Starring: Joe Don Baker, Jim Greenleaf, and Scott McGinnis
Directed by: Greydon Clark
Written by: Al Gomez, Mickey Epps and Curtis Burch
Joysticks was recommended to me by my friend Mike Dikk. While he doesn't share my love for the American Pie Franchise, he does share an affinity for 80's T&A movies. Being that Mike is a few years older than I am and got to watch late night cable, he's also seen a lot of movies which have fallen through the cracks for me.
What makes movies like Joysticks great is that they take a perfect formula, adapt it to one situation or another, and DON'T FUCKING STRAY FROM IT ONE BIT. Innovation is all well and good, but not enough credence is given to finding a good thing and sticking with it. There's a reason all three Naked Gun movies are solid gold, you know?
The formula which Joysticks adheres to is as follows: local kids enjoy _____. Enjoyment of ______ involves sex, drugs and rock and roll. This of course angers the local ______ authority figure. Said authority figure sets out to ruin the kids good time. The kids respond by upping the ante and a final showdown for the right of the kids to enjoy ______ is set.
The formula also calls for at least one character of each of the following groups:
1) The cool guy who is cool and popular in a rebellious sorta way. At least rebellious in the sense that his parents friends would say "oh, Billy was such a good boy until he started running with that fast crowd." I mean, he doesn't stick up hookers for coke, but he likes to party and doesn't care for RULES. Also very into tits, and gets them all the time.
2) The ultranerd that the cool guy takes pity on. This guy is always a virgin, wears glasses, and has a high pitched voice. He also really wants to see tits, but can be distracted by things like math and computers and D&D.
3) The gross fatso pig guy. This guy is also cool with #1, but it's less of a situation where #1 takes him under his wing as it is a respect for gross fatso's don't-give-a-fuck attitude. Fatso is into tits as well, and will see them and enjoy them but also skeeve out the owner of said tits. Which, of course, he doesn't give a fuck about.
4) The babe of interest. Sexy babe who's not a stuck up bitch. That's pretty much it. Sometimes she's replaced by just a bunch of:
5) Babes. Big awesome hooters, real dumb, into getting naked and DOING IT ALLLLLLL THE TIME.
6) Shitty authority figure guy(s). Occasionally a shitty authority figure lady or ladies, but usually it's a guy. Often have a bevy of henchmen- see: Dean Wormer and Niedermayer in Animal House.
7) Crazy weirdo freaker punker type(s). Either one weirdo or a group of weirdos. Sometimes they're the corny version of "crazy freaks" that someone's dad would describe to the cops, and sometimes they're actually cool weirdo punkers. They can either unite with the main characters to fight the authority figure, or can be another hassle the main characters have to deal with.
And that's pretty much it. Obviously there are endless variations on said characters, and sometimes a character not mentioned is included, but I defy you to find any self respecting 80's T&A movie that doesn't have almost all of the above characters.
The setting for all this greatness in Joysticks is, you guessed it, an arcade. The arcade is run by Jefferson Bailey (#1). His recent hire, Eugene Groebe, (#2) opens the movie on his way to his first day of work. He's stopped by two babes (#5, duh) in a convertible. They are on a mission to acquire a pair of pants that belongs to a nerd, for god knows what awesome reason. They entice him into the car by taking out their hooters, which are of course incredible. The 80's might have been the pinnacle of boobs in movies, because not only were they prevalent as all hell, but they were the perfect middle ground between gnarly 70's boobs and the absurdly fake movie boobs of the 90's.
Now as I mentioned in the FRACTURE review, this was about the time my roomates Steve and Jim decided to turn it off. I guess four perfect jugs in the first two minutes was just titty overload. They're both awesome dudes and I don't mean to rag on them that much, but that was just the most absurd time to ask to have the movie turned off. Now to be fair Joysticks, and movies of its ilk aren't for everyone. There are moments in it's 88 minutes where I can see how it might drag a bit. But two minutes in, where nothing has happened except a nerd has gotten to ogle some awesome boobs? Really? That's where you shut it off? Motherfuckers.
I'm going to have to try and nip that rant in the bud and just move on before I get too wrapped up in how frustrating that was.
Being that I'm doing this write up a few weeks after I watched Joysticks, I can't remember what the arcade was called. A preliminary internet search didn't do any good either, so that will have to be lost for the ages. But you should go out and see Joysticks, and then you can find out for yourself. As mentioned, The TittyBoobHooter Arcade is run by Jefferson Bailey, and it's home to the cool kids and the freaks and the babes. Before Eugene Groebe shows up, Bailey's only other quasi employee and defacto number two is Jonathan Andrew McDorfus (#3). He's really good at beating video games while making crazy faces and stuffing his face. While the only official employee, Eugene is still very clearly low man on the totem pole.
Being that the kids go wild for video games and don't want to do anything but hang out at the arcade, it's only a matter of time before a local authority figure decides to crack down. In Joysticks said authority figure is Joseph Rutter, played by Joe Don Baker (the PI from the Cape Fear remake, among other things).
Rutter pretty clearly hates the entire enterprise of fun, and the TittyBoobHooter arcade is his most recent target. He enlists his retarded nephews to try and steal all the games, and of course they screw it up. He ALMOST gets the arcade kids by teaming up with King Vidiot (#7) the head freak who loves video games but hates Jefferson Bailey for no apparent reason. They meet when King Vidiot breaks into Rutters house in a totally awesome way- just thrashing through his sliding glass door like it ain't no thing! I also sort of remember Vidiot moshing through a wall, but there's a very real chance that my shit memory is just totally making that up.
What follows is a sort of hazy period where Bailey has a three way with two foxes that gets interrupted by a zany distraction, Eugene gets to see some more hooters, and McDorfus grosses some babes out.
Then the climax comes with the requisite SHOWDOWN FOR THE FATE OF THE UNIVERSE. And/or arcade. I guess because they're still beefing, the showdown is between McDorfus and King Vidiot.
If you've ever seen any of these movies, or really any movie besides Requim For A Dream, you know how this ends so I won't bother going into it.
What I love most about this movie is that it really captures the spirit of the joy of boobs. Naked boobs, bouncy boobs, big floppy boobs, just plain old boobs. There are still movies today that have boobs in them, but its rare that a movie celebrates not only the tits themselves but the pure, gleeful, unadulterated revelry that can, nay, SHOULD be taken in the baring of breasts.
Steve and I expound upon this at quite some length during a segment in the first episode of our podcast, The Madmosa Podcast, which you can find out more about HERE. That's a pretty shameless plug but whatever. It also saves me re-typing my comments from said podcast.
Great movie, great celebration of tits, great character acting by King Vidiot, McDorfus and Eugene, great great great. Four short and curlies out of five.
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