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Overall Rating
3.12

Awesome: 5.88%
Worth A Look: 17.65%
Average64.71%
Pretty Bad: 5.88%
Total Crap: 5.88%

1 review, 11 user ratings


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Joysticks
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by Chris Parry

"A watershed moment in the history of movies about video game arcades."
3 stars

What can one say about the majesty and grace of Joysticks that hasnít already been said by film scholars the world over. At once a stunning portrayal of life in the teenage twilight years, while similarly an erotic sexual journey into the heart of every manís deepest darkest desiresÖ to play Donkey Kong.

Oh, screw all that crap, what it really comes to is Joysticks is a tits and ass spectacular that fails to deliver enough tits or ass to be spectacular Ė especially if youíre watching the sanitized TV version.

Joysticks follows the misadventures of a video game arcade employee, Eugene (Leif Green), who is (shock!) a dork. When he meets a couple of large breasted sluts (Kym Malin and Kim G. Michel) on his way to his first day on the job, they steal his pants and drive away, later throwing them on the floor of the arcade to get covered in soda and crud. Of course, everyone laughs at Eugene when he gets to work and has to put on his wet sticky pants in the middle of the building, with everyone watching. Because thatís comedy to the core Ė making the lives of geeks unbearable.

Thankfully, Eugene soon earns the trust of his boss Jeff (Scott McGinnis) and his fat lump of a co-worker, McDorfus (Jim Greenleaf), by helping them outsmart a blue-haired local boob, King Vidiot (Jon Gried), who has four PacMan-esque female minions. The minions do a little beep-beep dance where they impersonate the ghosts from the PacMan machine, which I guess is supposed to make us all laugh our asses off but ends up looking really hokey.

So one of the teenagers at the arcade, a valley girl named Patsy (Corrine Bohrer), has a permanently angry father (Joe Don Baker) who is disgusted by the arcade and wants it closed down for good. Of course, being as this is a low budget badly written teen comedy from the 80ís, he doesnít petition the government to close the joint, rather he gets his two moronic nephews to engage in acts of zany subterfuge designed to bring the arcade down. These include organizing a ten-person picket (which falls apart when the parents involved go inside to play Joust and Pengo) and dressing up as hippies in order toÖ I donít know what the point of the dressing up was exactly, but it gave the makers an excuse to put a guy in a womanís dress and wig which, again, is just comedy at its finest.

The reason Joysticks is particularly bad may come down to the choice of director. A failed actor, Greydon Clark has directed over 20 feature films in his three decades in the business, however only one of them (The Forbidden Dance) has ever actually been released in cinemas. In fact, of his twenty films, only one has received a rating of more than 3.9/10 on the IMDB. Weíre talking the ultimate hack, folks.

Of course, his writers didnít help. Yes, thatís right, I said there were THREE (count Ďem) writers on this project. I guess maybe one writer held the paper, the other one thought of lines and the third one wrote them down. Or maybe they just took the writers fee and locked themselves away in a room for a week with a few lines of coke, a couple of pizzas and a game of Twister, then threw together the screenplay on the last day. I dunno. I got nothiní.

But the remarkable aspect of Joystick is not that it was ever made, or that itís shown today, itís that so many people who were in it went on to long acting careers that could almost be considered successful. I doubt it helped Joe Don Bakerís situation much and lead geek Leif Green (thereís an early 80ís name for you) disappeared from the radar screen shortly after this came out, but plenty of others went the other way. Take hunky Jeff the arcade boss for example Ė he went on to play Mr Adventure in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and recently directed a bunch of episodes of the Angel TV series. McDorfus, after playing characters with names like Ox and Fratboy #4 and Blatz in various low budget flicks ended up resurfacing as technical advisor on the Profiler TV series. Even King Vidiot kept a career going, appearing recently in Men in Black, Twin Falls Idaho and TVís The Pretender. Little Patsy kicked on, eventually finding fame as Tish on the TV series Rude Awakening. Even bit players got in on the act, with dopey nephew #1 (John Diehl) scoring a major role in Miami Vice and parlaying that into a prolific career that to this day has seen him in MoíMoney, Falling Down, The Client, Stargate, Pearl Harbor and Jurassic Park III.

How could this be? How could actors who put their names in this terrible, awful, bad bad bad movie have managed to kick on in such a way?

Simple. Joysticks knows itís stupid. It realizes it had no merit. Itís fully aware that in a battle of survival of the fittest, itíd be dead in an hour. But it doesnít care. It could give a damn. Itís Joysticks, dammit, and itís not going to take any of your SHIT, man! Yeah!

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2642&reviewer=1
originally posted: 12/02/02 06:15:35
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User Comments

8/16/11 Machine Gun Tom Got me playing with my own "joystick" 5 stars
11/12/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Not a bad teen sex comedy, but not a great one 3 stars
5/11/06 dionwr Haven't seen it 3 stars
5/03/06 William Goss Never EVER heard of this flick. 3 stars
5/03/06 David Cornelius ----- 3 stars
5/02/06 Ryan_A A staple of my light-night childhood. Not that it's good, or anything... 3 stars
5/02/06 HBS-SH fah q 4 stars
2/20/05 Jeff Anderson The hallmark zenith for bad & godawful 80's cinema! TRUST ME, IT'S THAT TRULY BAD!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
5/03/03 Donald Good for being a teen in the 80s nostalgia 4 stars
12/02/02 Buddha The edited TV version is nearly unwatchable. 2 stars
5/08/00 Fishsticks On of those rare movies thats got all your life- videogames and (wanting) boobs! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-May-1983 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Feb-1984 (MA)




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