Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 14th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1983
Director: Greydon Clark
Writers: Al Gomez, Mickey Epps, Curtis Burch
Cast: Joe Don Baker, Leif Green, Jim Greenleaf, Scott McGinnis, Jon Gries, Corinne Bohrer, John Diehl, Becky LeBeau
DVD released: August 21st, 2012
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: A wealthy businessman tries to shut down a arcade that his daughter has been hanging out at.
Joysticks was directed by Greydon Clark, who’s other notable films include, Satan’s Cheerleaders and Without Warning. The cinematographer Joysticks was Nicholas Josef von Sternberg, who’s diverse filmography includes Dolomite, Tourist Trap, Slaughterhouse Rock and Skinheads.
Oh my, how things have changed since Joysticks was first unleashed on unsuspecting youths in search of the latest teen / sex themed comedy and during the first half of the 1980’s there was never s shortage of these type of films. Of course for every Porky’s, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Revenge of the Nerds (these are arguably some of this genres finest examples). There was a film like Joysticks that sits on the other side of the spectrum.
The plot for Joysticks (if one would call it a plot) is virtually nonexistent. The film seems merely content with just being a handful of sophomoric comedy set pieces and even these aforementioned moments of humor often fall flat. And while these type of films are often known for their stereo typical characters. They somehow even mess up in this regard with this film. At least when it comes to gratuitous T & N this film gets things right and often excels in this area.
Performance wise, the entire cast are dreadful in their respective roles. With this film most jaw dropping bad performance coming from Joe Don Baker (Walking Tall), who portrays this film’s adult character that is hell bent on stopping the teenagers from having their fun.
Though this film is clearly marketed towards to specific audiences, video arcade enthusiasts and fans of the 1980’s raunchy teen comedies (two things who’s popularity has long since faded into oblivion). Making this film a bitter pill to swallow for the majority of perspective film goers watching this movie in today’s technology and politically correct world.
Scorpion Releasing presents Joysticks in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Though transfer is a marked improvement when compared to previous home video releases of this film. There is some mild instances of print damage that varies in degree and the image tends to look soft throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. There are no problems with background noise and dialog comes through clearly.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 27 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a career retrospective interview with director Greydon Clark (17 minutes 39 seconds – 4:3 full frame) and a audio commentary with Greydon Clark. Topics covered in this audio commentary include the origins of the project, low budget filmmaking and the cast. Also included with this release are trailers for Kill and Kill Again, Skateboard, Cheerleaders Wild Weekend and Where the Boy’s Are ’84’. Overall Scorpion Releasing gives Joysticks its best home video release to date.