Tag Archives: goonies

A deeper look at the Official Goonies Souvenir Magazine…

For today’s post, I wanted to share a little more of the Official Goonies Souvenir Magazine that was published to coincide with the film’s release in the summer of 1985.  All told, I’ve only posted about 50% of the magazine, but you can find the rest over at Vinnie Rattolle’s site, which has all sorts of great nostalgic odds and ends I might add.  I think a good place to start would be the Goony Oath (the magazine tends to use the “y” in the singular):

“I will never betray my Goon Dock friends, We will stick together until the whole world ends, Through Heaven and Hell and nuclear war, Good pals like us will stick like tar, In the city or the country or the forest or the boonies, I am proudly declared one of the Goonies!”

I wonder if the weak rhyme between “war” and “tar” was intentional since it’s supposed to have been written by kids?  Anyway, as I mentioned in the first part, one of the things that was so cool about these magazines was all the little bits of trivia buried inside.  For instance, Spielberg’s initial working title for the film was “The Goon Kids”, which is kind of interesting when you think about the whole Goonies/Goon Docks thing.  It probably comes from a mixture of things, but my guess is that the term stems from the boondocks, which is military slang for rural areas (coming out of the Philippines and the Tagalog word for mountain, bundok.)  My bet is that in coming up with a name for the kids he took the “boon” sound from boondock and then flashed on “goon”, because people treat the kids as if they’re dumb and poor, and it’s a nice self-deprecating moniker.  I’m also thinking he had the 1965 “Down in the Boondocks” song in the back of his mind as well:

“Down in the boondocks, Down in the boondocks, People put me down ’cause, That’s the side of town I was born in…”

There are also some hints to dropped plot points.  On the bottom of the page above there’s an insert with Sean Astin reading a copy of Mad magazine.  The author mentions how easily he solves the Al Jaffee fold-in back cover, and how this will play into the story later.  Thing is, it never does, at least not in the theatrical cut of the film.  There is a deleted scene in a convenience store where Mikey realizes that there is a similar fold-in puzzle with the map, but at the end of the day it’s a throwaway bit.  If you look closely though Mad magazines are strewn about the set though (the most notable is a copy Mikey grabs before sitting on top of Brand when he’s getting depressed about having to move before the rest of the gang comes over.)  Also, the initial design for the Rube Goldberg device that opens the Walsh’s back gate originally featured a rabbit instead of an egg-laying chicken as appeared in the film.

Speaking of the map, there are a number of different map props that show up in the film.  The main one is severely weathered by production designer Michael Riva (who apparently stated in an interview on NPR that to get that aged look he used the natural coloring from coffee and his own blood) and appears in the scene when the kids are searching through the attic (pictured below.)  There’s another version (also pictured below) that pops up in the deleted convenience store scene that’s much cleaner and free of soot and blood.  There’s also a version that appears in the magazine (above) which seems to be somewhere in the middle of the two (weathered-wise), but the actual map itself is different.  The X (which marks the spot of the Fratelli’s hideout) varies from map to map, as do the burn holes in the middle.  Also, according to Sean Astin, he was given the map (I’m assuming the severally distressed one we typically see them with) by the crew, but his mother threw it away years later.  So we can thank Patty Duke for donating that bit of movie ephemera to a US landfill…

Another small detail that comes up in the magazine is a description of Mama Fratelli’s tattoo which is a play on the Looney Tunes stereotypical criminal tat, a heart with the word “son” inscribed across it.   First of all, I love the subtle joke of the tattoo, but it’s also an important aspect of Anne Ramsey’s character.  She loves her boys, all three of ‘em, even if she is constantly barking orders at them.  I also found it interesting that some of my favorite villainous moments were actually adlibs or ideas that the actors came up with to enrich their characters.  When Mama leans against the door after she’s shooed the Goonies out of her hideout and exhaustedly delivers the line, “Kids suck…”, I can’t help but feel her pain.  Similarly, I’ve always found Robert Davi’s sudden bursts of opera singing to be one of the creepier bits in the film, especially when he catches Chunk on the road while he’s fleeing, looking for help.  Just knowing that this was Davi’s idea is cool as he was really into his role and wanted to make it that much more menacing…

