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.
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!
It starts with a black screen and what sounds like wind blowing but really it’s just a pack of skateboarders speeding down a race course. We see guys fall in slow motion but it looks cheesy because they kind of jump over the camera from behind, so it’s not like an actual crash. This goes on for a minute or so before we hear the crowd chanting ‘Corey! Corey!’ which turns into the buzz of an alarm clock.
Hello, young Josh Brolin! (This was a few years after The Goonies.)
Corey Webster speeds through his morning routine, jumping out of bed and off to brush his teeth, encouraging notes taped to the bathroom mirror. Clearly he is off to Los Angeles. There’s a pool competition and something about a downhill, and his mom (the writer of these notes) has sent his duffel bag on ahead to Tyler. She also taped $30 to the final note and tells him it’s strictly for food and NOT BEER.
She also begs him to not get hurt. Look, lady, this is skateboarding not a chess competition!
We get a montage of Corey dressing while images of the skateboarding posters and flyers that are taped to his bedroom walls hint at what’s to come. The theme song plays, Meat Loaf singing away, while Corey puts on his socks and shoes. He grabs his blue backpack, pulls a cord with a little silver skateboard on over his head, and we see the flyer for the “LA Massacre”, which is what I guess he’s going to attend.
Then he passes his bag and skateboard out the window and skates off the roof of the garage, sailing over a spray-painted homemade ramp in the driveway. THRASHIN’ USA, indeed!
What follows is a montage of Corey making his way through town, doing simple skateboard tricks and looking fine (everybody had a goddamn mullet at least once in the 1980s, myself included) and I guess it’s to show he comes from an idyllic small town in California. Whatever.
Eventually Corey’s standing by the freeway, hitchhiking. He does a somersault into the back of an El Camino (the kind with the open bed like a truck would have in back) and he’s on his way to LA!
Oh god, it’s the return of SMASH CUT. Nooooo!
Corey sails down a steep hill (alley?) towards the beach (the ocean is in the background) and this travel montage looks like it will never end, but Corey gets to show off some sweet moves to some babes walking their dog without a leash. The fact that there’s a blatant edit to show only Corey’s feet would lead me to believe that Brolin did not attempt that trick. Though, to his credit, he did perform some of the basic skateboarding, the stuff most anybody could pick up quickly. Otherwise there was three (four?) others who were all his stunt doubles that did the more complicated foot work.
This just goes forever and I’m guessing it was filmed at Venice Beach? Remember how we used to lug portable stereos around so we could listen to music? Because I do. And I recognize the electric yellow model that woman is cradling in her arm while she chats up Corey.
FINALLY! Corey arrives at his destination, which is apparently Tyler’s house and GUESS WHO PLAYS TYLER? None other than Brooke McCarter with a haircut that wouldn’t be completely out of place in today’s fashion. (Everything runs in circles, people.)
So there’s Corey, Tyler, a younger boy, and two other teenagers who don’t realize that “reside” and “live” basically have similar meaning when applied to the fact Corey is staying in a trailer pulled onto the property. We’re treated to another trope-tastic 80s montage of the boys finishing the building of a skate ramp, before they cover it in spray painted graffiti, all while holding cans of Pepsi.
Tyler concedes the first ride of a “virgin ramp” over to Corey and here we are again, another damn montage. I think this is going to be a thing. Now the boys are putting on safety gear: knee pads, elbow pads, helmets. Uhhhh, I guess “safety first” had to be a thing? Or is it because they’re the “good” guys?
The scene is filmed in such a way that you cannot see the rider’s face, so obviously Brolin checked out and one of his stunt doubles tagged in. The others (or, rather, their stunt doubles) take turns before the scene morphs into having a full crowd of teenagers watching the skateboarders riding the vertical ramp. Half pipe? Whatever.
Before I forget, the group calls themselves “The Ramp Locals”. This will be important to remember later on. (Also: SO. LAME.)
Please marvel at the mid-80s skate culture haircuts and attire, while the credits finally finish.
Oh, hello, Smash Cut.
The pack of Locals are cruising down to the beach in a white VW Golf, hitting on chicks in bikinis walking past. So they’re supposed to be typical teenagers, fine, whatever. CUE THE DRAMATICS!
The shot turns to a very tall hill street and a dude dressed in a vest, leather airline pilot hat and a red t-shirt appears first, followed by others dressed in similar punk/gang styles. They’re all riding skateboards and look tough. The youngest local notices them out the back window, calling everyone’ s attention to The Daggers!
Gossip runs rampant around car’s interior about Tommy Hook, the leader of The Daggers! Someone says he’s murdered someone, another says he caught The Daggers! checking out a ramp that was built in the area. I should point out there are actual real skateboarders playing members of The Daggers!; green hair is Christian Hosoi and another is Eddie Reategui. I have no idea who they are, but someone out there probably does.
Apparently Tommy was once “Ralph” and lived in the Valley, though I would question this information, based on who’s giving it, Radley.
At least The Daggers! all have kick ass back patches on their denim vests. Can’t say The Ramp Locals are nearly coordinated (unless the fact they all dress like 1986 dorks in neon and rock mullets is the unifying theme they’re working with.)
The Daggers! (I’m just gonna keep doing that because dramatic!) skate into an alley way, stopping when they see a panel truck at the intersection. Tommy, eyeing it dramatically with his kohl-lined eyes, skates right at it, leaps from his board, runs up the side then magically lands both feet on the board.
No. Not remotely possible. Not from all the goddamn cuts the editor made.
The Daggers! cheer him on before he motions for them to continue towards their destination, which is somewhere on Venice Beach. We also see The Ramp Locals have arrived and by golly, Tyler put down a skateboard and stepped on it, but then the film cuts back to The Daggers! skating around a small child attempting to skate, so whether Brooke McCarter actually did any skateboarding is still a mystery to me.
Crowding into a line of people standing around, Tommy takes note of two dudes break dancing, only to announce “Breaking is a memory.” What the… The one dude, who has some serious eyebrows and a bleached blond pigtail (oh my god remember when that was a thing?!) gets up in Tommy’s face but there’s a silent stare down before another member of The Daggers! declares him and the other break dancer wimps. Authority established, they skate off again.
The Ramp Locals arrive…somewhere… to find skaters lined up and dropping off a ledge onto a wide concrete bench (??) then doing a trick as they jump off the end. I barely know skater lingo, so correct me if I’m wrong, but one of them announces it as “acid drops”.
I don’t know how to describe this but maybe an abandoned plaza type space, with palm trees and squat concrete block buildings covered in graffiti, that’s what it is, and it’s on the beach, and I guess it is The Daggers! territory because their name is tagged all over and the crowds of skateboarders and lookie-loos are cheering their arrival. Most of the extras would have completely fit into the crowd scenes in The Lost Boys no problem. Which is funny because Santa Cruz is NorCal and Venice Beach is SoCal but there were a lot of similarities. And maybe it’s a general 1980s California thing, too. (Announcer Voice: IT WAS.)
The Daggers! all attempt to skate up a short vertical ramp to do an entrance trick, some to success, others to failure. But it isn’t long before the crowd sort of parts and in wander the “good” guys, The Ramp Locals! Everyone seems way too fucking hardcore cool and this freaks out Tyler, who announces that The Ramp Locals shouldn’t be here.
This is where the film pointedly shows an African American dude in punk clothing drinking from a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag. Um. Really?
Tyler states it’s The Daggers! place but Corey is all HAHAHAHA NOPE and rides his board directly into the inner sanctum, doing a trick on the short vertical ramp right in front of Tommy and a mysterious black-haired girl. SHOTS FIRED!
One of The Daggers! yells at Corey to leave, but Corey doesn’t let him push him over, he just skates past and goes up the ramp again, this time landing on the taller concrete wall behind it. He grins and jumps down, landing on the other side, skating away merrily. OOO SICK BURN!
Corey ends up in a crowd of teenagers watching some dude do skateboard tricks. (Yes, standing on the wheels and hopping around like it’s a pogo stick, how inventive.) He looks through the crowd and sees a smiling blonde in a neon pink button down shirt. The plot thickens!
Making his way through the crowd, Corey comes up beside her, stares awkwardly, then remembers to clap for the performer. Ugh. She finally takes notice of him and there’s a weird sharing of Crest White Smiles™ before the dark-haired mystery girl with fake press-on tattoos arrives. Oh no, she knows the blonde! Whose name is Chrissy! MG wants Chrissy to get going as her brother is waiting (I WONDER WHO THAT IS) but Chrissy wants to watch the freestyle skating. Corey looks hopeful and surprised at Chrissy’s interest. In the end she gets dragged away by MG. Aw, Corey has a sad!
Finished, the freestyle dude comes over and greets Corey; they know one another. Corey reveals he’s in Venice Beach for the summer, and brings up the LA Massacre again. But after his friend departs, he still has a sad about Chrissy.
MG is telling Chrissy to not waste her time on Corey, “because he’s no Dagger!” but Chrissy doesn’t seem that swayed. Joining The Daggers! we learn that MG is named Velvet (“Oh, your folks, too, huh?”) and they’re posing for a gigantic gang photo in front of the ramp. Tommy Hook, just plain Hook from this point, calls Chrissy over to be in the photo. PLOT TWIST: Chrissy is Hook’s little sister!!
We learn Chrissy is visiting from Indiana for the summer (um, do their parents know Hook is a skateboard gang leader?) and she has dreams of movie stardom. Okay.
SMASH CUT to the VW Golf, which apparently doesn’t have A/C and isn’t the convertible model that Bozo wanted (he’s the comic relief of the group, a fish out of water, who hangs around and drives the rest around Venice Beach, I guess.) So just another SMASH CUT away The Ramp Locals are using a blow torch to cut the top of the car off. Like, what the fuck. Radley is super proud of the work he’s done, since his shop teacher never trusted him to make anything bigger than an ash tray, but Bozo is flipping out, terrified of what his father will say.
