High School Movies were a staple in the 1980s and late 1990s. It’s a shame they’ve disappeared, as they brought a level of fun and whimsy (and gross-out humor) to the theatre. They might be making a comeback, though. Project X, a movie that is purportedly about the most outrageous high school party ever, will be released on March 2. In honor of the possible renaissance of the high school movie, here are the top 5 High School House Party Movies, in no particular order:

SuperbadLet’s start with a movie not only about a party, but about getting a very important element of the party – the liquor, and also getting the girl at the end (or trying to). While the party in Superbad is the main plot focus, the real star of the movie are our two heroes – Evan (Michael Cera) and Seth (Jonah Hill) – they’re not popular, but they’re not nerds, they’re just two regular Joes trying to navigate high school and their raging hormones. And while there are many scenes that could have you clicking off your tv (or walking out of the theatre) because of their raunchy nature (blood on the pants anyone?), these unlikely foibles are handled with charm, heart, and are truly funny.

Risky BusinessWhile almost everyone knows Risky Business as “that movie where Tom Cruise lip-synced to Bob Seger in his underwear,” what you might not know is that little stunt was the precursor to one crazy party. See, Tom Cruise falls in love with a prostitute, gets mixed up with Guido, “the killer pimp,” and totals his father’s Porsche. While the first two problems are a little more complicated, the last one can be solved by an unprecedented sort of high school house party – one where the house becomes a brothel for Cruise’s classmates, and Cruise becomes a pimp, for just one night. If Project X truly features the most epic and outrageous high school party ever, Risky Business shows it has a lot to live up to.

American PieWhile the premise of American Pie is four high school guys looking to lose their virginity by prom, the real action happens on prom night, at Steve Stifler’s party in his family’s lake house. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) tells his girlfriend Vicky he loves her and they get it on, Oz (Chris Klein), and Heather (Mena Suvari) spend a romantic night on the deck and probably have sex, though that one is left up to interpretation, band-geek Michelle (Alison Hannigan) aggressively boinks Jim (Jason Biggs), and, most memorably, Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) gets his with Stifler’s Mom (Jennifer Coolidge), the original MILF. The after-prom party isn’t the only house party in American Pie, though – there’s the house party where Stifler chugs a beer spiked with semen, and the viewing parties in homes across the school district when Jim sets up his webcam to tape him and hot exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) doing the nasty, except Jim got a little too excited…  The parties in American Pie weren’t much more than run of the mill, but that’s why the movie made this list – they felt real, with just a little touch of the gross.

Sixteen CandlesYou could describe Sixteen Candles as a movie about a party forgotten – Molly Ringwald’s entire family forgot her birthday in the excitement of her sister’s wedding. Lucky for her, the school dance was on the night of her birthday, so she got a party, though not the one she expected (lending your underwear to the school dweeb is so not the experience you want). While the house party in Sixteen Candles  was wild, with aforementioned dweeb hooking up with the hottest girl in school, ultimately the best party had just two attendees – Molly Ringwald and her object of desire: Jake Ryan. Aw! Corny? Yes. Improbable? Of course. Classic? Definitely.

Can’t Hardly WaitI know I said these movies were in no particular order, but I couldn’t help myself – I had to save the best for last! Can’t Hardly Wait is the only movie of these five that takes place entirely at a house party. It’s somewhat of a fantasy, as everyone from every social group at the high school has arrived to celebrate their graduation, find the girl of their dreams, debut (and reunite) their band, or to humiliate that guy who has been such a jerk to them these past four years. While the partygoers had high expectations for their experiences, most of the time things didn’t go as planned. Who doesn’t cheer for the geek who became a rock god as he screamed out “Paradise City?” Who doesn’t love Seth Green and Lauren Ambrose getting locked in the bathroom and hooking up? What about Melissa Joan Hart as the yearbook girl not getting all the signatures? And Ethan Embry’s valiant efforts to win Jennifer Love Hewitt’s affections are charming if somewhat misguided. Despite the large number of characters and subplots, somehow you feel like you know everyone at the party and understand all their stories. It’s a feat for which the filmmakers should be congratulated and one that is seldom repeated.

As far as Project X goes, I’ll be in the theaters for it, and crazy party or not, I just hope it can live up to the standards set by these movies.