Something else I find fascinating is the amazing level of detail that the production has in some instances, yet how simple and crazily effective it is in others.  To help the actors really get into the mood, production designer Michael Riva contracted a perfume company to develop a realistic musky, wet cave-like odor that was sprayed on the sets to add that extra level of realism.  On the other hand, in the scene where a billion bats come flying out of an uncovered tunnel, there were actually no bats involved.  Instead Spielberg had the genius idea to shoot crepe paper out of an air cannon which perfectly mimicked the desired effect!

By far, the most impressive set piece in the film is One-Eyed Willie’s ship, the Inferno. Not only did the production build it practically to scale, they didn’t let the actors know this before hand.  So when the kids come off the water slide bit and gain their footing in the water their reactions to the ship are genuine.  This isn’t a new directorial tactic; Buster Keaton got similar amazed expressions out of his actors when he derailed a train and sent it crashing off a bridge into a ravine during the filming of the General.  But I still think it’s pretty damn cool, and it has to be one of the group’s fondest memories growing up…

The magazine also gave a glimpse behind the make-up of Sloth so kids could get a good look at John Matuszak, the former defensive end for the Oakland Raiders.  We also get a still from another deleted scene, the picture at the top left, with Sloth eating a frozen steak out of the Fratelli’s freezer.  Seems like Sloth was always eating in the film now that I think about it…

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Wax Paper Pop Art #7: Chester Copperpot, eat your heart out…

In a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Goonies, today’s Wax Paper Pop Art features two wrappers from the 1985 Topps bubblegum card set.

I talked about the stickers from this set here.

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Ephemeral DVD special features…

Before DVD commentary or special features on laser discs, before the internet and imdb, there were only a few outlets to get some interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits on our favorite films.  As a kid my favorite outlet for this super secret information was the one-shot souvenir magazines that littered gas station spinner racks every summer to coincide with the latest blockbusters.   One that I missed out on as a kid was the official magazine for the Goonies, but thanks to Vinnie Rattolle (there’s a lot of wonderful there) and the wonderful splendeferousness of the internets, I’ve been able to right that injustice…

Most of these magazines were pretty similar in structure.   They acted as one part story book with an extended film synopsis and lots of stills both from the finished film and some choice behind the scenes shots, but they were also a treasure trove of trivia.  They also served as an extension of the film credits providing some background on the cast and filmmakers…

 

Mixed in with some of the odd bits of actor trivia (I wonder if Jeff Cohen is still collecting hats), there are also some interesting little details about the characters.   I think this is the first time that fans got a chance to see these characters full names, Lawrence “Chunk” Cohen, Brand & Mikey Walsh, Andrea “Andy” Carmichael, Stephanie “Stef” Steinbrenner, and Clark “Mouth” Devereaux.  Curious though, we don’t get to know Data’s full name in these passages, though the internet psychics say it’s Richard “Data” Wang.  Similarly the intertron fact machine has also revealed that Sloth’s real name is Lotney Fratelli.

It’s also interesting to note in the mini Richard Donner interview it’s revealed that Spielberg directed all the second unit work on the film.   I knew he was a hands-on producer, but this is just more evidence that he really took a hand in working on all these projects.  It also illustrates his involvement in the script writing.  The basic idea was his, and he was involved in the process with Chris Columbus to flesh out the story.  On a side note, I just realized that Columbus really has a thing for crazy contraptions and booby traps; just take a look at all of Randall Peltzer’s inventions in Gremlins, all the craziness in Home Alone, and Data’s arsenal of gadgets…