I’m saying it looks like an accident waiting to happen, since they left two sharp pieces of metal sticking straight up where the doors are on either side. Holy crap. It sounds like Tyler suggests they paint the car.
Only it’s not actual auto body paint. It’s fucking spray paint. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT, BAT. (I know, I know.) If it didn’t look awful before, it looks like crap on wheels AND a death trap and there’s zero safety and I will stop now.
SMASH CUT and we arrive at
a creepy old cave accessed only by a rickety wooden staircase, with KEEP OUT warning signs posted all around an old house that has seen better days that has old cars parked in the driveway and skate ramps everywhere and dudes are skateboarding off the roof. Okay. How does Hook manage to make rent? Or does he own outright? Or are The Daggers! just squatters? INQUIRING MINDS.
Chrissy walks up, carrying a shopping bag, in a totally 80s pink and white dress, seemingly unfazed by the exterior of the property and the dudes skating off the roof. We move to a room where the walls are decorated in massive spray paint murals (a giant orange skeleton head, a neon atom, clearly this place would blaze alive when the black lights are switched on) (oh my god it’s basically Skate World, the defunct rollerskating rink I spent a lot of time at during my formative years) and this is Hook’s inner sanctum. He’s doing his hair in the mirror, Chrissy shows him the dress she bought for the party, and I’m greatly distracted by the giant sword skull cross(?) dangling from his left ear.
Announcing she had fun at the beach today, Chrissy informs Hook she liked the skaters AND break dancers. Hook ignores his sister’s opinion, instead inquiring if he should change his earring to a giant gold hoop.
Chrissy says to keep the dagger and add a bone through his nose. Chrissy, this is 1985/86, not 1996.
Hook takes his appearance very seriously but suddenly starts contemplating a septum piercing. Ugh.
SMASH CUT to Corey wearing his fanciest threads, checking himself in the mirror. Oh man, red windbreaker, unbuttoned and open white shirt, trucker cap… WHO COULD RESIST?! (Me. I could totally resist.) He adds a pair of sunglasses but comes back and ditches the hat and sunglasses because apparently he understands that more is less. Really, that silver skateboard charm around his neck is enough. With that, The Ramp Locals are ready to roll! (I count at least 2 fedora hats in the group.)
Viewers are treated to a short montage of skaters doing board tricks, like any good 80s movie would have but this is skating and not dancing. The Ramp Locals roll up but before they can enter the party, Radley is clocked and searched, revealing three small bottles of liquor. Just Say No, kids!
I guess Tyler and Radley are supposed to be “underage”, so Radley (having lost all his concealed beverages) sends Bozo to buy them beers. Um, I guess that’s Just Say YES, kids!
Corey gets all excited and air guitars, using his skateboard as a stand in instrument, and the party is jumpin’ (or THASHIN‘, perhaps?) and we get more footage of skateboarders doing tricks. Radley is SUPER PUMPED and jumps on his board, sailing into the “performers” and manages to knock them down, making Corey and Tyler cringe.
Wouldn’t you know it, we SMASH CUT to the arrival of The Daggers! Chrissy is decked out in a strapless pink dress, pearls, and a long white scarf (what is this, 1952?) and Velvet is more appropriately attired in a red pleated skirt with red leggings underneath, a black crop top and a big old black leather belt. Basically, Madonna but not in white lace. Hook escorts his sister and girlfriend, wearing his best black leather motorcycle jacket and ripped up jeans. What a gentleman!
The 4961 members of The Daggers! enter the party without having to wait in line, because security (doorman?) knows who they are and greets them warmly. The Daggers! swagger around the room, hitting the bar (scaring Bozo away) and generally taking control by jumping off the makeshift stage on their skateboards (rude) and Hook is BUSTING A MOVE. Chrissy, looking virginal and entirely OUT OF PLACE, takes a seat in a hastily vacated chair.
Corey sees her through the crowd and they make awkward eye contact. The music stops, the tuxedo-clad host arrives on stage and starts throwing out home made and/or bootleg t-shirts, and announces that the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be taking the stage. Geez, I had to pay like $25 to see them play in a fucking hockey arena in 2000. I feel gypped.
Bozo manages to snag four red Solo cups of beer and slowly get past Hook and crew, heading back to The Ramp Locals. But, because he is the comic relief, the host throws a skateboard deck into the crowd, announcing something called the “thrash bash”, and yes the deck magically sails over and lands in Bozo’s arms, making him drop all the beers. Right. Okay.
The crowd descends on Bozo and
he is ripped to pieces mobbed but Radley jumps into the fray and is suddenly crowd surfing. RHCP, in their wacky-ass outfits they used to wear on stage (nothing will ever top the silver light bulb suits they wore that one time, but I still think the “nothing but strategically placed tube socks” bit takes the cake) are performing Blackeyed Blonde and all I can think about is Anthony Kiedis in Point Break now.
The crowd is still trying to get their hands on the skate deck, but Corey is more interested in trying to get to Chrissy. He keeps running into women in the crowd; one is much older and decked out in rhinestones and leather, another has weird airbrushed artwork/makeup on her face (which freaks Corey out?) but finally he succeeds! Perfect timing, too, as Hook is distracted and shaking beer all over the crowd (?) while Corey grabs Chrissy’s arm and drags her outside.
I also just want to mention it’s extremely strange for me to see all the RHCP without their massive collections of tattoos. So much naked, unadorned skin. (Remember when Kiedis was super hot? Not so much these days.)
Corey and Chrissy (GAG) make it outside, and Corey snagged his skateboard as well, and they share a laugh at the absurdity of their situation (face it: neither of them belong at this party, they’re both too fucking wholesome) and Chrissy says you don’t see “that kind of stuff” in Indiana. (I wouldn’t know; I’ve never been there.) Corey says it’s all right, the party goers are just “thrashers”.
Chrissy admits that she thinks that means DELINQUENT YOUTHS and Corey’s all hey babe no, that’s just aggressive skateboarding. “Well, what do you THRASH?” Chrissy counters. (Yes, Corey, DO TELL.)
“What do you got?” Corey answers.
Corey goes and leans on the cyclone fencing, just managing to not snag his bangs in the four lines of barbed wire right above his face (?!) and Chrissy asks if he’s a wild child or something. “Maybe,” is his astute reply. (Oh, honey.) He goes on to ask why she hangs around The Daggers! and she’s all “You know Tommy, the one they call Hook?” and COREY SHOOTS HIS MOUTH OFF AND CALLS HOOK A POSER and Chrissy smiles and answers, “That’s my brother.”
“I’m a jerk!” Corey laments. Chrissy assures him he’s okay and this ridiculous romance continues to blossom before a SMASH CUT puts us back inside the party to check in with the RHCP and the stage divers crowd surfing. Okay.
Corey and Chrissy take a walk around the building, Corey leaning up against the concrete block building pointedly showing Chrissy the underside of his skate deck. “Spiders, skulls, and bones?” she inquires, wrinkling her nose. All I can see is a shitty looking “spider” and Corey’s written his full name under it. Nerd.
Entirely forgetting who her brother is, Corey manages to get her on his board, and pushes her gently to roll along but Chrissy fucking hustles him, doing a basic trick and showing him she’s not some clueless blonde from the Midwest. Oo, sick burn, I love it!
They walk and talk and Corey says he’s in training for the LA Downhill (aka the LA Massacre?) and Chrissy says Hook is gearing up for that, too. Feel that plot thickening! There’s a $1K prize for the winner, which was a lot of money for a skateboarder, and Corey explains there’s 25-35 guys competing all at once to race down a long downhill track. Hence downhill. I basically think it’s like a soapbox derby, only no soapbox racers, and the course is very twisty instead of straight down a hill.
Apparently this race is very intense and accidents occur. (POINTLESS FORESHADOWING FOR FUN AND PROFIT.)
At this point we’re treated to ANOTHER MONTAGE: Corey and Chrissy have left the party and somehow stumbled upon a circus, Circus Vargas to be exact, with a tent where children can ride a small elephant, and there’s a midway, and a massive inflatable bounce house where the couple jump around (and Chrissy can’t keep her strapless dress in place) and now Chrissy is running, dragging Corey by the hand to play a midway game, now they’re getting carnival food, MORE BOUNCE HOUSE, repeat ad naseum.
Smash Cut to Hollywood, where they’re walking along a crowded street (I really hope she put her shoes back on by now) and you can see Walk of Fame stars in the sidewalk and they share a chaste kiss and nope she goes from wearing her shoes to holding them in her hand again (?!) and they laugh at window displays and not-Josh Brolin runs up a wall and does a back flip before Chrissy gives the stunt man a big hug.
Now they’re slow dancing in each others’ arms in front of a chintzy Hollywood souvenir store. WHO EDITED THIS!?
We see a sign that reads CASUAL SEX and Corey is staring at it, and now Chrissy has her hair up in a ponytail (?!?!) and she shakes her head in disgust and drags Corey away. SMASH CUT to Chrissy sitting cross-legged on Corey’s board while he pushes her down the sidewalk. HA HA HOW FUNNY.
Chrissy stops to bow to an Asian man in line (and literally throws her shoes to the ground?!) and the couple just LAUGHS AND LAUGHS at the absurdity of this whole montage before they end up in a recreated 1950s soda fountain diner. Suddenly Chrissy notices the giant neon clock and is all OH MY GOD IT’S SO LATE and reading the clocks it looks to be 5:20 but I can’t tell if that’s AM or PM? I’m guessing it’s intended to be AM? But that makes ZERO FUCKING SENSE even though Corey announces he’s got that pool competition in four hours so they race off.
