The Judd Nelson movie Making The Grade. Released a year before The Breakfast Club created the 80s group of actors known as the brat pack, this movie had two things going for it when I bought it on VHS: one, hilariously funny; two, Andrew “Dice” Clay’s first big screen appearance.
Did I mention I bought it on VHS? This is a movie that I enjoyed so much that I had to own a copy, so that I might enjoy it whenever I wanted. But time passed, and one victim of the years was the VHS player, and all VHS players in general. I found the tape, cleaning out the basement, and was all oh my god we have to watch this.
So we did. I rented it on Amazon prime. I watched it. And it sucked. I mean, not just sucked. It was cringeworthy in its suckiness. Sophomoric, misogynistic… and dicey.
example two: Gauntlet.
Gauntlet was among the first of the four player, D&D inspired arcade video games. As a nerd, as a 15 year old in 1984, this was right in my wheelhouse. And that wheelhouse was located in a small, shitty arcade across from the shoe rental at was once the largest bowling alley in all of Chicagoland, Stardust Bowl in Villa Park, Illinois
Several years ago, I came upon a website for a retailer who sold old arcade games, refurbished and with their electronics set for free play. My old roommate had an original Asteroids game for a while. I looked into getting a Gauntlet machine – too expensive.
Then I recently watched that youtube I linked… and oh my god, did Gauntlet suck. It was terrible, and terrible to watch, this thing that I enjoyed so much.
We live in strange times. But our video games are much better now. As are our sophomoric comedies.