THRASHIN’ (1986)

Directed By: David Winters
Written By: Paul Brown & Alan Sacks
Cinematography: Chuck Colwell
Editor: Lorenzo DeStefano & Nicholas Smith Production Designer: Catherine Hardwicke

Cast: Josh Brolin, Robert Rusler, Pamela Gidley, Josh Richman, Sherilyn Fenn, Chuck McCann, David Wagner, Tony Hawk, Tony Alva, Brooke McCarter Jr, Brett Marx, Mark Munski

Two skateboarding gangs battle each other for supremacy, and a member of one gang falls in love with the sister of his rival.


Now I have to give a curve to this skateboarding movie. As it is nostalgic fun that I probably would have enjoyed if I had watched it when I was younger and when it had initially come out, but watching it now. 

It is funnier in unintentional ways other than just the styles of yesteryear. Though the film does raise some questions and gives way to many observations like… 

Why do the corporate sponsors and owners of skate and Nike companies in these 80s movies come across as pedophiles? As they are way too old and way too giddy to be around young people. 

The daggers are way too obvious in their sabotage. Especially laughing while their victim is getting stitched up. Right in his face. Is this a machismo thing? Or just I dare you to say something? 

Also, why is it a gang when it involves minorities but a crew or group of friends when all caucasian? In this movie and beyond. Nice to see Robert Rusler as the suave skateboard villain leader of the daggers. Even if his casting makes you wonder exactly how old these characters are supposed to be. 

It always amazes me to see Josh Brolin in early roles as until MOD SQUAD the movie I really didn’t start recognizing him from movies like THE GOONIES, but you know you’re in another era of movies. When the integrated skate park gang are the villains. 

The film has the usual teenage romance in between the skateboard drama as well as lame jokes. Though I am not a prude it is shocking how fast Josh Brolin and Pamela Gidley’s character hook up on their first date practically but I guess when it’s true love you just know. 

This is more a film for teen girls to watch and fall in love with probable hunky poster boys at the time, but strangely also a film that bypasses that audience making the film more advertised for teenage boys, who might be into the fad of the time skateboarding. Leaving a definite unintentional homoerotic charge throughout the film and in the scenes. As even the villain of the film seems more into his look and glamour above all else

The highlight of the film is the joust skate off and just how trusting and willing a female character is to hitchhike her way to California with random truckers, but hey this movie is presented all in good fun and in supposedly simpler times. 

And the RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS are in this movie performing!!!! Some added cool points for the film. Though you will find them in quite a few films. It also makes it feel more like a teen movie by having a noted band in the film and their performance being a centerpiece almost.

If looking for a totally tubular nostalgic blast from the past check out this film. Even though for all of its ridiculous juvenile fun. I just couldn’t get on the same wavelength. 

Grade: D+

THE NEW GUY (2002)

Directed By: Ed Decter
Written By: David Kendall
Cinematography: Michael D. O’Shea
Editor: David Rennie 

Cast: DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel, Parry Shen, Jerod Mixon, Sunny Mabrey, Ross Patterson, Lyle Lovett, Eddie Griffin, Ileana Douglas, Kurt fuller, Matt shogun, M.C. Gainey, Julius Carry, Geoffrey Lewis, Horatio Sanz, Gene Simmons, Kool Moe Dee, Tommy Lee, Henry Rollins, Jermaine Dupri, Jerry O’Connell, Charlie O’Connell, Tony Hawk, Rob Van Winkle 

A high school senior branded uncool in the ninth grade gets himself expelled so he changes his image to cool kid at the town’s other high school.


The film is strange as it is a teen comedy that seems at times to be more of a spoof. Then it just becomes more of a wacky comedy that comes off more as abstract and slapstick but still makes little sense.

Though considering it is directed by a noted comedy writer. Who coincidentally didn’t write the script. So that the film feels cut up from a decidedly longer and more coherent film. Though it doesn’t matter as this is a film you just watch and have fun with what it offers. 

It’s also a movie that is built to build off of trends of the time.

Which would explain the strange number of cameos by rock stars and skaters and recognizable celebrities playing themselves and others throughout for no real reason. 

Though it might hint at, What does end up being truthful about the movie is the character’s passion for music. As it seems to almost be their everything. 

For instance, Lyle Lovett’s Father character makes no sense at all, but he is in the movie throughout. As the Square dad who seems to try to relate and overreact  to his son and his actions 

While the film feels like it got cut to pieces as some storylines and characters disappear or are never resolved. So that instead of plot or character the film tries to give you a Greatest hits version of the story. 

Which makes it feel more like a Frankenstein of teen film cliches. You have seen before Only more heightened and campy comedically. There is even a scene where Eliza Dushku’s character goes to apologize to an old friend who she has shunned and snubbed only for that friend to say “I know” before she can say anything 

Most of the female roles here are more as sex objects and hook up’s. Even Dushku the female lead has two scenes of first her trying in various scantily Clad outfits like bikinis and another scene of her riding a mechanical bull suggestively. More for a male teenage audience. Though she is both the love interest and sex symbol of the film.

The film builds off star Dj Qualls fame from ROAD TRIP. As an early version of McLovin from SUPERBAD. As his character goes from

Dork to cool in a new attitude and look with a lot of Farrelly brothers style comedy. That is gross yet heartwarming and manages to win the Audience over.

The film gave DJ Qualls the rare odd Leading man role. Even if the film Tries to play like more of an ensemble at times. 

Sure the film’s humor is lowbrow but still comes off as innocent or like it doesn’t know any better. Though with it’s juvenile humor it’s

Perfect for its intended audience. Though definitely a testament to the time period in which it was made.

It is filled to the brim with what was hip, but trends change so fast that by the time the film Actually was released. It felt a little past its Time to the audience and worse the film is so low stakes. It doesn’t Make its Mark. 

If anything this movie is more. A guilty pleasure that gets by because of its Silly and fun attitude. This film is put together very loosely with plenty of gags meant to tie the story and characters together with a moral lesson of not labeling and not believing in whatever labels you are branded with. 

GRADE: C