It suddenly goes from obviously midnight to morning (fail) and Chrissy is wandering up the drive to The Daggers! house, and in a shitty voice over Corey asks if she’s going to wish him luck (EVEN THOUGH SHE IS STANDING WAY ACROSS THE STREET) but she does and they wave goodbye before parting. (Gag.)
Chrissy enters through the classy French doors and heads to the kitchen, retrieving a carton of orange juice and what I hope is a clean glass from the counter. Hook slams the fridge door shut, startling Chrissy, and demands to know where she’s been all night (morning?) and says she scared him. Oo, protective and shirtless older brother is mad!
Although Chrissy asserts her independence, Hook starts to berate her then stops to take the glass of oj from her hands, sniff it, and declare it ‘foul’. The siblings continue to fight, Chrissy pointing out that her older brother sent home a photograph of him “looking like some wild Indian” (“that look is STYLIN’!” Hook cries in response) and if the fact the kitchen wasn’t covered in spray paint graffiti and the house didn’t look like a squatters lair, he might have a leg to stand on. But this is the 1980s, so Hook is in charge.
When his sister states that maybe her visit isn’t just a visit, that perhaps their parents sent her to look after Hook, Hook tells Chrissy he doesn’t want her around and to go back to Indiana. Oo, righteous 80s drama!
Nope, Chrissy backs down (ugh) and loses that backbone she had for five seconds, apologizing to her dumb ass older brother (double ugh) before breaking into a smile. It’s enough to soften Hook, who laughs, too, and goes on to inquire about the boy she was hanging out with all night.
When it comes out that his name is Corey and he’s from “over the hill”, Hook flies into a rage that his sister went goo-goo eyed for a VALLEY BOY! How dare she! She’s only supposed to stay in the area (I’ll take that to mean The Daggers!’ territory) and fraternize only with The Daggers! If she won’t obey, she needs to go back to Indiana. Wow, super controlling, much?
Velvet wanders into the kitchen during this…heated conversation and asks Hook to come to bed. I guess he was up all night, though whether that’s normal or he was intentionally worried about Chrissy, who knows. (Like, if he was worried, why didn’t he go looking for her? WHAT A CONCEPT.)
OH LOOK SMASH CUT RETURNS to Corey wrapping his finger joints in duct tape (?) while the V/O announcer is talking about how the participants are putting on safety gear and readying for the run. We’re treated to a weird montage of just that (elbow pads, knee pads, helmets etc, and one super long shot of Corey’s smooth, tanned chest as he pulls his shirt down) as the V/O explains every contender has a shot at winning, as well as who are the favorites.
Uh oh, Corey still hasn’t checked in with officials and everyone’s wondering who can pull off the McTwist (a now-common skateboard trick) at the tournament. There’s footage of teens lined around the edge of the empty swimming pool that’s being used as the tournament grounds. I would wager that’s a young Tony Hawk doing tricks but I can’t swear to it.
The “stands” are packed with attendees, waiting for the real action to begin. We get a bit more footage of skateboard tricks, as the V/O announcer describes the trick, and there’s a sneaky shot of the trophies sitting on the table next to the judges. A score is posted on the digital reader board. Corey is suited up, helmet on, and he grabs his skateboard, ready!
The next contestant drops into the bowl and is off, doing tricks that seemed amazeballs in 1986 but now are dated and “simple” compared to what we see skateboarders (and snowboarders) pull off 32 years later. But they all had to start somewhere and this contestant is doing a great job according to the V/O announcer, so yay not-sports-sport!
Another contestant drops in as soon as the previous contestant’s score is posted, and we get another montage of tricks and crowd shots and cheering. God this is boring. Imagine if this happened now: everyone would be on their phones or recording video or hell, trying to take selfies when the skateboarder did a trick near them. At best, I’ve seen a couple of older dudes with huge video recording cameras in the crowd and there’s a specific shot of a small child taking a photo with a film camera. REMEMBER WHEN WE HAD ATTENTION SPANS AND WATCHED EVENTS LIVE WITHOUT ELECTRONIC DISTRACTIONS OR SOCIAL MEDIA?
The montage gets more intense, showing several different skateboarders doing tricks, while the rock and roll song plays (“we’re gonna touch the sky!”) and right then we move into the skateboarders falling and wiping out. Wah wah. Apparently one is “hurt” (he’s weakly grabbing his ankle as the “medics” are undoing his sneaker) before they carry him out of the pool. A photographer snaps a bunch of rapid fire photographs and Corey just looks sick to his stomach.
Oh noes, The Daggers! have arrived, pushing their way into the crowd. From across the way, The Ramp Locals note their arrival and look worried.
HOLD EVERYTHING: IT’S COREY’S TURN!
We see Corey drop into the bowl but then it switches to POV from his skateboard (??) (I think it’s supposed to be Corey’s POV but the angle is wrong) and we’re riding around in the concrete bowl of the swimming pool, inter-cut with footage of Corey’s stuntman doing actual tricks. (Motion sickness, ahoy.)
He manages to pull off something impressive, because The Ramp Locals and the crowd jump to their feet, cheering. Nice product placement with the can of Sprite, Tyler!
Of course, the only ones not cheering are The Daggers! who are drinking beer and watching Corey’s run intently. Corey’s stuntman(men?) are doing really well. Back to the skateboard POV! Back to not Corey! The Ramp Locals are ecstatic! Corey could win this!!
One of The Daggers! reaches into his vest pocket and withdraws a handful of metal jacks. OH NOES. Just as Corey is lining up to do a major trick with the last seconds of time remaining on his run, he… what the hell, he skates beside the pile of jacks the “bad” dude dropped into the bowl and wipes out. Like, what?? You can clearly see he doesn’t skate through them, only beside them. LAME.
For, y’know, not actually hitting the jacks, Corey has a SPECTACULAR WIPE OUT, which we see through personal POV as he slides around inside the concrete pool. At one point he cries out and kind of grabs his shoulder, but the next he’s at a different angle and the V/O announcer is yelling how Corey is really hurt. REALLY HURT FOR NOT SKATING THROUGH METAL JACKS. Okay.
The V/O announcer yells for the medics, stating it’s unknown why Corey lost control of his board. The Daggers! aren’t remotely subtle, laughing uproariously in the crowd as The Ramp Locals make their way into the pool to attend Corey. Then we get a montage of the walking wounded, participants who need medical treatment, as the V/O announcer yammers on about Corey’s standing and the contest at large.
A medic sprays the road rash (that suddenly appeared) on Corey’s back, which makes him wince. A hand reaches out in front of Corey’s face, the palm full of the metal jacks. Tyler has found the culprit! In the background, The Daggers! watch in glee, laughing even more uproariously. Like, if you’re going to be that obvious, you’d be caught. BUT THIS IS A MOVIE SO NO JUSTICE.
Well, not yet. It is an 1980s movie, so there will be some form of justice and/or triumph by the end of the film. GOOD GUYS ALWAYS WIN, DON’T YOU KNOW.
We move to some kind of skateboard shop, where The Ramp Locals lament Corey’s untimely loss (apparently they did not tell officials that he was sabotaged unfairly) and how The Daggers! rule Los Angeles (the whole city? No.) and Bozo says something about a geezer. There’s a portly older dude next to a van being followed by a group of children. No, it’s not John Wayne Gacy; it’s Sam Flood! Who owns Smash Skateboards! He also “invented” skateboarding (as much as Al Gore “invented” the Internet, I’m sure.)
Corey decides to go and talk to Sam, while the rest of The Ramp Locals pose like some cheesy posse, asking him to get them autographs. And t-shirts! And maybe an endorsement deal! (Corey, you can do so much better in the friend department.)
Because he’s suave and self-assured, Corey calls to Sam, who’s just finished giving swag to a couple of dudes (that pile of Frisbees in the back of the van is SO TOTALLY 80s) and upon Corey walking up, instantly recognizes the up-and-coming talented skateboarder. (The “bloodied” bandage on Corey’s back keeps making me laugh.)
They start talking shop about skateboarders who have gone on to bigger and better things, especially when it comes to making money. Sam tells Corey that if Corey wins the Downhill competition, he will sign Corey to a contact for Smash Skates. He gives Corey his card and a promise of a factory tour (??) which we pretty much SMASH CUT into. Sam is describing the process of silk screening the company logo onto the skateboard deck, as a worker actually does it.
Considering how tiny the logo is and its placement on the deck, are you kidding me?? Graphic designers are weeping.
Sam and Corey walk and talk and Sam says he only signs “winners” (ugh) before showing Corey a new deck blank and describing its design and how it’s “practically indestructible”. Then Sam bounces a wheel off the ground before telling Corey to bite into it (???) and talks about how it’s a “new secret” thermo-plastic resin design. The wheel would survive an atomic bomb, allegedly. This is all very fascinating shop talk (not.) Sam is called away, leaving Corey to look around and vow, aloud, that he will skate for Smash Skateboards!
WOW INTENSE SMASH CUT TO THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME.
The Ramp Locals are riding down the star-inlaid sidewalks, forcing people out of the way. How rude. At one point we see them jump over what I imagine is probably a crew member who is supposed to be “acting” like a homeless dude (and from the ridiculous fake wigs, you know it’s stuntmen doing the trick, not the actors, because Tyler’s hair does not look like that. Nor does Bozo’s.)
I keep waiting for the cops to bust them but this is a movie.
Every time one of The Ramp Locals does a cool or intense trick, they’re filmed from behind so you can’t see their faces. Now a days they’d just CGI the actor’s faces onto the stuntmen, so this is all kinds of hilarious to me.
They even jump on the back of a woman’s car as she’s backing up. My god, where are the cops???
