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The Goonies, and Ten Degrees of 1980’s movies

posted by Jen on 2/20/02

Ten Degrees of 1980’s movies:
Means ten tons of fun for you!

The 1980’s was an especially turbulent decade for all. We witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of the AIDS epidemic at once. We were sitting in classrooms when we learned of the failed Challenger mission, and went home to hear our parents dispute the success of “Reaganomics” over dinner. Despite its “age of prosperity” moniker, the 80’s was a tough time for the kids. We just didn’t get why people were buying those plastic boxes with “Berlin Wall” rocks and proudly fanning them in their living rooms, for one. And Z. Cavaricci’s? Why?

So, TV and movies served as the comfort food of choice as the Friendly’s Watermelon Roll sadly disappeared from shelves. A number of movies were produced at the time that, for some reason or other, left an indelible mark on us, and to this day, we exclaim triumphantly when we recognize our old 80’s kids playing opposite Crowe’s John Nash or Cusack’s Rob Gordon. In fact, we get so excited about it that we’ve decided to devote the next two weeks of our lives (give or take a month, depending on how lazy we get) to observing a connection between 10 of these 80’s movies. Some of the movies are pure cinematic genius, some are lamer than Ruthie from 7th Heaven. At any rate, we hope you enjoy the next few weeks as much as we enjoy your lovin’ spoonful.

Just so you know where we’re going with this 10 Degrees thing…one or more of us will cover a movie in the lineup and each movie will feature an ongoing chain of actors. So this post will cover The Goonies, which features Joe Pantoliano and Corey Feldman. The second article will cover The Lost Boys, which features Corey Feldman (from the first article) and Dianne Wiest, who will then appear in the third article with a mystery actor (but not as mysterious as Angela Lansbury). Now, I know that all of you just read that Dianne Wiest will be discussed in two articles, and didn’t get as psyched as I get when I see Corey Haim in his geometric shirt in Dream a Little Dream…but remember, the 80’s wasn’t perfect.

Now, for the first movie…and possibly the best 80’s movie of all time….we have The Goonies. And true to the Ten Degrees format, I’ll be featuring the Top Ten Features of the movie. Yes, I’ll be featuring the features…that’s good Jen, don’t even bother taking the extra ten seconds to think of a better word.

Top Ten Features of The Goonies:

1. The premise The idea that a group of little kids, a seventeen-year old brother, and his two girl friends could just up and search for pirate treasure is truly inspirational. A much-needed break from all the movies where the kid fails when he tries to do something fun and the parent chides him, delivering a much needed lesson.


2. Notable actors
(a) Jeff Cohen, as Chunk. Cohen never appeared in any memorable movies after this, but really should have. The range of faces this child makes to express sadness and joy mixed in sweet symphony…he’s a stunner.

Let me in the door or I’ll bite your goddamn arm off.

(b) Sean Astin, of Lord of the Rings fame

If you had HALF the heart of Ruettiger, you’d be ALL-AMERICAN!!

(c) Josh Brolin, of Hollow Man shame

I’m so strong, I don’t even need to LOOK when I work out.

(d) Corey Feldman, played second fiddle to Haim in just about everything, but had a savoir style all his own.

And the hero lies in you

(e) Martha Plimpton of I’m too lazy to check on IMDB and Kerri Green of Lucas

Do you think Jen will make fun of me throughout this entire article?
I think it’s a pretty safe bet, Martha.

3. Character names The Goonies parallels the great Caddyshack in its use of character names. I didn’t think any character could wear a handle funnier than Carl Lipbalm or Pizza Larry…but each guy gets a pretty fair shake:
(a) Chunk = rotund kid

(b) Mouth = overly talkative friend

(c) Data = smart friend with gadgets

(d) Sloth = deformed Fratelli brother (I guess he wasn’t lazy, per se, but the word sloth just seethes with disfigurement.)

(e) Chester Copperpot = man who sought treasure and lost, hence…a pot of copper? OK, I’m reaching.

(f) One-eyed Willie = seventeenth century pirate; loot hoarder; booby trap setter; patch wearer

Data, how about a little go-go-gadget pizza? We’re starving over here.

4. The booby traps The set designers really didn’t half-ass it on the booby traps. It would have been sufficiently satisfying to see one or two booby traps leading to the pirate treasure. But the set designers set up a mechanism in front of Mikey’s house that prevents burglars from entering (hence the distinction between “booby trap” and “gadget”) that involves a balloon popping, a ball rolling, a rooster laying an egg…all to open the front gate a few inches. Love it.

5. The gadgets Oh…you thought the booby traps summed it up? Uh-uh. Data’s gadgets deserve a number all their own…all attached to his jacket, the kid had a pop-up chattering mouth that gripped poles, an oil slick, lights, a camera, and plenty of ACTION!

6. The stunning attire
(a) Mouth’s Purple Rain t-shirt deserves a shout out

I just want Corey’s extra time and his….kiss

(b) Brand’s bandanna and tiny blue shorts placed OVER the gray sweatsuit

Because workout #1 wasn’t sufficient…

(c) Troy’s “letterman sweater” was a personal favorite…it has a letter in front, and the decal in back.

