For years now I have been telling family members, on the rare occasions when I talk to them, that all films of the last decades have bad messages.
My late sister asked me some years ago, smiling triumphantly as if challenging me, what a bad message Back to the Future could have. I did not answer because I’d have had to speak in a big way on issues that she would not accept. But I do now, even though my sister can no longer read my answer.
The film begins with an experiment that Marty McFly (Michael Fox) makes with a huge speaker and his electric guitar. Well: the invention of the electric guitar alone was a blunder for Western culture. See, for example, this comment by the British Roger that we reproduced on this site six years ago.
So badly does Back to the Future initiate that the audience doesn’t disapprove of that experiment in which Marty harms his hearing with such decibels—something that, in the real world, many teenagers do with rock music.
Another bad message in the film occurs in the first scene inside the cafeteria of Hill Valley town, when Marty tells the humble black waiter that, in the future, he will be mayor of the town. The film implies that those changes from 1955 to 1985 would be seen as natural, that the inversion of values is perfectly okay.
I do not need to say more to show that even the funniest movie—Ronald Reagan himself loved Back to the Future when he saw it in the White House in 1985—may harbour a toxic message for the 14 words. But I could finish this brief review by pointing out that the film culminates with Marty playing the degenerate music of the future in the school dance of 1955: a time when the music for dancing was not so degenerating.