The montage goes on forever, with a soft rock song playing over the top, with lyrics about dreams and something or other. All I know is that is NOT any of the actual actors skateboarding, because they’re all filmed from behind and are stupidly adept at skateboarding. Also, there’s reaction shots from real people who probably didn’t know they were being filmed. This is still going on. End already.
Oh look, Corey’s grabbed a chain attached to a BMX bike some kid is riding, and The Ramp Locals have formed a human chain behind him. Every single mullet wig is so fake it’s impressive. Radley even whips off his sweatshirt, revealing a sleek black tank top underneath. (Okay, I might have thought that hot when I was, say, 12.)
Back at the VW Golf, which is still covered in spray paint, Tyler and Radley appear (and Tyler is wearing different pants AND different shoes? How odd.) first, followed by the rest. Bozo has a large piece of food stuck to his chin. Radley calls him over, telling him a story about a chick who’s with a friend in the same parking lot, and how she showed interest in Bozo (THIS IS A SETUP) so he gets Bozo on a board (and brushes the food off his face) before pantsing him. Bozo has no choice but to ride the board past the pretty girl with his shorts around his ankles, while his friends laugh.
The girls think this is so fucking funny, too. Even the dude on the motorcycle in the parking lot is amused. Ugh.
Corey takes this time to use the payphone (still sporting that dumb bandage, which now has less fake blood weeping into it) and dials the number he has for Chrissy. Hook answers, but only in as he picks up the phone and says nothing, so Corey is left to say “Is that you, Chrissy?” in a cutesy tone. Hook is unamused.
When Corey reveals his name, Hook laughs and mentions the “accident” Corey had at the contest the day prior. Corey whines that Hook knows it wasn’t an accident and demands Chrissy be given the phone. Hook counters that she’s busy and will be busy for the
REST OF HER LIFE rest of the summer, then Hook proceeds to threaten to kill Corey if he comes near Chrissy. Remember when that was a thing?
So Corey does the logical thing and threatens Hook’s life post-LA Massacre (??) and Hook just counters that he better not see Corey before the downhill, before hanging up in a not that bad ass move. (Why Hook didn’t just fucking hang up when he found out it was Corey is anybody’s guess. Oh, wait, plot advancement. My bad.)
“Shit”! Corey cries, slamming down the receiver. Wow, such passion.
Then we’re treated to NOT Josh Brolin whatsoever riding his skateboard at night across freeway overpass bridges and past closed stores and whatever, and everything is filmed from behind the stuntmen once more, so the hair is always changing. I believe this short montage is to show the viewer, visually, how ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED Corey is. Okay.
At one point, he reaches a gas station and skates under a parked semi truck, between the wheels. MUCH ANGER. MANY HORMONES.
SMASH CUT to a shot of the full moon in a cloudy night sky. Corey skates down a road where a lot of cars are parked and if you are REMOTELY SURPRISED that he has turned up at the Squatters Paradise that is The Daggers! lair, then I pity you.
He picks up his board and sneak-walks into the yard, past the porch that is full of the 8624 members of The Daggers! who are partying, because clearly that’s all they do. He sneaks around back to peek in a window and see s the living room is full of dudes either playing keep away or attempting a mosh pit, it’s hard to tell. Sensing the gang is super distracted, Corey sneaks even further around back (wow, there’s no shrubbery against the house, just a few small trees, Hook must fear burglars) and peeks in another window.
This room has a bunch of women. Looks like Velvet is hanging with some of the other girlfriends of The Daggers! Corey notices the skinny tree and starts to climb. Apparently he knows Chrissy will be on the second floor? Why would you assume anything??
Right, right, it’s a fucking movie, this is scripted.
Of course he makes it onto part of the roof, slips on a tiny branch that cracks under his foot, which sends Corey careening off the roof. He manages to catch the skinny tree which somehow is strong enough to support his weight and not topple over.
Chrissy walks around the back of the house, looking like fucking Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island (pink and white stripe shirt tied in a knot, tight crop blue jeans, side pony tail) and she laughs at Corey hanging from the branch. HOW DID NO ONE ELSE HEAR THIS??
She mentions coincidences and he asks to see her for a few seconds (dude, get out of the tree first) and Velvet sticks her head out the window, telling Chrissy that Siobhan is ready to “paint” Chrissy’s face. Um. Chrissy is an idiot and does that “look but not look” thing at Corey, giving his position away to Velvet.
Who immediately looks up and sees him dangling from the tree.
Chrissy begs Velvet not to tell Hook, which she does with the caveat that Chrissy get Corey out of there now (wow, does Velvet believe love can cross gang lines?) before she shuts the window. A window that has “VELVET + HOOK” written on it in faint Sharpie. (A former acquaintance told me once this was a thing in the 80s and 90s, leaving love notes and messages on mirrors and windows with Sharpie. Okay.)
“Thought you could fly?” Chrissy asks after she tells Corey to get down. What, is he fucking Superboy now? Then there’s the weirdest cut ever; one second Corey’s hanging in the tree, the next he’s landing on his feet. Nice job, editor!
Corey and Chrissy get all up in each other’s personal space and he says, “I can.”
And that’s where I took my boot off and threw it at the screen.
We move over to Maxwell’s Cafe, where Corey and Chrissy are in a booth, a large plastic bowl on the table between them. They ate the massive banana split sundae between the two of them — for reference, there’s one in the booth behind Chrissy, you can see a guy noshing on it — and Corey is so proud! Chrissy asks where Corey got the silver skateboard charm (do tell, do tell!) and Corey reveals he made it in Art class a while back.
No. That charm, when I’ve been able to see it, looks like it was cast as a solid silver piece. I know of no high school that teaches silver casting or jewelry making under the umbrella of “Art”, so this is total bullshit. Please comment if you can prove me wrong.
So of course now that Chrissy has expressed interest, he pulls it off and puts the cord over her head, giving her the skateboard charm. But ALSO effectively marking Chrissy as his. Because if you have any inkling of how things work in films, a token gift (particularly jewelry) is always a sign of a relationship! Oh boy, Hook is gonna be pissed.
Corey, in addition to being a jewelry maker, is also a graphic designer! How fucking amazing! He starts telling Chrissy about the graphics he has designed for his new skateboard (considering what’s on your current board, Corey, I’m cringing/laughing) that he’s going to get when he gets a pro sponsor. Mmhm, please tell us more. Sure enough, he’s telling Chrissy how it’s a spiderweb with a tarantula and somehow there’s also a girl. (My god, how 80s.) Chrissy looks up and sees a few of the 2748 members of The Daggers! walk into the cafe, causing her to duck under the table while Corey is explaining his visual masterpiece.
Asking her what the fuck, although that’s my paraphrasing and not his, Chrissy explains to Corey that if those guys see her and report back to her brother, her brother will kill her. (Oh, the days when we said that constantly and casually but it was just a metaphor.) Corey refuses to leave the cafe at first but Chrissy is up and out the door, leaving him to pay the check.
I guess they get away unnoticed, so where does Corey take her? The motor home trailer he’s living in at Tyler’s! And the first thing he whips out? (Get your mind out of the gutter.) His crappy graphic skateboard artwork! Wow, that’s just… so 80s.
Whoa, Chrissy tells Corey to his face that she thinks the drawing is “aggressive”. Corey counters that “aggressive” sells skateboards. (I’m gonna go with no on that one, Corey. You also suck at marketing.) Somehow, probably because she’s sitting on Corey’s bed, Chrissy asks if he’d like to be held or grabbed like the woman in his stupid drawing and Corey’s all HELL YEAHS and she actually grabs him and shoves him on the bed.
Well, points for being the aggressor, Chrissy?
Of course, they kiss and the music swells as the pop romance song plays (kill me) and soon enough Corey rolls on top and now it’s a fucking montage (KILL ME) and Corey’s all checking out how that stupid skateboard charm centers perfectly in the hollow of her neck while he undoes her button down shirt and there’s some dumb lyric about “candles in the dark” before we move to (it took me a while to figure it out, that’s a horrid angle) Corey pushing down Chrissy’s denim skirt. Then it fades into her helping pull up his shirt (dear god, young Josh Brolin) and more making out and rolling around on the cheap mattress (I’m really shocked they haven’t been interrupted by The Ramp Locals just barging in, but maybe Corey hung a tie on the doorknob or something?) and I guess good for Chrissy, she’s on top.
Oh god, that stupid song is a duet. Yikes.
Chrissy is making her way down Corey’s front but the camera moves away to recenter on his face when she hits his abs. Then there’s another weird fade transition (thank you for not using SMASH CUTS) and we see Chrissy’s reflection in the UNCOVERED WINDOW and huh, she’s still on top. Go, girl! There’s a bunch of writhing against each other but I’m pretty damn sure… oh oh, another fade and Corey’s on top, aggressively kissing Chrissy, so I’m going to go with it finally happened. Now they’re just petting and touching and snuggling and damn this movie was rated PG-13!??! I mean that sex scene is fucking chaste by today’s standards but it still goes farther then some others I remember from the 1980s.
Oh, another magical soft fade and both are dressed and Corey’s kissing Chrissy goodbye (dude, you didn’t even let her stay the night?! Oh, right, Hook would really be mad if she didn’t come home. Still!) and I guess he walked her back home but they’re still a safe distance down the sidewalk so they won’t get caught making out? Right. Okay.
Chrissy walks off slowly, glancing back at loverboy a few times, and Corey says (in an awful voice over) “I’ll call you this week.” WHY NOT TOMORROW, DUMB ASS? In the same stupid voice over, Chrissy is all “No, tomorrow!” HA!
Jumping on his skateboard and heading directly into the path of oncoming traffic (???) Corey heads home. But in the grass (???) a couple of members of The Daggers! see him! Oh noes! It goes from 2 to like 10 (??) chasing him down the street, all of them skating. I think that’s Hook but I honestly cannot tell. Corey realizes he’s being chased and takes off, so now we’re watching a literal skateboard chase. Great.
