Pac Man, Space Invaders, Pitfall!, Pole Position, Millipede, Frogger, Burger Time, Q Bert, Deadly Duck, etc., etc. Do these games sound familiar to you? Welcome back to the hey-day of video games. Back when the controllers were known as Joysticks. A black square with a stick-like protrusion and a red button to the left, if my memory serves me right, although there were a few variations. The joystick was actually a kind of awkward device but you learned quickly to adjust and from there on in you were hooked. I, myself, was a big fan of Arkanoid and Q Bert happened to be quite addictive. Looking back at the games of my youth they, undoubtedly, seem very archaic but nonetheless they kick started a video game craze that today, shows no signs of ever becoming obsolete. Just remember when you’re playing Call of Duty on your laptop that once upon a time you were playing Frogger with a joystick, which leads us to this week’s DVD portal to a movie that celebrates those beloved video games of yesteryear…………….1983′s Joysticks!
Director: Greydon Clark
Written By: Al Gomez and Mickey Epps
Starring: Joe Don Baker, Leif Green, and Jim Greenleaf
Reviewed by: Joe Sikes
Eugene is a rather awkward young gentleman that just can’t win. While sitting at a stoplight a car with two hot babes pulls up alongside Eugene. After the girls flash Eugene their goodies he is coaxed into joining the two in their car for a good time. As Eugene’s luck would have it he ends up a pants-less victim of a college sorority prank. Eugene does have something going for him though……….he is starting his new job at the popular Jeff Bailey’s (Scott McGinnis) Video Arcade where everybody hangs out and his life is about to change.
There’s bad news for Jeff Bailey’s Video Arcade. Joseph Rutter (Joe Don Baker) is a man with a lot of money and a lot of power and he does not care for the negative influence that the arcade has been having on his daughter Patsy (Corinne Bohrer) and Mr. Rutter along with his two idiotic nephews is going to do whatever it takes to shut down the arcade that seems to be deteriorating common decency amongst young adults. When Eugene overhears Mr. Rutter’s nephews plotting to steal all of the video games in the arcade thus giving the kids no video games to play and putting Jeff Bailey’s Video Arcade out of business.
There were many movies from this time period that had pretty much the same plot; There’s a popular hang out for young adults, a powerful adult with a lot of money doesn’t care for what the place represents and wants to have it shut down, the young adults overhear the plan to have the hangout closed down and proceed to attempt to prevent the bad guys from shutting down their favorite hang-out. Of course, this recipe for cinematic success comes with heavy doses of bad jokes and unrestrained idiotic hijinks. I can’t lie. Joysticks is not a good movie. Actually Joysticks is a bad movie that you almost can’t turn away from much like a bad car accident as they say. Joysticks does give you an idea of how big video arcades were in the eighties much like Roller Boogie does with roller skating rinks in the seventies and early eighties. I give Joysticks 1 1/2 out of 3 Donkey Kongs. See you next week with another pick from The Bin. Now, go enjoy some “TOTALLY AWESOME VIDEO GAME!!”