2. “Revenge Of The Nerds” Rapes Girls And Uses Them As Pawns For Frat House Shenanigans
Revenge of the Nerds is a classic 80s “slobs vs. snobs” movie that leaned into the lesson that you should always be yourself – even if who you are is a complete dweeb. The movie is already full of oversexed characters who talk incessantly about their sex lives…or lack thereof. But that’s to be expected: these are nerds in the 80s, after all. It would make perfect sense if, at the end of the film, the nerds slept with many consensual bodacious babes who realized that brains were just as good as brawn, and all that really matters is whether or not you’re a good person. Unfortunately, that’s not what happens. The “revenge” that the nerds claim begins at a college carnival where the frat houses are trying to win points to see which house will reign supreme. Louis, the leader of the nerds, steals the Darth Vader costume belonging to the leader of the rival frat and entices his rival’s girlfriend into a bounce house. They have sex, and then Louis reveals that he’s not her boyfriend.
The filmmakers depict this as casual college hijinks. Betty’s body is collateral damage in a pointless war between the frats. In the film, Betty is totally fine with being raped by a stranger and used as a pawn in the frats’ game. In real life, however, this would hopefully land Louis in prison for a very long time.
3. “Sixteen Candles” Is Actually A Racist, Sexist, Date Rape Horror
If you haven’t watched the classic John Hughes coming-of-age film in a while then you may only have warm memories of Molly Ringwald navigating the strange world of high school dances, house parties, and that dreamy Jake Ryan. You may not realize that this is easily one of the most racist and pro-date rape movies ever made. Racism is rampant throughout the movie and it always hits when you least expect it. Gedde Watanabe plays foreign exchange student Long Duk Dong and if you’re already cringing, that means you have a pulse. Dong is repeatedly referred to as a “Chinaman,” he can only verbalize things in a Mickey Rooney-esque shout, and at one point he shouts, “BONZAI!” Seriously, John Hughes? Is that really what you think about people from Asia?
As if that weren’t bad enough, the second half of the movie follows Anthony Michael Hall’s character Ted on a quest to sleep with any woman who will have him. He is finally saved when dreamboat Jake Ryan tells Ted that his ex, Caroline, is so drunk that he could “violate her 10 different ways” if he wanted to. This is the guy who the audience is supposed to be in love with, by the way. Jake hands the keys to his father’s car over to Ted, helps load Caroline into the car, and tells him to “have fun.” Woof. Was 16 Candles ever good? Was there a context where date rape and overt racism were okay? Or did audiences just pretend that this kind of thing was funny?