Getting low on his board to gain speed, Corey cuts across the path of a street cleaning truck and of course several of The Daggers! follow. But sure enough, the footage goes SLOW MOTION as one of them slams right into the door/side and bounces off to great effect. He rolls away to land on his back in the street as his fellow gang members continue in hot pursuit.
Corey swings low and tight around a curb, causing two more of The Daggers! to wipe out, rolling across the sidewalk. This is comical, though I’m sure back in the day it would have garnered a lot of awe and excitement.
Still maintaining a good lead, Corey continues to skate in the middle of a highway street (and there is NO TRAFFIC, I’m sorry, there was traffic EVERYWHERE in 80s California!) before rounding a turn and taking another. Now they’ve entered a mall parking garage (as one lone car sails past in the distance) and of course it’s dimly lit inside to add MOOD and ATMOSPHERE. I’m pretty sure that is Hook out at the front of the pack, because he’s yelling at his gang members to keep up.
Corey is pushing the hell out of himself to maintain a lead. At one point, I think it’s a cat (?) runs out across his path (which I think was just a rando cat, but it looks cool as hell) and Hook and The Daggers! are still chasing him. But, of course, since this is a film we cut to a ramp that wasn’t visible in the prior scene, and Corey goes sailing down the curve, The Daggers! still on his heels.
Sure enough it’s one of those big four story ramps that leads back to ground level, so imagine a bunch of skateboarders in a pack skating down it. Yawn.
The Daggers! help one another to keep going, but one loses control and goes flying over the concrete wall, screaming as he drops through the air. We finally exit the parking garage and see Corey skating for his life down a dark alley way. Still, there’s zero traffic or people anywhere to witness this.
Corey comes out onto a thoroughfare just as a city bus is pulling away from the curb. He catches up and grabs onto the closed doors at the front of the bus. A geek on a red (Yamaha?) motor scooter arrives at the intersection and is immediately commandeered by Hook, who grabs onto the scooter and yells for the geek to follow Corey.
because this is a movie Corey gets his hand through the rubber gasket of the doors and yells at the bus driver to let him in. I… what? In what universe does this work? Instead of yelling at Corey to fuck off, the driver silently opens the door. Corey steps aboard, safe at last?
Nope? The Daggers! catch up, just at the bus pulls over to a stop. Hook nearly goes flying as the geek on the scooter guns it. But he makes it onto the bus using the front door. The driver snarks, “Seventy-five cents!” (Corey didn’t fucking pay, don’t try to tell me he did.) Hook stares down the length of the bus but Corey isn’t there, and none of the passengers seem thrilled to have been boarded by a skateboard pirate.
Hook actually bends down to look under the seats. Well, I have to give him credit for being thorough; most “villains” would pitch some kind of fit and leave the bus after not initially seeing their prey.
Another member of The Daggers! rides up and jumps onboard the stopped bus. Both he and Hook start to slowly stalk down the center aisle, looking for Corey. Why is no one yelling at them?! The driver pointedly reminds them of the fare but only gets a dark look from Hook.
Wow, that slashed, navel-barring t-shirt Hook is wearing under his denim vest is super distracting. (Like, again, 12 year old me would have thought that hot but now it’s kind of laughable? But also so 1980s?)
Anyway, Hook and the other gang member drop off the bus through the back entry and the four members of The Daggers! commiserate over the apparent escape of Corey. (Obvs the riders and the driver are covering for our “good boy” hero. Just wait.) In the most awkward edit ever of an added voice-over, one of The Daggers! mentions that he knows the location of The Ramp Local’s ramp. It doesn’t sound threatening but it’s supposed to be.
Meanwhile, the bus drives away and Corey is laying atop the roof like it’s no big thing. A) no. B) there is no discernible access point to the roof so it’s fucking impossible!!
Like, if there was a tiny access hatch in the roof, sure. But there’s not. And even though you see the back door open when Hook enters, there’s no believable chance that Corey ran out the back door and/or somehow climbed onto the top of the bus without any of the other members of The Daggers! seeing him.
All I ask, in regards to movies based in reality, is BELIEVABLE ACTIONS. Yet, this is a movie about fucking skateboarding so why am I upset.
SMASH CUT to an ignited road flare. Uh oh! The Daggers! are extracting revenge! There’s a loud whoosh and the plywood ramp we watched The Ramp Locals build in that cheesy montage goes up in flames! The idiots poured so much gasoline on it, it becomes a raging inferno near-instantly.
Of course Hook & co cheer their vandalism. As one does.
ONE DUDE IS SO EXCITED BY THE FIRE HE TAKES OFF HIS T-SHIRT AND THROWS IT INTO THE FLAMES. Okay.
I’m just glad it suddenly seems like the ramp isn’t anywhere near, say, homes or structures that could catch on fire. (Of course, I was never certain where they built that ramp in the first place; I kind of thought it was Tyler’s seemingly endless back yard but I guess I was wrong?) There is much merriment and spilling of beer over each others’ heads in excitement. Okay.
The ramp continues to burn and lucky for me, the editor sped up the processes using cuts, because soon it’s collapsing on itself and there’s glowing orange bits of wood still burning among the charred remains. The Daggers! stay long enough to make sure it’s properly destroyed before hopping a flimsy fence and disappearing into the night.
WAIT. YOU WANT ME TO BELIEVE, AFTER FOCUSING INTENTLY ON ITS FULL DESTRUCTION, THAT A WHOLE SECTION OF PLYWOOD DID NOT BURN? DID NOT BURN AND REMAINED FOR THE DAGGERS! TO SPRAY PAINT THEIR NAME ON IT?
No. Just fucking no.
But that’s what The Ramp Locals discover in the morning. Tyler is so mad we don’t even see his face, he just runs off to get some dude named Monk. (???)
…they’re actually doing another skateboarding montage? Of The Ramp Locals? Who are supposed to be deeply upset about the loss of their ramp? Yet they’re all making serious bad ass expressions while skateboarding down a neighborhood road?
WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THIS FILM???
It doesn’t matter, all we mostly see is the backs of stuntmen skateboarding, though Corey reinforces his “best good guy ever” status when he stops to help the junior member who wiped out and landed in the grass. Oh, and look, Brooke totally can stand on a skateboard and slowly make his way down the street. Yep.
Is it any surprise that The Ramp Locals have descended upon the squatters paradise that is The Daggers! home base? Nope.
Radley and Tyler arrive first, walking past some of the 5342 members of The Daggers! who are lounging on the cars in the remains of the front yard. Tyler YELLS his demand to see Monk “RIGHT NOW!” and any cool points I ever gave Paul the vampire go right out the window.
Hook pops out of the house with an expertly placed box of Life cereal in his hand, greeting The Ramp Locals with glee. Monk, it turns out, is the dude with the blonde mop of hair (sounds… familiar…) who is also the loud mouth (doubly… familiar…) who sabotaged Corey with the metal jacks.
(I am momentarily distracted by dude with a good body putting on his shirt. DAMN IT.)
“Monk the Punk!” also greets The Ramp Locals, inquiring how the ramp is. (Har har.) Tyler tells Monk to get “down here” off the porch. Um, is that really a threat?
With Hook’s encouragement to kick Tyler’s ass, Monk comes down into the dirt front yard to face The Ramp Locals. Tyler gets right in his face and bellows that he wants money for his ramp. Monk throws something in Tyler’s face (dirt?) but Tyler jams his skateboard into Monk’s stomach, knocking him to the ground, before punching him repeatedly in the face. This is one of the weakest, poorly scripted fights I have seen on film.
The Daggers! immediately descend from their perches, closing around Tyler, who’s still bashing Monk. Hook pops up and kicks Tyler in the balls (can we say FAKE and STUNTMAN?) before punching him the face. Tyler throws a punch at Hook but is easily sucker punched in the stomach, dropping to the ground with a comical sound effect. Oh noes.
Chrissy comes running out of the house, blatantly displaying the silver skateboard around her neck. Honey, I’d hide that. Corey and Junior Local ride up just as Hook continues to humiliate Tyler, telling him to never come round again.
Of course Corey comes charging in, demanding Hook fight him, which sends Chrissy leaping off the porch to put herself between her brother and her lover. Ugh. Hook throws her behind him, giving Chrissy the opportunity to throw her arms around her brother’s shoulders and pin his arms. I gotta hand it to Chrissy, she was proactive. (Imagine if Star had throw her arms around Michael’s shoulders after he punched David, instead of just standing there screaming.) (I know, I know, I gotta stop comparing to The Lost Boys but seeing Brooke keeps triggering these ideas in my brain.)
Hook backs off, calling Corey “Valley Boy” as a repeat insult, before he tells him to meet him at some half pipe in a canyon at nine o’clock for jousting. (???) (*remembers that weird BMX joust skit Jackass did once upon a time*) Junior Local yells, “NO YOU BE THERE!” in a weirdly framed cut away, before Hook tells him to shut up and get Tyler off his lawn. Tyler, for his part, has a swollen and dirty face, and is struggling to get up.
The Ramp Locals collect their wounded friend and Chrissy runs to join them. Hook grabs her elbow and she breaks free, before crying out for Corey. Hook just yells “DAMN!” and watches his kid sister go off with Valley Boy, which is probably deeply humiliating for him. Whatever.
Again, to her credit, Chrissy tries to stop Corey from being fucking stupid, telling him he has zero to prove to The Daggers! and should not come to this proposed joust fight bullshit her brother has challenged him to. Corey, being a typical teenage male, tells her to go away and refuses to listen to her common sense. He, in fact, yells in her face that he’s going to show up.
