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Joysticks, the movie review

9:33 PM on 02.07.2007 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
  @CTZ

It's officially movie month here at Destructoid folks. First, Robert had the full Dead or Alive movie for your viewing displeasure. Then I gave you the preview of Game Box 1.0. DMV gave us a little Weekend Reading about potentially good video game movies. Faith informed us about a new Disney movie called Game Boy. And just today, Rev Anthony gave us his reasons as to why Super Mario Bros was an awesome video game movie.

Now, I'm back with a review of the very first video game related movie every made! Actually, Dtoider DVD Design took it upon himself to inform the Internets of just how "awesome" of a movie Joysticks is. I really don't want to watch this, but after reading this one line from his review, "Spooning in front of a Pac Man machine", I just have to now.

Enough of this silly introduction! Hit the jump for DVD Design's review!

So, you think you can just sit there, knowing that Gamebox 1.0 is the worst video game movie ever? Surely, throughout all time, nothing worse has ever come, nor will ever cross your path. Street Fighter sucked, but it was an action pic. Uwe Boll's films, well, they'd be bad even if they weren't based on a game.

Well, we've all been deceived about this "worst movie". It's been hiding in bargain cutout bins and preying on bad movies. Stealing their suck and making itself a worse film in the process. This movie is Joysticks. Set in the hedonistic world of the local neighborhood arcade in Southern California, this 1983 film is loosely inspired by Apocalypse Now, Coal Miner's Daughter, and Out of Africa.

The film isn't so much on plot, it's really not much more than a loose collection of plots tied together by an arcade setting. The film stars Joe Don Baker, Lief Green, Jon Gries (Best known as Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite), and Scott McGinnis. There are other actors, but their contribution to the film is about as noteworthy as the gimmick they provide to a scene, as seen in the clip below.   

The basic setup for the film is that Jefferson Bailey (S. McGinnis) is in charge of his Grandfather's video arcade while he's out of town (who knows why ...) Poor Jefferson has a past conflict with video games and doesn't play them anymore. Instead he uses his managerial powers to sleep with the many "attractive" young women that frequent the arcade. Joe Don Baker is cast as the villain who wants the arcade shut down. To the film's credit, they knew it was going to be a pretty crappy film. Within the first five minutes of the opening of the film, you've already seen two pairs of boobs, a nerd character with his pants missing, and you've met King Vidiot.

King Vidiot (Jon Gries) is a young punk obsessed with arcade gaming. He is clearly ahead of his time, adopting a look similar to Marilyn Manson. He travels with a pack of female groupies who behave like robots, and lusts after poorly cross-dressed men. His two goals in life are to have his own personal arcade machine, and he'd like to have a sweet ride like the one seen below. 

At this point, you'd question whether some of this review is a lie, and you'd be right to do so, but that's what the screengrabs and clips are for. There are boobs and video games here, folks. 

JD Baker's character attempts repeatedly to have the local arcade shut down a number of times over the course of the film. With schemes including staged protests, stealing all the games from the arcade, and ultimately pitting King Vidiot against young Jefferson in a rousing match of Super Pac Man over control of the arcade.

All of this is irrelevant, though. This film should be seen for the following reasons:

Strip Video Gaming.

The opening theme for the movie, "Totally Awesome Video Games"

Exposed breasts in a video game arcade. 

Spooning in front of a Pac Man machine. 

The gratuitous use of Pac Man as a scene wipe.

A girl hiking up her nightie (and wearing Pac Man panties) asking Jefferson if he'd like to play a game.

A sweaty precursor to WoW obsessed gamers named McDorfus.

Eugene the nerd dressed in leather underpants and chains.

A hot dog being molested in a girl's exposed cleavage.

Joysticks is a film that makes The Wizard, Street Fighter: The Movie, and House of the Dead look like the Godfather Trilogy. I'd give it a grade, but doing so would ruin the whole concept of grading a movie. It's not very good at all, but the novelty of watching someone actively make a train wreck of a movie and have it be taken seriously is far more entertainment than the movie itself would be able to provide.

[Thanks Husky Hog for the quick photoshops on the boobies

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