Top 5 Retro Slimeballs in 80s History
The 80s brought us so many iconic movies, songs, and moments in history. The 80s was a time when shoulder pads were cool and bands were categorized by their hair. It also brought us some of the greatest cinematic slimeballs. We’ve ranked our favorite five for your enjoyment:
- Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber from Die Hard
Is it a Christmas movie? The world is still debating. However, one thing nearly everyone agrees on is the iconic late 80s villain Hans Gruber from the film Die Hard. Sporting the quintessential slimeball look with a mustache/beard combo and slicked-back hair, this German criminal mastermind is foiled by John McClane. Rickman did such a great job in this breakout role, he was typecast as a villain for much of his career. Without Hans Gruber, we wouldn’t have Snape from Harry Potter and the Sheriff of Nottingham Forest.
- Paul Gleason as Vice Principal Richard Vernon from The Breakfast Club
When a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal meet at the ungodly hour of 7:00 am for detention on a Saturday morning, they quickly find a common enemy in slimeball John Vernon. In anger, Vernon harasses our bad-boy-80s-hero John (played by Judd Nelson) and gives him 8 more weeks of detention, and locks him in a storage closet. Despite all this, John still gets the girl: Claire Standish played by red-headed starlit Molly Ringwald. Slimeballs never win.
- Thomas F. Wilson as Biff Tannen from Back to the Future
Tall, aggressive, dumb. What else needs to be said about slimeball and bully Biff Tannen? Rather than hitting the books, Biff prefers to hit George McFly. Biff comes from a long line of slimeballs too, passed down from generation to generation. Did you know that Biff was based on a real person? Years before the release of the film, studio executive Ned Tanen aggressively confronted two Back to the Future writers over a different film script they had been working on. In return, they wrote him into cinematic history.
- Jason Alexander as Philip Stuckey in Pretty Woman
Technically this film was released in 1990, but it feels like the 80s to me. Edward Lewis buys and sells off failing businesses for a living. One night, after his “beck and call girl” Jessica breaks up with him, he winds up in the red light district of LA. Sex worker Vivian steals his heart when she spends several days with him. In a real slimeball move, Edward tells his associate and even bigger slimeball, Philip, that Vivian is a sex worker. Having no tact, he propositions her for sex several times and asks to get in line after Edward is done with her. What a sleaze.
- James Spader as Steff McKey in Pretty in Pink
Andie Walsh, played by Molly Ringwald, has rejected rich kid and bully Steff McKey, and he is not taking it well. Instead of moving on, he has to be a slimeball about it. Things escalate when she begins talking to McKey’s best friend, Blane. This movie serves high school drama and classism, and of course, the good guys win. Should Andie have ended up with the tried-and-true nerd Duckie played by Jon Cryer? Probably. But she kisses Blane in the parking lot instead.