Chrissy calmly reminds Corey that the downhill competition is only three days away. That if something happens at this joust, that Corey could lose his chance at sponsorship (and that sweet spider design!) but Corey just counters that something could happen to Hook. Corey literally threatens Chrissy’s brother to her face.
Corey stomps off, even though Chrissy pleads with him. Oh, honey. Oh, honey.
In the house, Hook is throwing cans of generic beer (I’m not making it up; the cans are white with BEER printed on them in blue, this is hilarious!) to various members of The Daggers! Monk is apparently barely phased by the short beating he just received. Wow.
Hook is PUMPED to cream “that mother” at the half pipe. They’re cheering and high-fiving and Chrissy shoves her way in and demands to know what Hook is going to do to Corey. He tries to push her away but, again to her credit (against my better judgement, I like Chrissy) she insists. Hook just bitches that he could have creamed “that mother” (aka Corey) in the yard but he’s giving Chrissy a fair chance… no wait, he’s giving Corey a fair chance? Bad enunciation.
Hook and The Daggers! leave, prompting Chrissy to turn to Velvet for explanation. She just says it’s a game and to stop worrying. Chrissy whines about Corey potentially getting hurt. Velvet is all WHAT THE FUCK WOMAN, BLOOD BEFORE BOOTY. She demands that Chrissy figure out if she’s with The Daggers! or against them.
Smash cut to a montage sequence of the two gangs preparing for the “fun and games” known as the joust. Hook is painting his face ala Adam and the Ants; Corey is screwing the wheels on his board. Velvet cuts a lock of her hair, Chrissy puts the silver skateboard charm under her shirt. Now Hook’s got big blue squares around his eyes (?!) and Velvet’s face is painted with some kind of vines or leaves design. She’s attached the lock of her hair to an earring, which she puts in Hook’s ear. (Eight year old me thinks this is the fucking coolest thing ever.)
Admittedly, I was hoping Velvet was doing some kind of spell but I’ll take this. I guess in some way it is a spell, for luck and/or protection. (Oh my god, Wing, imagine if the Lost Boys’ earrings all had some kind of meaning/spell to them.)
Corey grabs his board and exits the trailer, looking resigned to his fate. We move to… I guess it’s the park (?) where the half pipe is located. Skateboarders come flooding in, Hook leading the way, with his blue eye makeup matching the blue elbow pads he wears. Matchy matchy!
The Ramp Locals roll up in their spray-painted deathmobile, Corey riding shotgun and looking pensive. Bozo is too busy concentrating on driving to notice. Meanwhile, floods of skateboarders continue to descend upon the grounds on which Corey and/or Hook might die!
Okay so that’s being over dramatic. Y’all know Corey’s too “good” to die.
We finally see Velvet and Chrissy exit The Daggers! house, Velvet in black trench coat and fashionable side ponytail. Go, girl, you best look good while your man trounces Goody Two Shoes Corey!
Ah! Here we go! Out of the excessive fog, Corey leads The Ramp Locals across the top of the ramp (pipe?) and they’re all looking mighty wary of what they’re about to encounter. Behind Tyler there’s a ton of, well I guess Corey’s supporters? Or just skateboarders who hate The Daggers!, maybe? Who knows.
Radley and Bozo flank Corey as he looks across…. what the fuck, it’s just a shot of fake fog?! Oh wait, there’s Hook. Admittedly, that was a pretty cool entrance. It needed a bit of finesse to make it more terrifying but close enough for this movie.
Anyway, Hook in his blue box face paint leads the way as the rest of the 2653 members of The Daggers! follow behind and flank him on either side. Yeah, that’s a bit terrifying. Monk is included, wearing a helmet with what looks like a spike or a very long screw sticking out of the top.
The camera re-frames, going wider, allowing viewers to watch the army of The Daggers! crest the hill and it’s just missing a few trees and Walk This Way by Run D.M.C. featuring Aerosmith but I give this kudos for trying.
AS IF COREY CAN’T SEE HOOK AND THE DAGGERS! TYLER GENTLY SMACKS COREY’S RIBS TO GET HIS ATTENTION. Really? Really. I can’t even… Also, everyone but Corey has his his mouth hanging open. YET ANOTHER PET PEEVE OF MINE.
The Daggers! come to a stop, the members siting on the ground or on their boards on either side of Hook. Everyone’s waiting for the show to begin! (Not me; I know what happens.)
Oh! There we go! Our first look at the grounds! It is quite a large half pipe (?) and the charming addition of what I assume are members of The Daggers! holding ignited road flares to light the way, as well as what I assume is some kind of controlled bonfire (I typed ‘bone fire’ at first, I wonder where my mind is at…) is what’s behind the fog. Er, it’s smoke. Not fog. (It’s fucking California, it could be smog for all I know.)
Corey and Hook are each handed what looks to be a large deflated orange rubber balloon on a string (??) by their seconds, Tyler and Monk, respectively. Hook laughs maniacally as he raises both his board and the orange heart balloon thing in the air. The Daggers! cheer and Corey just looks scared.
OH! THOSE ARE THE FUCKING WEAPONS?? They not on strings but chains that have wooden handles. They still look like fucking deflated heart balloons. But I guess this is supposed to be the “lance” in this death defying form of “joust”.
Corey and Hook both race down their respective sides of the pipe, swinging the… I can’t say weapons without laughing… but they miss and end up coming into contact with each others’ supporters. The Daggers! all hold burning road flares, while The Ramp Locals just look… can you over act passive reaction? Because that’s all I can describe that as.
Corey swings the… what the hell is that… and it goes right over Hook’s head, since Hook ducks. People are screaming and cheering, we keep getting reaction shots of The Ramp Locals (CLOSE YOUR DAMN MOUTHS) and then Velvet and Chrissy run up, late to the party.
Hook finally scores a hit, on what I’m assuming was Corey’s knee, because he goes down like a sack of potatoes (it’s so fake.) He’s off his board and laying on the ground. Hook winds up and goes in for another
kill hit, just as Velvet and Chrissy push their way into the crowd gathered on Hook’s side.
Scoring a second hit, Hook rides up to his cheering supporters, receiving high fives and more encouragement. Looking over his shoulder, he sees Corey struggling to grab the wooden handle of his… weapon (SNERK) and decides to JUMP OFF THE SIDE OF THE HALF PIPE in a fucking foolish move (Bravado! That’s what that’s called!) because Corey manages to get his hand on the weapon (baton doesn’t seem to be the right word, either, ugh) and smacks Hook (not really) as Hook basically falls to the ground.
It’s a fucking weird sequence, that’s what it is.
Any which way you describe it, Hook goes down! Hard! Tyler and Local Junior cheer! Hook looks up and back at Corey, who’s the one still standing now, just before Corey takes a hard swing and makes a hit.
Grabbing his board, Corey skates away with Hook in pursuit. They meet again, Corey getting in a hard hit to Hook’s stomach, knocking him off his board and to his knees. Corey might win, everybody!! Let’s rush in and form a circle around our gladiators and see the action up close!
Of course Velvet and Chrissy join in. Chrissy looks resigned to the horror Corey is inflicting upon her elder brother. Velvet is just psyched for a fight.
Now we’re treated to a weird montage of what’s as close to a real joust as we’re going to get. Corey and Hook, on the skateboards, riding at each other while swinging those ridiculous weapons, but always missing. And a billion reaction shots from The Ramp Locals. (Watching this is semi-exciting but recapping it, it’s boring.)
This goes on for several turns before Corey… I guess he was leaping out of the way to dodge but he goes down on the concrete and the edited in grunt of pain makes me believe he might have hurt himself. He collects his board, staying low to the ground.
But then they’re both back up and riding at each other, and this time they both connect, sending Hook and Corey to the ground. Both look “hurt” (about as fake hurt as that dumb “bloodied” bandage Corey wore for several scenes) and they’re crawling around on the ground but Hook is up first and runs right at Corey, grabbing his head.
The Daggers! roar their approval. THIS IS A PROPER FIGHT NOW!
Hook rolls atop Corey, getting some stomach punches in, but Corey takes control and gives back as good as he got, taking the upper hand. The boys roll around a lot before Corey starts punching Hook in the face, which is upsetting to Chrissy and Velvet.
At one point we see Corey’s hand around Hook’s throat (and he’s not even squeezing, snort) but when he pulls it away, Hook’s beloved earring goes with it, ripping out of Hook’s ear. (I’M SORRY THAT WAS POORLY FAKED.)
Hook yells in anguish and probably fake pain, as there’s NO HOLE OR TEAR OR ANY BLOOD SO WHAT THAT WAS A FUCKING CLIP-ON?? WHERE’S THE GODDAMN HOLE THAT SHOULD BE IN HIS EAR!? OR SIGNS OF RIPPED FLESH!?!? C’MON!
He gets up and attacks Corey, bodily pushing him towards the fire blazing in the built-in concrete pit at the end of the ramp. How handy. Hook inches Corey closer out over the flames, Corey tries to push Hook off. Hook finds one of the… stupid ass weapons and starts smashing it down into Corey’s left forearm/elbow.
I’ve tried to look at this in slow motion to figure it out, but it’s impossible due to angles and editing. I guess the deflated balloon things are strong enough to hurt someone; because that’s what appears to be hitting Corey. At first I thought Hook was using the wooden handle (makes better sense, would certainly inflict more damage) but I just can’t tell or be certain.
Corey cries out in pain as Hook continues to bash his arm.
Just as Hook raises his fist for a final punch, sirens start to wail!! IT’S THE PO PO, RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY!!
Hook yells for someone to “grab my skate!” (??? you couldn’t finish the word??) as The Ramp Locals and The Daggers! and their various supporters begin to flee in every direction from the single cop car. (A single cop car. ONE.)
Monk is left to hold Chrissy back as she screams for Corey, while Hook flees up the dirt slope into the brambles. Corey finally sort of sees Chrissy, calling her name, but Monk drags her away.