I don’t know about anyone else, but around the time that Goonies came out in 1985 the last thing in the world I would have been watching was probably MTV, and because of this I never managed to catch the crazy 12 minute, Donner-directed music video for Cyndi Lauper’s contribution to the film, Goonies ‘R Good Enough.  If I’d had a copy of the magazine I would have known about it though…

Thank the makers that Warner Brothers saw fit to include this insane bit of Goonies history on the 2001 DVD release of the flick.   Now everyone can bask in the glory of Lauper & company’s zany reinterpretation of the Goonies adventure.  The video reunited Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Sean Astin, Jeff Cohen, Martha Plimpton, and Ke Huy Quan (I’d be willing to bet that Kerri Green was either busy filming Summer Rental or Lucas at the time) as the Goonies who help Cyndi Lauper on an adventure to save her family’s gas station from a bunch of evil wrestling heels and a team of Benihana chefs.   It’s not quite on the level of say Michael Jackson’s Thriller, but it sure blows Jackson’s Moonwalker out of the water.  You can catch the video here.

I’ll take a deeper look at the magazine this weekend…

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Goonies: the movie posters…

It’s day two of Branded’s week-long celebration of the Goonies.  Today I thought I’d take a look at some of the various posters for the flick.  First up is my favorite from artist Drew Struzan

If I’m not mistaken, I believe that this is the official release poster that accompanied the film in its original theatrical run.  It’s at least the version that I remember seeing in newspaper ads and on the album cover of the soundtrack release back in the 80s.  Even though Struzan’s work tends to be kind of static with its photorealism and posed layouts, this piece has always stood out as one of his more exciting concepts.  Hanging precariously off of the stalactite, this group shot really sums up of the film in a lot of ways.  Aside from a good chunk of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Goonies was the first film that really kept me on the edge of my seat where it always felt like there was never any stable ground for the characters between all the slippery log bridges, cavernous waterslides, secret fireplace escapes, faux James Bond zip-wire shenanigans, and the collapsing flooring around the creepy bone organ.  This poster really nailed that feeling for me.

Next up is a piece by the great John Alvin

Alvin, like Struzan, has a ton of memorable movie poster artwork to his credit including the posters for Bladerunner, the Gremlins, Legend, Darkman, Aracnophobia, E.T., the Lost Boys, Willow, and Young Frankenstein.  Most people probably don’t know his name, but I’d be willing to bet they gave fond memories of his work.  His take on the Goonies is a bit more whimsical and mysterious; it almost has a Peter Pan kind of vibe to the tone and characters.  One of his artistic tropes was the use of silhouette, and personally I think it went to good use with this poster.  I also enjoy the way he framed the poster with One-Eyed Willie’s treasure map, not only to being in that plot element, but also to bring in the main color palette of the film.

This last poster is probably the most well known as it’s been the basis for most if not all of the home video release covers for at least the last 15 years…

Though the Struzan poster is my favorite, I really love the vibrancy and energy in this piece.  I’m not 100% positive, but I believe that it was painted by master artist Noriyoshi Ohrai who also delivered some amazing work for the original Star Wars films.  I also love that he managed to work in Mama Fratelli and One-Eyed Willie (not to mention his ship and a heaping pile of his rich stuff.)  I have a feeling he’s also responsible for the puzzle poster painting on the back of the Topps sticker cards I posted yesterday

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Celebrating 25 years of the Goonies!

This week on Branded in the 80s I’m going to feature a series of posts in celebration of the 25th anniversary of one of my all time favorite 80s flicks, the Goonies!  To start things off I thought I’d repurpose some of the content from an old Peel Here column, so without further ado I again present the sticker card subset from the 1985 Topps series of bubblegum cards…

I still love that the stills from the cut octopus scene made their way into this set.  If I’d had these back in the 90s it would have gone a long way to proving to my friends that I did see a version of the flick with an octopus attack (ala Robert Altman’s Popeye.)

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