco, bellbottoms, and The Partridge family from the '70s, some things are best left behind in the decade in which they were popularized... but that doesn’t mean that we can’t glance back at them from time to time.
To be clear, we aren’t attacking the hairstyles of the eighties in general; they were fun for their time, but they just don’t quite inspire the same sense of wonder as they did in their decade of origin. With that said, we present to you seven of the most awesomely bad eighties hairstyles from genre film.
The Lee Sisters in The Gate
The Gate is an absolutely awesome movie and the hairstyles are awesomely bad. In addition to being highly obnoxious, the Lee sisters also have horrendously-coiffed hair. In fact, in one scene their bangs were standing straight up. If someone were to go out looking like that today, they would be the recipient of more than a few stares and raised eyebrows, but in the great eighties, the Lee sisters didn’t necessarily cause much of a ruckus.
Debbie in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4
Not only did Debbie have big teased hair and big bangs, she also had the hooker-red nails to match. Freddy was kind of doing her a favor by making sure that she never went out of the house looking like that again. Debbie said that she didn’t believe in Freddy, but Freddy most certainly believed in her... and unfortunately for Debbie, Freddy won out.
The Goblin King’s Mullet in Labyrinth
Oh, David Bowie, what were you thinking? Your mullet was majestic, but it was still a mullet... a big, fat, tall, stylized mullet. When I was a youngster, I would see the VHS cover art for Labyrinth at the video store and ask my parents who the mean woman with the crystal ball was on the box cover. Needles to say, it was not a good look for The Goblin King, or David Bowie for that matter. He needed to magic dance his way to a barbershop and get that mop chopped off!
Stooge in Night of the Demons
Stooge had one of the worst hairstyles of all time: a mullet with Vanilla Ice-esque lines shaved in the side. One or the other on its own would have been less offensive, but as it stands, Stooge was a walking fashion calamity. His bad hair was made even worse by the pig nose he was sporting. I remember watching Night of the Demons for the first time and repeatedly thinking that I wanted him to hurry up and die so that I wouldn’t have to look at his mug any longer. That probably makes me a terrible person, but I’m sure I would be much more tolerant if I saw the film for the first time today.
Violet's Crimped Hairdo in Friday the 13th Part 5
Violet is not only memorable for dancing the robot right before her demise, she is also known for her outrageously bad hair. She had the crimped locks of her bob sporting some punk rock highlights. Again, maybe that look wasn’t bad for the time, but by today’s standards, it is just not okay. Violet, maybe if you were sporting a more timeless look, Jason would have taken pity on you and given you a fighting chance. I guess we will never know...
Diane Sullivan in New Year's Evil
Diane's big, curly, teased red hairdo was just a little too much, even for 1980. Maybe that’s why the TV show host had a psycho killer on her trail through the entirety of the film... well, actually not, but we wouldn’t have blamed the killer if he was out to rectify her terrible haircut. Diane’s hair was bad at the time, but today, it would be a full-blown fashion crime. However, we still look back on her big hair with a fond sense of nostalgia; we just hope the look doesn't ever make a comeback.
Trash in Return of the Living Dead
Linnea Quigley can dance like nobody’s business, but what was up with that hair? A short shock of bright orange locks was not very becoming on Trash. We understand that she was part of a gang of punkers and had to look the part, but she still could've had a more attractive 'do. However, viewers really didn’t care, since Trash had her more bountiful assets prominently on display for everyone to see. She even hopped atop a tomb and did one of the most epic stripteases ever committed to film.
Did we cover all of the eighties hairstyles you love to hate? As always, let us know in the comments below!