Corey, holding his wrist, repeats her name. But he’s soon overwhelmed by FAKE pain. Radley runs up, yelling at Corey to get up because “it’s the fuzz!” (so helpful) but just as The Ramp Locals start to run past they realize Corey isn’t getting up. Tyler manages to get them to come back to Corey’s aid. They get him to his feet and help him to flee the scene.
Wow, now there’s several cop cars (well, trucks?) and by “several” I mean “two” and the headlights illuminate the area but they find nothing but road flares. That is a weak-ass ending to that scene, really.
We fade into the next scene, which is Corey sitting in his trailer and it’s daylight now. Around his left wrist is a fake plaster cast that would honestly not help heal anything. (I’ve been in a plaster cast for a broken wrist, I speak from experience.) The door opens, off screen, and a tiny moose on a skateboard toy rolls across the table and comes to rest against Corey’s cast. AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT MOOSE IS MONTGOMERY MOOSE FROM THE GET ALONG GANG CARTOON WHICH WAS IN RERUNS BY THE TIME THIS MOVIE WAS MADE. Also because I probably had that toy.
“Hi,” says Chrissy. She wanders in and sits on the couch, mentioning she brought Corey a new friend. Corey quips he’s had enough of “new friends”.
She tries to apologize for what happened the prior night but Corey doesn’t want to hear it and doesn’t want to talk about it, and that he feels he should be alone for a while. Ouch. Harsh.
Both mention going home, though Chrissy goes a step further to explain she means Indiana and “never coming back”. Corey doesn’t seem to care. She inquires if he’ll still run the downhill and Corey whines about his arm being broken and how can he skate with a broken arm?? (Um… I’ve seen it done.) He also can’t manage to skate with his “good” arm, demonstrating that he’ll crash by smashing his fist into the toy moose.
Chrissy reminds Corey he’s the one who accepted the challenge to the joust but Corey trots out that she never came to his aid. She counters that Monk pulled her away, that she tried. Corey isn’t buying it. He gets that weird smug teenage boy attitude. God I want to fucking smack him.
Because she’s still a well-written character, Chrissy unloads on Corey. She won’t take responsibility for his broken arm; he’s the one who went and fought her brother, after she begged him not to. She’s not at fault for the consequences. (Can I get an AMEN?) Corey ignores her, so Chrissy leaves, driving away in what I’m guessing is Velvet’s car (the zebra print seat covers and pink fur lining the dashboard is a dead giveaway.) Corey rushes out of the trailer and chases after for a bit but Chrissy never stops. YOU TEACH HIM, GIRL!
We move back to Le Chez The Daggers!, where Hook is doing some really spastic air guitar while a pile of people crowded into the living room watch him. Velvet cheers her boyfriend, just as Chrissy walks in the room, looking upset. Hook chastises her for missing his show, which Chrissy snaps back “I didn’t know it ever stopped.” OH DAMN, IT BURNS! GET THE NEOSPORIN!
Velvet asks what happened and Chrissy indicates it was bad, asking her common-law sister-in-law to take her to the bus station in the morning. HOOK DOES NOT APPROVE! He tells his sister she’s not going but Chrissy’s insists she’s going home, just like Hook wanted.
The siblings fight, Hook mentioning “it’s just a game” and Chrissy trying to guilt trip her brother by yammering on about how Corey’s arm is broken and he’s now lost everything he’s worked for (um… he didn’t have to go to the fight, Chrissy, we already established that you know it’s Corey’s own fault!) and Hook is all “can’t you take a joke?”
God I want to punch him in the face.
Chrissy says no, she just can’t take her brother before she walks off. Hook looks back at Velvet and this is when I notice he has a fucking band-aid over his earlobe. HAHAHAHAHA no.
Hook directs Velvet to go upstairs and talk to Chrissy, before making a “kid sisters, what can you do?” joke in front of his friends. Ugh.
Velvet finds Chrissy attempting to shut her suitcase, which won’t close. Chrissy tells her she doesn’t need help, making Velvet back off, but still she offers the use of an elastic cord that will help keep the suitcase closed. Chrissy looks like she’s going to start crying when Velvet asks if she’s okay.
Chrissy says she shouldn’t have come to California, everything’s gone wrong. Velvet tries to stick up for her man, saying Hook doesn’t mean to hurt Chrissy. Velvet tries to cajole her into staying and going to the downhill, that Corey will probably be there. Chrissy says Corey doesn’t want to see her and she just wants to go home to Indiana.
We see Velvet fishing the elastic cord out of the trunk of her car, when Corey rides up. He asks to talk to Chrissy, but once Velvet establishes who he is, she’s all “you just missed her!” Ooooo!! Velvet embellishes that Chrissy returned to the house crying hysterically and saying that Corey yelled at her. She twists the knife pretty well. Corey demands an Indiana phone number for Chrissy but Velvet “doesn’t have it” and she makes it clear it’s time for Corey to leave.
She smugly watches Corey skate away before looking up, where the camera zooms in to show Chrissy packing in the bedroom.
Also: I want to point out that someone in the set design department took time and made a fucking stencil of a dagger, which is spray painted all over the front of the house. Like, it’s little details like that, that make a movie. In reality, these dudes aren’t remotely organized or that artistic. So, kudos to you, set design person!
SMASH CUT to The Ramp Locals, who are sitting around extremely close to one another, with Local Junior expertly displaying the Pepsi logo while Corey has the label of the cheap wine (shit, I originally typed WHINE hahaha) bottle turned inward to hide it. Radley is scribbling on Corey’s cast with a pen and Corey is drunkenly lamenting Chrissy’s supposed return to the cornfields (?) of Indiana.
Bozo reminds Corey that he’s still got The Ramp Locals and Corey is all drunken mushy about it. Aww, #TeamFriends4Life!
Radley, also drunk, reminds Corey that Chrissy caused his broken wrist (?!) and to forget her. Dude. Local Junior joins in, because he’s already learned from his elder mentors that EVERYTHING IS THE FAULT OF WIMMENS™ and Chrissy ruined everything for The Ramp Locals, because they were going to “rule LA”.
Apparently Local Junior’s bitching gets to Corey, who decides on the spot to “do” the LA Massacre, broken wrist be damned! He’s gonna win and use the money to replace the burned ramp. (Why? Why not save it and y’know, use it for real important things? Like rent? Food? A REAL FUCKING CAR?)
God, these SMASH CUTS will be the death of me. We move over to a van driving along, with Chrissy and Hook doing that stupid V/O crap to the footage. Shall I mention the van is spray painted just as poorly as The Ramp Local’s DEATHMOBILE? Because it is. Maybe even worse. Or maybe not? It seems to be an actual full design.
Chrissy wants to know why Hook is taking her to the bus station and not Velvet. He explains it’s because he’s her brother. The siblings get into a weird heart-to-heart talk. Hook was only trying to look out for Chrissy, that he only got crazy about guys coming around and “hassling” her, and maybe he doesn’t know how to show his feelings.
Huh. It’s a step towards enlightenment, I guess?
Though she says she understands, Chrissy counters that she doesn’t need a bodyguard anymore. She may be his “kid” sister, but she’s not little anymore. Welp, too late for more talking, because they arrive at the Trailways bus depot, which also houses a pizza place.
Also, what happened to taking her in the morning? It’s the dead of night! And there’s a crowded hanging around? It matters not, as Chrissy says goodbye to her brother, taking her suitcase and train case and HOOK DOES NOT HELP HER AT ALL. Rude, dude, rude.
Fuck. SMASH CUT! We’re up in the hills, pulling back to show Corey sitting in the gravel shoulder of the roadway, taping his fingers and I guess readying himself. By wrapping fucking silver duct tape around the ends of his finger tips and the front part of his cast. Dude, you just covered up Tyler’s name!
It makes sense that Corey would try a sort of practice run before the LA Massacre. Which is what I’m being subjected to. There’s a lot of falling, swearing, DRAMA.
Meanwhile, poor Chrissy has been attempting to sleep across several hard plastic chairs at the bus depot BECAUSE HER ASSHOLE BROTHER DUMPED HER THERE HOURS BEFORE HER DEPARTURE. What even!? But finally her bus comes in and is ready to depart.
Returning to Corey, who’s zooming along on a straight away and getting some serious speed (and also is really Josh Brolin and not a stuntman) it looks like (duh) he’s doing well enough to compete in the downhill. It’s the turns and using his hands to steady himself that’s the part that isn’t working, because once again he wipes out.
On his knees, he looks up at the sky just as a bus passes in the background. I WONDER WHO COULD POSSIBLY BE ON THAT BUS…
The camera zooms in on the bus, but inside Chrissy isn’t looking out the window, doesn’t see Corey on his knees. She’s flipping through a magazine. *sad trombone sound*
Corey picks up his board, panting from exertion, and wanders back up the hill to (apparently) try again. Though we don’t see it; we move back to the bus, bound for Chicago, and now it’s NIGHT AGAIN. Geez, time is a fucking fluid concept in this film.
Chrissy is still in her seat, staring blankly out the window at the darkness. She takes up her purse, pawing through it, until she finds the silver skateboard charm and holds it in her Lee’s Press On claws. She stares at it, almost uses it like she’s trying to hypnotize herself with it, and then the bus is pulling away from the curb and Chrissy is standing along side the highway!? Or at least some kind of road, that she promptly runs across, hauling her suitcase and train case.
It takes time but she flags down a motor home that pulls over. A large elderly woman, wearing a straw cowboy hat decorated with fake roses and a big pink scarf throws open the door and grabs Chrissy’s suitcase and helps her aboard.
They’re really ax murders, Chrissy, you idiot.