(d) Kerri’s slutcake-y micromini…sorry no image available, my sexies.

7. The classic asshole. The classic asshole in this movie is played by Troy, Andy’s some-time boyfriend. Throughout the movie, Troy is engaged in the following:
(a) Tilting his car mirror in an attempt to see down Andy’s shirt and up her skirt.

Damn, I can’t see anything but f’n Plimpton

(b) Grabbing Brand’s hand while he’s riding a bike, clamping it down to his car, and driving as fast as possible, eventually sending Brand flying off a cliff. Did he check to see if Brand was OK? No. He just laughed and zoomed away. Like honestly, what if Brand died? I love when the movie asshole is just over-the-top enough that he can commit manslaughter guilt-free.

…and workout #2 just won’t cut it…

(c) In the scene where Troy discovers that his girlfriend and all the goonies are stuck in the bottom of a well, he doesn’t get nervous for them. Instead, he laughingly throws a penny into the well and says he wants “to go all the way with Andy.”


(d) At the conclusion of the movie, it is revealed that Troy is the son of the asshole that was trying to take Mikey and Brand’s house away from their parents!!

Even Plimpton won’t touch those naughty parts tonight.

8. The dialogue
(a) Chunk: (After breaking Mikey’s mom’s statue) “Do you think your mom’s going to notice that the dick and balls are missing?”

No…but she might notice that you blew through that box of Kudos bars

(b) Mikey’s mom: (Grossly mispronouncing Data’s name) “Dotta, use the back door from now on.”

(c) Mouth: (at sight of Troy, true to his Spanish culture) “Señor JERK alert”

Yo tengo burrito grande…quieres verlo?

(d) Chunk: “Oh God am I depressed” (tilts head back and squirts mountain of whipped cream in mouth)

(e) Brand: (delivering the line that every asthmatic fears) “Forget about the treasures, LIMP LUNGS!”

(f) Brand: “I’m going to hit you so hard, when you wake up your clothes are going to be out of style”

(g) Mikey’s mom: (seeing Brand wrapped up in his exercise equipment lying prostrate on the floor in uncomfortable position) “Can’t you learn how to exercise like a normal kid?”

…no, because Brand has exercise bulimia

(h) Brother Fratelli: (to Chunk) “Alright tell us EVERYTHING”
Chunk: (whimpering hysterically) “EVERYTHING? Oh, ALRIGHT! …my mom sent me to a summer camp for fat kids and I snuck out one night and pigged out and they kicked me out. But THIS is the worst thing I ever done…one time I was at a theater, and I had all this fake puke in my pocket, and I stood above everyone and made this fake noise like this, ‘(makes vomit noise)’ and then everyone started getting sick!!!”

Envisioning sex with Plimpton

(i) Mikey: “Down here it’s our time…that’s all over the second we ride up Troy’s bucket. (takes drag from inhaler)”

Triple dickweed.

(j) Brand: “We gotta play the bones to get out of here”
Andy: “I can’t tell if it’s A-Sharp or B-Flat”
Mikey: “If you don’t get this note right, we’ll all be flat”

Come on, play the bones like you played MY bone last night (smirks at Mikey)

(k) Troy: (after Andy blew him off in the well) “ANDEEEEEE, YOU GOOOOOONIEEEE!!!”

Also enjoys smoking bones


Mikey: (running through a tunnel) “HOLY MACKENZIE!”

Quite obviously, I had to rewind this several times in disbelief…could he have actually said “Holy Mackenzie!” in honor of his real life brethren?! Yes he could, and he did. If you’re a Mac fan, it’s worth renting just to catch this line.

9.The piano playing scene. For some reason, I always loved this scene the most in the movie. The very idea that One-Eyed Willie handcrafted a piano out of human bones…and then wrote a musical score that corresponded with the bones…just to protect his treasure? Incredible. Not to mention the opportunities I’ve had to overuse the bone-playing joke privileges.

Brand, after workout #561

10. The Truffle Shuffle. Oh sweet Lord. This is a fine moment in movie-making history. When Chunk lifts up his shirt and starts shaking his belly and making noises…and the fact that you can’t tell if the subsequent noises are a result of Chunk’s vocals, or the sound of fat whacking against fat. Please, rent this movie and watch this scene.

Watch it again.

And then one more time.

It’s that fantastic.

Ah, that was a joy to write. The Goonies is such a phenomenal movie, on so many levels, many not even covered in this article. Not all the movies we cover will be as precious, but if it’s Precious you want, you can go watch Silence of The Lambs. The important link for you to remember is Joe Pantoliano (who coincidentally, was not mentioned once in this article but played one of the Fratelli brothers) and Corey Feldman. That means the next movie we cover will involve Corey Feldman and the very last movie in the series will feature a mystery actor and Joe Pantoliano. I’m sure you’re completely stumped.

Did I miss an interesting scene or a funny line? Tell me about it!

Did you think this article sucked? Send me an e-mail!


God bless the 80s!

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You watch it, we watch it. We write about it.

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Location, Locations!!