Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
18
May 2018
Brotherhood of Justice 1986

Brotherhood of Justice (1986)

Title: Brotherhood of Justice

Summary: The eponymous “Brotherhood of Justice” starts out as a well intention’d group of teenagers taking a stance against crime and drug use happening in their high school, but dissolves into much darker territory quite quickly.

Tagline: In this town if you deal or steal, you die… That’s a promise from the Brotherhood.

Note: This was a television movie that aired on May 18th, 1986. It’s 32 years old today. Also, you can find it uploaded to YT, if you wanna watch it.

Initial Thoughts:

In my continuing quest to be the world champion of Trivial Pursuit: Kiefer Sutherland Edition (Announcer Voice: “She was the only one playing.”) I figured we’d delve into yet another one of his films. This one isn’t as well known as others; granted, quite a few of his films are terrible and/or forgettable, so there were plenty to choose from.

But no. No, I chose Brotherhood of Justice.

Back when the internet was new™ and I was just beginning to use eBay to amass a collection of VHS tapes of his films, I stumbled into Brotherhood of Justice. Partly because in the lead role is none other than Keanu Reeves, another actor who basically ruled my pre-teen years via movies. (Wyld Stallyns forever!) Anyway, here is a film that has two of my favorite actors ever in it, was filmed in Santa Cruz, CA, and aunt Becky from Full House, too? SIGN ME UP!

Brotherhood of Justice 1986

How much false advertising can you cram into one photo?

Over the years, with both Reeves and Sutherland becoming much more higher profile in terms of careers, the packaging on this film has become absolutely bat shit bonkers. Brotherhood of Justice seems to be included on those “14 movies on one disc!” collections you find in the reduced sales bins at Kmart or Walmart. And it’s always marketed as a vigilante film — which it is — but then the packaging artist uses photos of them from, say, when they were in their mid-20s and it’s an outright lie. Or they use photos from The Matrix or thereabouts and 24 and I’m like literally standing in the aisle, pointing and screaming “LIES! ALL LIES!”

To explain, I must start from the beginning. The television film, which is what this is so don’t go expecting anything spectacular production-wise, is based on true events. In 1984, a group of young males formed “The Legion of Doom” at Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas. A group of privileged white boys from wealthy backgrounds decided to become their own justice system and, duh, went way overboard and really, this might as well be set in 2018, things haven’t fucking changed.

Anyway, you can read more about that here and here. As part of their sentences, the members of “The Legion of Doom” were not allowed to be involved with or sell rights to their story. Did that stop Hollywood from capitalizing on the story? Nope. I’m currently recapping a fictionalized version, so obviously not.

Brotherhood of Justice 1986

None of these photos are from this film. NONE.

Brotherhood of Justice 1986

AKA: PHOTOSHOP FAILURE

As I said before, when both actors’ careers took off, this one was dragged out of the vault and received weird packaging to capitalize (yet again) on people (like me) who liked their work. You can see it also (for a time) received a weird title change — High Voltage — which I cannot explain. I can’t find anything  online to tell me why they titled it that, either.

BUT. I can tell you that the photos on the backside of the VHS box (photo on the right) come from Point Break, Flashback (at least I think so? It’s not Flatliners) and that bottom one of Keanu is from Permanent Record (which was filmed in the city of my birth and I promise it, too, will be recapped in the future.) So basically NONE OF THE PHOTOS ON THE BOX are images from the actual television film. LIES! ALL LIES!!!

Even the DVD artwork is all lies. It may be titled Brotherhood of Justice on my copy, but I’m pretty sure the photograph of Sutherland is from Flatliners and the one of Keanu could be River’s Edge, though I’m not certain. Still lies. Still has zero to do with the film.

Okay, moving forward, I should add that in addition to Lori Loughlin, Billy Zane (when he still had his own real hair) shows up, and also Gary Riley, who played Charlie Hogan in Stand By Me. (Another 50 billion points for me in Trivial Pursuit: Kiefer Sutherland Edition!) It was filmed in Apatos, CA, in Santa Cruz, too, and features scenes at the Boardwalk. It’s a much different feel, the Boardwalk scenes, compared to the ones in The Lost Boys.

Here, just watch the trailer:

Without further adieu, Brotherhood of Justice.

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1986 Film Fest , , , ,
22
Apr 2018

Thrashin'

Title: Thrashin’

Summary: Two skateboarding gangs “battle” each other for supremacy and it’s complicated by romance. That’s basically it.

Someone on the internet actually likened this to “West Side Story on skateboards”.

I don’t think so.

Tagline: Hot! Reckless! Totally Insane!

(I find it hilarious anyone would find this film ‘hot’.)

Note: I watched this for the first time probably somewhere around 2009? So I have a general memory of it.