We fade into Chrissy drinking coffee and there’s a plate of breakfast in front of her, as she picks up a small clock and reads the time. She settles into the chair to nap, before we’re fade cutting to her standing beside a sign that reads 362 miles to Los Angeles. She back to hitchhiking again. A red truck flies past without stopping, so Chrissy flips them off. Well, she is Hook’s kid sister.
And because she’s Hook’s kid sister, when she sees a car approaching, she hikes her skirt up her thigh. It fails to garner her a ride, so she’s forced to trek alongside the highway, carrying her bags. No one stops. I’m pretty sure she’s walking barefoot, too.
Eventually we fade to Chrissy pushing her bags up into the cab of a semi truck. A kindly trucker has taken pity on her, just as the sun is starting to set in the West. I guess, because time is just fucking ridiculous in this film, she’s spent a whole two days traveling. Geez. Is Corey really worth all this? (No.)
As Chrissy continues her trip back to LA, her brother is donning a leather gauntlet that is studded with spikes, that matches the finger-less leather glove also studded with spikes. Monk and the other sycophants are assuring Hook that he’s going to scare the other competitors and rule the LA Massacre. (Clearly they didn’t read to the end of the script.)
Hook repeats the prize of $1K, which will cover The Daggers! for the summer. See, this is already a better use of the prize money!
We move over to the entrance of the LA Massacre, The Ramp Locals speeding in, Bozo honking at people walking in their path. Corey isn’t with them, and they’re wondering where he’s at, let alone if he showed up. DRAMA! TENSION! SUSPENSE!
The dude walking by in the giant papier-mâché clown head is more terrifying then Corey not showing up. And I don’t really have coulrophobia, so if I think it’s disturbing, it’s disturbing.
Parked, they’re hanging out on the car’s bumper, talking about whether Corey is going to skate or went home. Tyler pulls out what looks like a brand new board and starts playing with the wheels. That side goes on the ground, sweetie. They make the board move.
Bozo is super worried about Corey, but Tyler and Radley assure him Corey will show. But guess who shows first? The Daggers!, of course, in their spray painted monstrosity of a van. The emerge from the van and immediately walk over to The Ramp Locals, inquiring as to Corey’s whereabouts.
Radley assures Hook Corey will show up and kick his ass. But just then the announcement comes for participants to head to the starting line, as the race begins in five minutes. Hook and the 8464 members of The Daggers! take off, with Hook giving Tyler a gentle slap on the cheek. Radley and Bozo head off to find places at the finish line, as Tyler stays behind to “strap up”. My god, you mean Tyler is participating in the LA Massacre?!?!
Just then Bozo spots Corey running into the parking area and The Ramp Locals are reunited once again! Corey and Tyler head off to the starting line, while Bozo tells Radley he hopes they waste Hook. Radley just hopes “the mountain doesn’t waste them.”
OH PLEASE. PLEASE LET THE MOUNTAIN WASTE THEM!! PUHHHHHHLEEEEEEEASE!!!
We move to a helicopter aerial shot of the twenty-mile-long race course, which winds down hills and has switch back turns and basically it’s supposed to be real hard and scary. This is the LA Massacre, don’t you know. Speeds of up to 60mph, with a pack of roughly 100 participants, there’s going to be injuries. (Again, I’ve seen this, I know.)
There’s a montage of prep, wheels being tightened, gloves and pads being pulled on, and shoes tied. Hey, I had those pink and black laces!!
Corey and Tyler appear, Corey now wearing red coveralls and Tyler wearing just a tight shirt (??) and long pants but they both have pads and helmets, so here goes nothing. Everyone’s anxious and traffic is already backing up on the Pacific Coast Highway thanks to this damn race.
Hook pushes his way up to the front, right on the starting line, and guess what? No helmet! (Bet he doesn’t want helmet hair.) He sees Corey, who’s smartly wearing a helmet, and calls his name, pounding his leather-covered fist into his palm. Corey flips him off in return. Oo FEISTY!
Also, Hook is still sporting that fake band-aid on his ear lobe. Geez, dude.
It’s announced that the racers are set… which is when Tyler decides to PUT ON HIS FUCKING HELMET RIGHT THEN. Oh my god, dude, seriously!? Someone make sure the wheel-side of his board is facing down!
The starting gun fires and the rope is pulled, the LA Massacre is on!! Now we enter the part of the film that’s hard for me to recap, because it’s just minutes of racers riding down this course. Immediately there’s a few wipe outs, skaters making their way through the wreckage, trying to stay on their own boards.
I can’t tell, though, if you can continue once you’ve gone down or not? I guess so. I mean, if you’re not hurt too badly, why not.
All this is inter-cut with footage of Chrissy riding in the semi truck, getting ever closer to LA.
Skating, blah blah blah, people doing small jumps, blah blah blah, oh look an ambulance crew on the sidelines. We’re treated to several more spectacular wipe outs and crashes. Hook, meanwhile, is still far ahead of the pack. Corey’s making his way through the pack, about six or so riders between him and Hook.
More crashes. Now there’s dudes jumping over the top of the camera to simulate wipe outs. Geez. Now there’s a medical crew attending to a downed participant laying in the dirt on the roadside. Now there’s a fight as the pack reaches the water table and crashes into it, knocking it over. Now some dude is splashing his face with a cup of water.
This is boring as hell when you’re trying to type it up in a descriptive fashion.
Medic crew has built a box splint about downed guy’s leg, wrapping it in bandages while he smokes. That’s oh so 80s.
The semi truck brakes to a stop at the end of the course and Chrissy is getting out. She’s made it!
Hook is still in the front with Corey gaining on him, now that there’s less participants. One guy gets launched into a fucking tree. Good lord. We move to a straight away, the glorious Pacific Ocean lit by the full bright sun looming off to one side, as members of The Daggers! help Hook move right to the front and into first place. They try to fuck with Corey, who’s moving up (and I see Tyler’s stuntman back there, too) but Corey elbows the asshole in the chin and sends him flying into a rocky outcrop.
The last few members of The Daggers! that are out in front crash and fall away, as Corey and Hook are now pretty much side by side (if not neck and neck) (and sometimes one is ahead of the other.) We’ve reached the last bits of the course, where Corey and Hook have to do some impressive moves to stay not just on the boards but on the road as well, because the curves in the course are killer. Hell, they’re synchronized at points.
They’re also totally alone, no other skaters having made it that far or having caught up with them. It’s a two man race now. (DID YOU NOT SEE THAT COMING?)
Chrissy moves into the throng of cheering people, finding Local Junior first. Well, I guess she’ll be ready to greet her brother or Corey at the finish line. Oh, and look, Velvet’s there, too! I guess Corey and Hook are within sight, because everyone starts to cheer. (Honestly, it’s probably not true; hello, trick editing.)
Coming down the last couple of turns, Hook tries to break away but ends up sailing off the road, flailing through the air as he falls down the grassy embankment. Velvet just covers her face (in horror and shame.) Radley and Bozo get super fucking excited because now they’re certain Corey is going to win!
Speeding down the last bit of straight away, Corey aims for the ramp at the end, and flies off it, soaring into the sky under a real lens flare! Eat your heart out, JJ Abrams!
Corey blasts through the finish line tape and The Ramp Locals (and the dozens of extras paid to participate as “members of the crowd”) immediately rush over as the announcer crowns him winner of the LA Massacre. Yay.
Velvet hangs back, but oddly, so does Chrissy. Corey has been hoisted up onto the shoulders of a bunch of people (I see Bozo has his arms wrapped around Corey’s thigh) and all they can talk about is how they now have money to rebuild the ramp. Geez, single minded idiots, much?
Local Junior screams, “RAMP LOCALS RULE!”
Tyler shows up, having finally finished the course (well, his stuntman did…) and shortly after, Sam Flood arrives to inform Corey that he’s now reppin’ Smash Skates (everything’s coming up
Milhouse Corey!) and Corey is fucking ecstatic and that’s when the camera pans over to show Chrissy standing quietly on the edge of the crowd. Of course she’s holding the silver skateboard charm and smiling slightly.
The Ramp Locals put Corey down and he immediately tells Chrissy he can’t believe she’s there. They’re just about to have a tender reunion when Hook slams his hand on Corey’s shoulder, getting his intention.
“Man, that was insane!” He declares. He’s also happy to see Chrissy returned, adding “your boyfriend here is a lunatic!” Hook even goes so far to man up and congratulate Corey on the race and OH MY GOD BEST BUDDIES NOW!
Corey turns back to Chrissy and they promptly begin to make out, as the screen fades to black and the credits roll.
Today, April 22nd, would have been Brooke McCarter’s 55th birthday. Unfortunately he passed away in December 2015, of complications due to the genetic liver disorder alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. Thrashin’ was his first major film project, so I thought posting the recap now would be a nice way to remember a dude who was actually talented beyond what little the majority ever got to see him do. I never met him but he’s always going to be Paul of The Lost Boys.
For all its cheese and flaws and warping of time, Thrashin’ isn’t a bad movie. It’s part time capsule of skateboard culture and its importance, part slightly realistic teen love triangle film. Chrissy is a real stand out character, in the fact she stands up to her brother, stands up to the dude she likes, doesn’t take shit or blame (though she gets a bit whishy-washy at times on that) but for the most part she was a well-written female lead. A strong woman, no less. Amazing for a movie about fucking skateboarders.
Sadly, my inner 12 year old sides with The Daggers!, because I have a thing for bad boys and The Ramp Locals just suck. They’re too good, too nerdy, too… bleh. Velvet was cool. I have a feeling Wing will like her. (She’s kind of what I wish Star had been more like.)
Honestly, though my recap makes it seem ridiculously long, Thrashin’ only runs an hour and a half. Not that long by any means. Watch it for yourself, just once, to see really what a decent film it is.