Life Beyond Thunderdome: Tuff Turf

I'm doing some writing now for the very cool site Forces of Geek. I'll have a monthly column, Life Beyond Thunderdome, devoted to exploring some of the stranger backwaters of 1980s pop culture. This, of course, is a subject very near and dear to my heart. Just think of the possibilities! Kidd Video! Max Headroom! Dare I even suggest... Solarbabies?

My first column, an in-depth look at the deliriously hooty and awesome 1985 James Spader-Robert Downey, Jr. film Tuff Turf is now up. Enjoy, fellow children of the Eighties!

Comments

Ingrid Richter said…
A fine, fine review of a fine film, Morgan!

I remember buying the *novelization* of Tuff Turf, which had an absurdly long explanation of the difference between "Tuff" (i.e. cool and slick) and "Tough" (i.e. rough).

Viva la 80's! Teen gangs in films make me unreasonably happy.
Morgan Richter said…
Thanks, Ingrid! I believe Boy-Morgan is the current proud owner of that novelization, in fact...

An awesome film. Totally.

So what do you think for next month? Solarbabies, Y/Y?
Ingrid Richter said…
I think Solarbabies is an absolute *must*. It's the film that made Mel Brooks cringe in embarassment. Plus, you know, Pasdar! As Darstar!

As an aside, I'm thinking of reviewing "Class of 1984" over on my site. It's Evil Teens Week! All week! Every week! "The Wraith" will surely follow.
Morgan Richter said…
Ah, yes, Pasdar as soulful Darstar. I'd almost forgotten The Pasdar was even in it! It's been far too long since I've seen Solarbabies. I just remember Sara Douglas playing a character totally different from Ursa in Superman II. I mean, Ursa wore a black jumpsuit, whereas her Solarbabies character wore a white jumpsuit...
Ingrid Richter said…
I hope I'm not giving anything away when I mention that Sara Douglas is just as evil in a white jumpsuit as in a black one.

Skate or die, man. Skate or die!

Ah, Solarbabies. My friend Ernie made me turn it off when we tried watching it together. And he actually sat through all of Voyage of the Rock Aliens.
Morgan Richter said…
Did Ernie make it to the part where the kids all boogie around while playing with the mystical water-bringing glowing orb? Because, yeah, I totally understand shutting it off at that part, but that's fairly late in the movie. You have to get through a lot of awesomeness to get to that point.
Morgan Dodge said…
Yes, I have the novelization of Tuff Turf, but I didn't realize that it's THE family copy. I wish you'd warn me about these things so I'd take greater care. I can't recall where I last had it. It's on one of the book shelves, but I couldn't say which one.
I believe I was also gifted a copy of the film as a care package type item at one point. So good.

I'm obviously lacking in my Solarbabies knowledge. Please, yes, educate me next month.
Ingrid Richter said…
It takes a strong person to sit through Jason Patric, Jami Gertz and Lucas Haas frolicking in the rain with the bodhi.

Just for fun, how few degrees of separation can you think of between Tuff Turf and Solarbabies?
Morgan Richter said…
Degrees of separation: Jami Gertz was in Less than Zero with Spader AND Downey.

Solarbabies is not for the faint of heart.

Boy-Morgan, yes, you are in possession of a Richter family heirloom...
Ingrid Richter said…
Curses! I kept trying to go through the Lost Boys. Nicely done, Morgan.

Boy-Morgan, you've just uncovered a deep, dark family secret: Morgan and I used to buy novelizations of movies when we were growing up. Our family didn't have a VCR (those things were *pricey* in the 80's), so we bought and read the books instead. Which wasn't nerdy at all in the 80's.

Let's see, I distinctly remember owning (and reading): The Karate Kid, Clash of the Titans, Star Wars and Alien. Any others that I'm missing, Morgan?
Morgan Richter said…
Pretty in Pink. We had the Pretty in Pink novelization, too. I still have the Pretty in Pink soundtrack LP as well.

By the way, between us, Ingrid and I have scored the Pretty in Pink trifecta: I've met Molly Ringwald (on a plane) and Jon Cryer (guest-hosting a show I worked on), and she took an elevator with Andrew McCarthy when he was visiting her workplace. For some reason, this fills me with much joy.
Ingrid Richter said…
I was absurdly pleased to run into Andrew McCarthy in the elevator a couple months ago. Didn't say anything to him (he was obviously trying to make himself invisible), but it made my day.

Ah, the Pretty in Pink novel! I forgot that we owned that...
levitatethis said…
I need to find this film NOW. It's the type of dvd my friend and I would rent and end up totally loving.

Oh "Solarbabies"...How about "Girls Just Want To Have Fun?" It's a "must watch" with my friends, but very few people seem to have seen it. And that film has everything -- prep school sweetheart and new girl Sarah Jessica Parker who "loves to dance", wild girl Helen Hunt, a very young Shannon Doherty, Jonathan Silverman, and a guy who looks like Joey Lawrence, but isn't. There's even a dance off for crying out loud. Perfection.
Morgan Richter said…
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is an excellent movie! I remember loving it to pieces, even if now the part that stands out strongest in my memory is that Helen Hunt had this totally awesome hat with a huge grasshopper on it. Terrific suggestion. I will add it to the list.

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