Initial Thoughts:

Skateboarding was still a huge thing when I was a child, mostly because it was starting to be taken seriously and tricks/stunts were getting a lot more complicated. So Hollywood attempted to cash in on it by making a movie about it. A lot of the “extreme” (read: for the time) sports/activities in the 1980s had films made about them: BMX bikes, there’s probably a dirt bike movie I don’t know about, break dancing, flash dancing, dirty dancing…

Wait, Dirty Dancing is set in the 60s, right? (No, I have never actually seen it.) (YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.)

Originally Johnny Depp was set to play Cory, since he was conveniently dating Sherilyn Fenn at the time, but because he was Johnny Depp and on 21 Jump Street at the time… Well, the producers didn’t approve him so the role was recast with Josh Brolin.

Viewing this through hindsight, I honestly would have had a difficult time believing Johnny Depp could ride a skateboard, let alone do what would need to be done to make it remotely accurate and/or interesting.

According to Wikipedia, Brolin had been offered the role on 21 Jump Street that Depp was ultimately cast in, but turned it down… to what, make this? Kind of a dumb ass move. But, then history would be way weirder, so okay.

It’s hard to convey how huge this movie was for the time. It featured actual pro skateboarders who would become household names; you probably know Tony Hawk. There was also Tony Alva (go watch Lords of Dogtown), Christian Hosoi, and Steve Caballero. The soundtrack featured many amazing bands and singers; freaking Red Hot Chili Peppers (the original lineup with Hillel Slovak) are featured as a band in the film.

And, because this will get Wing’s attention, the titular theme song, Thrashin’, is sung by the one and only Meat Loaf! (I don’t think there was a music video for it; this was the best I could find.) [Wing: Well, this certainly did get my attention, and means I need to watch this damn movie immediately and then come back and read the recap. Having watched this video I am … excited. That’s a word.]

I’m gonna add that the only real reason I ever went to dig this film up was because it was the film debut of Brooke McCarter (aka vampire Paul in The Lost Boys) and not because I’m actually interested in skateboarding. I’m not. I had a skateboard once, with Snoopy on it, but I haven’t got the best balance and I’m terrified of injury, so I never really used it much. But I always thought skateboarders were hot. I think that’s common of many of us who were born in the early 1980s. It’s a thing.

(Though, really, go watch Lords of Dogtown. It’s more character-driven and based on real-life people, and is a really interesting film.)

Okay, let’s kick it! A Thrasin’ we will go!

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1986 Film Fest, Movies , , , , ,
14
Feb 2018

Crazy MoonTitle: Crazy Moon (1986)

Summary: No website can agree on an “official” synopsis of this film. Let’s just say it’s a “rom-com” before that was a thing, and it’s really… strange.

Tagline: Sometimes acting crazy is the only way to stay together.

Note: I found this on YouTube. I believe it is still there; this is a hard film to find, except maybe on VHS tape. So, what I’m watching isn’t the best in picture quality, but I’ll live.

Initial Thoughts:

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! It’s kind of fitting that I ended up aiming to post this recap on the one day of the year that we’re all pressured to be romantic and shunned if we don’t have a partner. Crazy Moon is one of those “super quirky in an obvious way!” kind of films that I don’t think intended to be a “super quirky in an obvious way!” kind of films.

‘Weird’ is the adjective I keep using to describe this film to everyone I know. It’s a hot mess and needed a better director, writer, and editor. I see so much I want to fix. It’s painful how much I want to fix it.

Because of its age (32 years) and the fact that it was so low budget and is technically a foreign (Canadian) film, information is…lacking. I’m cobbling together what I can from four websites. Talk about frustrating.

A bit of back story: Kiefer Sutherland, who most of you probably best know as Jack Bauer (or in the case of Dove and Wing, as David of The Lost Boys), wasn’t well known until the mid-80s. And even then he’d done more theater then film. Literally his first acting job in the United States was Stand By Me, which he thought he failed at and was convinced he’d doomed his career over. Yes. Amazing, isn’t it.

So. Somewhere between 1985, when Stand By Me was filmed in Oregon and California, and 1986, when he went off to Santa Cruz to film The Lost Boys, he made Crazy Moon in Québec, Canada. Why do I know this? His hair. His hair is the same color as it was in Stand By Me, although longer. And he’s way too tan, which was because the hoodlum gang got frequently sunburned while filming the car scenes in Stand By Me.

Yeah, I am a strange font of even stranger knowledge but I would hands down win “Trivial Pursuit: Kiefer Sutherland Edition”.

Plus, he’s super young. Maybe 19, probably closer to 18, because he was only 20 when he filmed The Lost Boys. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if he filmed this before Stand By Me, but I swear the info I can find is conflicting in every which way. The film appears to have been theatrically released in Canada in 1986, but wasn’t released theatrically in the US until December 1987, in a bid to capitalize on Sutherland’s sudden fame after The Lost Boys was a box office hit that July.

Ironically, the character in Crazy Moon is a complete opposite of David in The Lost Boys, although I think he talks even less in Crazy Moon.

Honestly, I would try to summarize the film, but I don’t want to. I think I’ll leave it all for the recap.

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