Several years ago I was chatting with a friend at a retro computer convention about 80’s B-movies and “Joysticks the Movie” came up. The simplified plot of the movie is a bunch of mischievous kids save their arcade hangout from being shut down by the city. They do this by playing video games against the cities player with two giant joysticks.
As a kid I vividly remember staying up past my bed time during the weekends and watching bad movies on USA networks “Up All Night with Gilbert Gottfried”. I always enjoyed when they played Joysticks, although at the time I’d never been in a real arcade, since most were long gone by the time I was old enough to ride my bike across town.
A few months after returning from the retro event I received VHS tape of Joysticks that said friend found at a swap meet and boy was I surprised by the nudity I hadn’t seen in the USA Networks edited for television version. I was also curious if this movie had ended the careers of the actors, so I started looking around and found many of them were still working today. I even found Jim Greenleaf (Andrew McDorfus) was on Facebook and he even accepted my friend request.
A few months ago I was chatting with Tanio and other involved with the California Extreme Arcade show (www.caextreme.org) and we decided to contacting Greydon Clark the producer and Jim and see if they’d visit the show. To our surprise they were very approachable, happy to spend a weekend with us and willing to screen the movie with Q&A at the end.
To celebrate the visit I built a likeness of the joystick they used in the movie, but unlike the the prop it would functional enough to play Satan’s Hollow, which was played by King Vidiot and Dorfus. It took a little more time than I expected, but after 5 evenings and a 10hr push at the end I had a working joystick that somehow lasted entire weekend of kids hanging off of it.
Tags: Jeri Ellsworth