My childhood was spent watching more hours of television shows and films than my parents would probably care to admit, but nothing quite hooked me in like The Goonies. For kids of the 80s and 90s, this epic adventure will always hold a special place in their hearts, so it felt like a fitting choice for this week’s edition of Cult Watch.
What’s It About?
The Goonies follows a group of pre-teens who discover an old map that leads them on an unbelievable quest to find the long-lost fortune of a legendary pirate called One-Eyed Willy. On the way, they cross paths with a wicked family of criminals who are after the same treasure.
What Makes It A Cult Film?
As I mentioned above, The Goonies was my childhood, and the same could said for many kids of the 80s and 90s. It was and still is special because frankly, Hollywood just doesn’t make films like this anymore.
The characters were outrageous, the plot was even more far-fetched (in the best sense) and the catch phrases and gags hold up even today. “Hey you guys!” sound familiar? The truffle shuffle? Yep. They’re from this gem of a film.
The cultural impact that The Goonies has had on the lives of cinema fans is remarkable, so much so that the city of Astoria (where the film is set) hosts special anniversary events for the film that attract thousands of visitors.
Why We Love It
It was rare at the time to find a film that didn’t talk down to kids, and treated them as more than just stupid dreamers. The Goonies were bandits, heroes, adventurers and thinkers who fearlessly ventured into the unknown, and made the audience feel nothing but pure excitement for what they might discover.
Wasn’t it every child’s dream to stumble across hidden treasure, explore wild new places and have a blast with their friends? Well watching these kids experience it felt just as good.
The film came out at the time when iPhones and the countless distractions of today were nonexistent, and hanging out with friends meant bike rides, climbing trees, playing outside all day and creating fun out of thin air. The camaraderie between the Goonies felt similar to how the kids in my neighbourhood were together, and though our adventures were very different, they were magical nonetheless.
As for the film’s set pieces, from the rocky waterslide to One-Eyed Willy’s pirate ship, every moment felt like a dream. But this isn’t surprising considering that Richard Donner directed, Chris Columbus wrote the screenplay and Steven Spielberg produced.
Oh, and did I mention it starred a young and adorkable Sean Astin from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, plus teenage Josh Brolin?
So if you’re going to do anything this weekend, please please please watch The Goonies. I promise it’ll change your life.