Day: January 9th, Movie: 9
I watched a film tonight called Explorers, which was perhaps the most ultimate ’80s movie I have seen in a long time. It felt in the same vein as The Goonies, Short Circuit, and The Flight of the Navigator. It was the debut for both Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. Then, it took a turn and just became the weirdest thing I have seen in a long time.
Ben (Ethan Hawke) and Wolfgang (River Phoenix) are two teens working on a project, an idea that came from Ben’s dreams. A blueprint that he had to remember and write down when he would wake up. Meanwhile, Ben was having trouble with other kids at school and he was rescued form a beating by Darren Woods (Jason Presson). The three boys started working together when the dreams lead to a huge breakthrough… the design of a spaceship.
Around this time, this movie went completely batshit crazy.
I am not sure that I have seen anything like this. When the kids were able to create their spaceship, they heading into space and meet up with some aliens and… I do not know how to explain this. There was a spider-robot thing that I really thought was about to anally probe Ben.
And that wasn’t the strangest thing.
The film did not have much of a story, and several of the early film ideas were dropped. The special effects were decent, but dated. ILM did do the effects for this movie and a lot of what they did seemed practical.
You could see that Ethan Hawke had a future ahead of him and it was sad watching the dearly departed River Phoenix. They were vey skilled and made this bizarre movie all the better.
Yeah, I love Explorers. It has a great music score by Jerry Goldsmith too. I usually say they don’t make ’em like they used to, but in Explorer’s case, they didn’t make ’em like that back then either! The film is a complete oddity and I love it for it. I don’t think its quite the film that Joe Dante wanted it to be, it probably fell into all sorts of production problems.
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Yeah, I was reading that it was rushed out by the studio and faced huge competition like Back to the Future. I read that the studio told Dante to stop editing it so it could get out. Amazing.