Joysticks (1983) Boobs, Pac-Man, and a Recycled Porky's
I've reviewed 80's boobfest comedies on more than one occasion, so kicking this one off with the standard "as a child of the 80's" horseshit just seems a bit tiring at this point. How many times can a man point out his love for a specific shitty movie genre before it just looks like the first paragraph of the review is a cut-and-paste job from the previous Porky's rip-off. As lazy as I am, I don't want to be called on it in that fashion. I would rather be known for posting my shitty opinions about trashy movies on the internet, as I am going to do right now.
Joysticks(1983) is the story of a ragtag bunch of misunderstood youth and a lone arcade,in the peaceful Pacific town of River City. I'm assuming River City is somewhere around the LA metro area based on the over-acted "Valley Girl" accents heard from just two of the residents. That and the fact that there are palm trees everywhere. Regardless, this isn't like any arcade I ever frequented during my youth. My local arcade wasn't the local hotspot, where the cool guys made their home base and the hot chicks got topless at the drop of a quarter. Dream Machine was never that happening. The most excitement we ever received actually beating one of the Laotian "gang members" at a Mortal Combat and hoping he didn't assemble a threatening posse to fight in the parking lot over it. I would happily trade that in for girls who lift shirts to token-poppin' dorks.
As it turns out, certain members of the community aren't very happy with the activities going on inside said arcade, and will do anything they can to shut the place down. From sabotage to local political involvement, Joseph Rutter, local improtant guy, will go through any length to make sure his spawn-of-few-braincells spends less time at the digital den of sin. With the help of his bumbling nephews, he makes the lives of the arcades employees a living hell. What on Donkey Kong's platforms will they do?
Do a really need to answer that?
As I said before, Joysticks is a Porky's rip-off with the arcade angle to make it different. Like other rip-offs of the most coveted boobflick, it is not nearly as good. The jokes suck and the gags substandard, but if I were an 12 year old sneaking into the theater, I would think it was fucking hilarious. I still found it incredibly entertaining, but more for what I saw and less than was supposed to entertain. Bad acting, fart jokes, and punk rockers is what I was expecting, and that is what I got. Double boob shots 3 minutes in don't really do anything for me anymore, nor have they since I was in junior high.
I did enjoy many aspects of the video game twist. Most of the scene transitions involved Pac-Man, which led me to believe that Midway had something to do with this movie (they did). I also got top see games I had completely forgotten about like Gorf and Space Dungeon. Forgotten memories that I can now hopefully add to my MAME collecton. I also never realized there was a game called Super Pac-Man, which was played as the "save the arcade" match at the end of the movie. This scene alone made me think this movie was a propaganda tool for Midway the same way The Wizard was for Nintendo.
Seeing that this was a Greydon Clark movie, I knew a bit of what I was getting into. Although he hasn't directed too many movies, some of them were quite memorable. I speak of Black Shampoo and Satan's Cheerleaders. Trashy yet unforgettable. All in all, I recommend this movie for the Gen-X arcade nerds who had a VHS collection with at least 3 Meatballs movies.