I’m going on The Quest!

By Shawn Robare

One of my favorite pastimes since creating this site is seeking out old magazines from the 80s looking for hidden gems from the decade that I think are worth talking about.  Be it old advertisements for forgotten food like the Frankenstein’s monster-influenced, chili-stuffed hot dogs (Frank’n Stuffs), or insane ads for Back to the Future-themed Power Wheel DeLoreans, there’s always something fun to uncover.  Recently while flipping through some old issues of Billboard magazine I stumbled upon an advertisement for a kid’s movie that I’d never heard of before.  Now I’m not the end-all be-all encyclopedia of everything 80s, but I did experience my fair share of what the decade had to offer kids, in particular film-wise.  With the exception of a handful of made-for-TV flicks here and there, I think I’ve seen most of the kid’s flicks from the decade.  Or I thought I had, until I saw this awesome advertisement for The Quest

Why did I never stumble across this VHS cover while combing though the various video rental joints of my youth and teenage years?  The flick star’s E.T. and Cloak & Dagger’s Henry Thomas as an orphan living in the Outback with relatives after his parents pass.  Emboldened by the local legends of a lake monster named Donkegin, Thomas gears up and goes on the hunt for the creature.  Right now that’s about all I know about this flick (well, that and that The Quest is the American title for this Aussie flick which was originally known as Frog Dreaming.)  I’ve found this flick in various forms on Youtube and I’m super excited to watch it asap.

I’ve never really done this on the site before, but I thought it would be fun to try and share the process I go through while looking for content to write about.  In this instance, I’ve found a badass advertisement for an unseen flick from the 80s, and I’ve tracked down a copy to watch.  I wanted to share this portion of the excitement, which is mostly the unknown and potential for finding another awesome kid’s flick from my youth.  Will the movie live up to the potential and hype of this ad, or will it be an utter let down?  Some of you have probably already seen this flick and know that answer.  But I’m about to find out, and hopefully I’ll be able to share my thoughts next week after watching The Quest.

I mean come on, it’s Elliott with a shotgun hunting the down-under equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster!  How can this not be awesome?

  • M Kenyon – Yeah, especially since Netflix isn’t always that keen an having good quality source files for the streaming either. It’s not like there would be any money involved in cleaning up a print or anything. If there’s a broadcast version hanging around somewhere it would probably be fine. Yeah, I know there’s the potential for print-on-demand services like the Warner Archive or Amazon’s createspace could potentially release flicks like this, but then they’d be hideously expensive. Sometimes Youtube is all there is…

  • Mkenyon

    Wish some of these obscure movies could end up on Netflix. I would love to see a good quality version of ‘Earth Star Voyager’. (There is a lower quality torrent around somewhere.) You’ld think movies like this would be easy to pop up on streaming services, but I guess the execs feel it’s not worth their time.

  • Jeff – No problem, glad I could help point to it. I love it when I can dig up something obscure and help shine some light on it…

  • BJB – Cool! I can totally see this film paining my perception of murky lake water. Never would have gone swimming in a lake after this one. I wonder why it was re-titled so drastically for each new market? Made it confusing to track down information about it for sure…

  • Paxton – Yeah, I’m wondering now if it ever received an actual theatrical domestic release or if it was straight to VHS…

  • Thanks so much for posting this. I had the same experience as BJB. This movie has been rolling around in the back of my mind for years, but without a title to pull it all together.

  • BJB

    Ohh… This is a special movie to me. I saw it like once when I was a kid and then spent many of my older years trying to piece together vague memories of a few nostalgic scenes into an actual memory of the movie. I eventually discovered the Australian produced “Frog Dreaming/The Quest/The Go Kids” and was elated to solve what I thought was my own childhood mystery. But, as it turned out, there were quite a few people who had the same experience. It was quite thrilling for me to sort of meet up in the same “mind-space” as folks who had been following a similar thread of nostalgia for so many years. I eventually ended up watching the whole thing on YouTube a couple of years ago. For anyone who is interested, the movie can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL79A2515BBE955539 I think it’s one of those movies that when seen so young, the rather intense, underlying terror is something you never really forget and it sets the rest of the movie in your mind. I think of this movie whenever I encounter deep, murky water. I still shudder. Anyhoo… enjoy! I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

  • I too consider myself fairly well versed on kids/teen movies from the 80s and I have not heard of this either, Shawn. I look forward to hearing your review.