Joysticks (1983) Movie Review Part 9.

The time of the idiots at the arcade is not yet over. But it’s close. When last we saw this group of heroes and asteroids the town council voted in favor of the arcade. In order to settle the feud once and for all Eugene challenges Joseph to one video game, winner take all. There are twenty minutes left in this movie so it’s not possible a twist is coming right? Kill screen anyone?

Joseph’s two cronies, not seen since trying to steal the video games, return with a vengeance and kidnap McDorfus. Without him there will be no one to challenge Joseph in the video game. Not sure how Joseph is playing though. Jefferson is forced to step up for his own arcade. He has a massive panic attack. There is no way he can play a video game. He used to be a champion but that time has gone. Long long gone. About six months ago. Eugene gets the tragic backstory.

See, six months ago Jefferson talked his grandfather into handing over a bunch of money for an arcade. It was a success. He was living like a king with his girlfriend. They were about to start a two player game in the same bedroom/office from earlier when a new challenger enters the arena. The girlfriend’s father walks in and see what’s happening. Lit candles on top of all the video game cabinets. Nothing accentuates game play like fire and dripping wax. As a savior of sensitive electronics, the upset father smacks his daughter around for her poor decisions then drags her away. Never to be seen again. For six months. This tragedy the likes of which the world has never seen before or since is enough to cause Jefferson to lose all ability to play video games. He falls apart when he attempts to press the buttons. He’s a mess. But now he’s also the only hope his business has.

But he will be facing Joseph who has never played a video game before. Easy challenge, right? No because it’s super villain team up time and Joseph has chosen King Vidiot as his champion. All is assuredly lost. Where is McDorfus?

Jefferson begins his training montage. Begins. Everyone else is assembled in the arcade but he picks past the 11th hour to begin getting in shape. Sit ups, thumb exercises, little games. The usual. It is a montage but it is also probably not edited. That may be all the time that he was actually allowed to train.

King Vidiot and Jeff square off on the big split screen with the giant controllers. Jeff can’t focus. Vidiot is running away with this. All is near lost for the crew. Every time Jefferson tries to focus on the game he pictures his lost lady love and can no longer concentrate.

Meanwhile and not by poolside at Joseph’s, McDorfus is bound to the couch. The two henchmen are watching over him, but they’re easily bored. They get up to see what’s going on at the arcade. Assuming McDorfus is bound tight enough to be safely left unattended.

Now is where readers may want to refresh themselves on the previous posts in this series. Click on the tag Joysticks and all previous articles will show up. Remember during the attempted break in of Joseph’s home McDorfus made his exit with cartoon level flatulence. Because that turns out to be a plot point.

I’m not kidding.

McDorfus farts when the cronies go away. Being respectful maybe? This sounds stirs the Mrs who is still upstairs in her pill popping stupor. She comes running into the room because she remembers the sound from when she was not in bed alone for the first time in many years. She immediately jumps on him and tries to have her way with this sweaty, greasy, captive man. He uses this moment to bargain with her. Please untie me and I will be back later. With men. More men. Stronger more virile men. She falls for the bait.

Meanwhile Jefferson is still losing and everyone is staring at the screen, not blinking in disbelief. Well, all but one because Eugene notices the mayor walking into the arcade. He wants to see what all the fuss is about. Eugene hands him some tokens, “on the house” and leaves the mayor be.

Jefferson is still losing. Joseph believes his victory is a sure thing. He gives King Vidiot a high five. But remember from earlier, the King does not like to be touched. He walks away! As he is about to be crowned, the King leaves his court! Joseph panics. Maybe the lead is insurmountable. He may still crush the arcade. There is no way Jefferson can win. But McDorfus might. He announces his return to the arcade with a triumphant blast that only he could provide. He tries to wrest the controls from Jefferson but Eugene stops him. Eugene adds heart to the movie and pleas to let Jefferson do this on his own. He needs to win for himself, to prove it to himself, to earn the arcade and the respect of everyone within. If there was more build to this or more heartwarming moments previously this would have been a real touching scene.

Jefferson feels bolstered by the support of his patrons. He starts to calm down and do well at the game. Joseph is in a panic but King Vidiot is still confident his score is too high to be overcome. Every point Jefferson scores increases the stress on the villains. Joseph discovers the mayor, still playing video games. He asks for back up but the mayor is now a devout convert to video games. Joseph is now the only one left on the outside looking in. Jefferson gets into a zone and achieves the come from behind victory. Happy ending to cheesy movies good times ahead!

Everyone celebrates and suddenly it’s “this is your life”. Look everyone, Grandpa is here. And he brought his hot nurse slash girlfriend for us all to look at another new female body before the movie is over. Speaking of a new female body.

The ex girlfriend shows up!

*Record scratch*

Let’s come back to that point and skip ahead a couple moments in the film. Grandpa looks at Eugene and immediately decrees that he needs to get laid. Everyone has a good laugh at his expense and in the next scene Jefferson and McDorfus are leading him to a hotel room. Which of the many young ladies from throughout the film will be waiting for him inside? Select your player!

It’s the Mrs! She is all geared up and ready for a long night. Eugene smiles and once more actually says, “I want you to meet Simba.” We all have a good laugh and the movie ends, strangely, with the same member joke it began.

But lets go back.

*Record scratch*

So the ex girlfriend shows up! Grandpa has been tracking her down during his time away. Jefferson and his reunited girlfriend make out in front of everyone and it’s happy days for the whole crew. Except for Patsy. She stares at Jefferson with the most heartbreaking eyes possibly ever on camera.

It is a lot to take in and to achieve the perfect high score of 10 will be discussed in the next and final installment of Joysticks.


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