Undead Cinema: The Goonies!

As I start a new dungeon crawl this weekend, I am reminded of my first exposure to dungeon crawling with a party. The movie Goonies(1985) is by Richard Donner, the same guy who brought us the Lethal Weapon Series (1987-98), Scrooged (1988), Ladyhawke (1985),The Toy (1982), Omen (1976), and Maverick (1994).

Do the Truffle Shuffle!

I accept that the premise is relatively weak. The town is being turned into a golf course by yuppies so kids go hunt for pirate treasure, but the movie is fun.

I know the setup is weak, but it gives us a great chance to see Josh Brolin from MIB3, Sean Astin from the Lord of the Rings films, Martha Plimpton from the TV series Raising Hope.

It was my first reference to the wonderful work of actor Joe Pantoliano. I had no idea what Sloth looked like until I just got empty-headed enough to check IMDB. It is John Matuszac from my hometown Houston Oilers, when they were here. I remembered him from Ice Pirates because I love that film, but Sloth too was awesome. To this day, I still say “Racky Roahd” like Sloth.


Tattoo late to regret it.
Tattoo late to regret it.

I would have liked to see the initial premise built up a bit more. The town is being sold? The whole town? Who is the bully at the top of the well? Does the older brother do anything besides do exercising? Who built the gate-opening device? Why is the father hiding museum pieces in his attic instead of at the museum where they belong and would get more viewership and more funding?


Hablas Espanol?

For years afterward, I would draw treasure maps and invent paths and imaginary booby-traps in my backyard, turning my backyard pool into pits and water traps. I wanted a skull key like the movie. I never understood how the kids were supposed to activate the wrong lock if the key only fit the correct lock. I practiced my piano in case I came upon a skeleton organ. I learned Spanish especially so I could learn to tell people where I would lock them in with the “cockarochas” if they failed to do their work. I longed for a waterslide made by pirates. When my father and I went out on sailboats out on our local lake, I would pretend that I was “One-eyed Willy” savaging the seven seas. The movie Goonies turned me onto being a pirate.

Quotes from the Film

For those that have never heard of Goonies, it is the story of a group of kids, desperate to save their town, who find an old pirate map and go into the tunnels to find pirate treasure. They are harassed by criminals who want to turn their town into a golf course and country club, a family of criminals recently escaped from jail, and traps laid by seaborne criminals long gone.

Along the way, the characters come to work together using sibling connection, a want to be neighborly, a feeling of shared protection, and the understanding that everyone is good at different things, but as a team, the whole will survive by the use of the parts effectively.

Do we still watch Goonies? Yeah, it is a great film that lets kids be heroes. It is an excellent way to inspire kids to be heroes, inventors, and get them to be proud of who they are as part of the team. Whether you are the leader, the brain, the jock, the chubby kid, the cheerleader, the jock or the techie, you are one of the Goonies.

The most common copied Goonies costume is Sloth’s head and a Superman T-shirt and suspenders. Topped with a pirate hat, if you got muscles, then a good booming yell of Hey You Guys! and you got yourself a classic movie monster costume. If you are thee class clown then a set of khaki shorts, a hawaiian shirt and a beergut make the Truffle shuffle of Chunk a quick costume. Do people talk about the film in conventions? Probably not as much as they used to, but the actors, as I’ve already discussed, have made careers after the film. So be sure to throw them a bone and check them out. Grab a teaser poster from the local poster stall and make sure you get the whole group to sign in order to make the pirate poster treasure chest.


Does the film still draw people to conventions?

On it’s own, Goonies has a low Con-draw, so unfortunately for this particular film, the score is low, probably in the lower 3 rating.

Does the film still get quoted?
By me, yes, and by the people who make pictures like the quote poster, enough for people to recognize a whole basketful, so I am ranking this one around 8. This high score has also included the fact that many of those quotes are usable in daily life

Does the film get cosplayed still?

Mostly because of the cheap nature of reproducing the costumes, reproducing the costume will remain high. But on the other side of the coin, other than Ma Fratelli, Sloth, and Data, many of the costumes are kids wearing 80’s clothes, which means not so much in the purpose of dressing up like the characters for halloween or conventions. so sadly, I have to give this criterion a lower number around 4.

Does the plot really stink?

Although the plot has some seriously weak plot holes in construction and prelude, the overwhelming plot is fine with a clear separation of the characters as their own person.  In this one, I will spread this score out a bit with the lower end to my objective opinion and the high end being possibly linked to my personal opinion.  6 and 8.

A low 53/100 is a reasonable score for a film twenty-eight years old.

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