Episode 23 - Joysticks (1983)
Today I'm joined by Chris Hughes again to discuss one of the most underrated teen comedies of the 80's Joysticks.
Like Thrashin' and Breakin', Joysticks is a movie created out of a fad that teens liked; this time it was video games. In hopes of cashing in on a pop-culture phenomenon, the director and writers did as little research possible in crafting a world around a singular premise. In this case it worked; and worked beautifully.
While it's certainly not Oscar material, Joysticks is an enjoyable film with legitimate laughs and it doesn't try and take itself too seriously. While the plot meanders around and barely makes a presence, the jokes and constant gags more than make up for it.
Jeff Bailey is running his grandpa's arcade while he is out of town; the place where all the cool kids in town want to hang out and play games. Joseph Rutter (played by Joe Don Baker) is upset his daughter Patsy is spending all her free time at this den of debauchery and decides he needs to concentrate all his efforts on closing down the Arcade. Sound familiar? It's pretty much the plot of any 80's or 90's movie that designed itself around a fad and nothing else (Breakin, Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo, Ski Patrol, you name it). Does it matter? Hell no.
Joysticks is one of those rare films that feels like everyone involved was having a great time making it. Film making is a rigorous process filled with long days and tedious work, enjoying your days and having it come through in the finished product is a great thing.
I hope our audience can appreciate this film for what it is, a good time and nothing else. Turn off your brain, turn on your TV and watch some totally awesome videos games.