Joysticks (1983) Review Part 3.

Time for more Joysticks! The movie is considered a cult favorite but closer to the unknown end of cult than the just under the surface of mainstream end.

When last we left the movie, Joseph Rutter had just dragged his daughter Patsy out of the arcade.

In the next scene Joseph is talking to his two henchmen, Arnie (John Diehl) and Max (John Voldstad) about closing up the arcade. Arnie and Max are the smallest, weakest looking henchmen possibly in movie history. They might be smaller than most of the women in the film, who are already petite. Joseph once again bans his daughter from the arcade, which is a perfect conversation to have with your young daughter while she’s poolside in a bikini.

I don’t have a daughter but I have to imagine that no matter how important the conversation might be if I had my two lackeys who I pay to perform illegal acts right next to me, I might just ask my little girl to put on some clothes. Patsy stands up to her father and informs him she will continue to hang out at the arcade with all of her friends. She then defiantly jumps into the pool and swims off. I’ve seen people walk away, drive away, or run away after they made their point and closed an argument. But I have never seen someone swim away.

While Patsy has the world at her doggie paddle command, Eugene is still the woefully naive wide eyed fawn in a world of lust and quarters. Eugene is very disturbed by a rocking van in the parking lot. He lets Jefferson know about the possible illegal activity taking place in the arcade. Jefferson and McDorfus, being two men of the world, suggest that Eugene goes to investigate. He literally is going to go a knocking.

Eugene climbs up to the sunroof/skylight of the van to take a look inside. There he spots the woman from the hot dog incident earlier and a young attractive man… You’re going to think I’ll say in bed together, or a couch, or whatever set up would fit inside of a large van of the time to give two young people enough space to lay down comfortably. You would be wrong. Instead Eugene spots the two of them canoodling in a hot tub. A hot tub. Inside of a van. Full rolling boiling bubbles and everything. During a water crisis! I have no problem with throwing away money on quarters, or making poor romantic choices while surrounded by Pac Man and Dig Dug, but I will not sit idly by while nourishing water is going to waste in such an extravagant manner. I’m about to be on Joseph’s side against the arcade and its’ patrons.

Back to our comic relief, and Eugene of course falls from the sunroof right down into the hot tub. The two aqua lovers shake their heads and have a good laugh about it. As if this happens all the time. “Oh dear, another nerd has fallen into our opulence, could you get the pool skimmer out of the glove compartment please?”

This ends up being a bit of a turning point for Eugene though. He now sees these pranks as a sign of bonding among the arcade staff. Both of them. After a good laugh he decides to team up with McDorfus to get Jefferson with a good ole’ fashioned prank as well. And that’s where they make a huge mistake and almost lose everything.

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