Thrashin’ (1986)

thrashin

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To capitalize on the trend of skateboarding , this film was made to bring the popularity of the trend as well as attempt to make bigger stars out of The Goonies’ Josh Brolin and Weird Science’s resident bad boy Robert Rusler.

Corey Webster is a skateboarder who heads to Los Angeles for the summer to compete in the ultimate competition. He meets up with best buddy Tyler and his band of “locals” including Radley, Bozo, and Little Stevie. As they prepare themselves for the competition, they find themselves a rival team.

A local skate street gang known as the Daggers are led by Tommy Hook, a no-nonsense punk who loves to do things: skate and party. They constantly cross paths with the “locals” and Hook begins to start a rivalry with Corey. Things don’t get any smoother when Corey finds himself falling for Chrissy, who turns out to be Hook’s sister. Things begin to go awry for the rivals and the biggest downhill race, The L.A. Massacre, will become the least of their problems.

This is a basic run of the mill teen drama in the vein of The Karate Kid. The story is basically boy enters competition, boy gets rivalry with gang leader, boy falls for gang leader’s sister. That can be pretty much summed up. However, it is the sport of skateboarding that overpowers said clichéd story and is done pretty well. Z-Boys legends Tony Alva (who appears in the film) and Stacy Peralta served as skateboard advisor and second unit director respectively. They do an impeccable job of making the two leads look good with the use of doubles of course.

Originally known for his role as Brandon in The Gonnies, Josh Brolin brings that next door teen type to his role of skateboarder Corey. He gets support from his mother, who leaves messages and $30 for his trip. He has a group of buddies to skate with and even goes as far as falling in love. Sadly, the girl he falls for is in atypical fashion, the sister of the lead antagonist. In this case, it is gang leader Tommy Hook, played by Robert Rusler, a 1980’s teen movie typecast bad boy actor (see Weird Science and Shag: The Movie for some of his favorable bad boy performances). Rusler fits the bill to a tee as local baddie Hook, who throughout the course of the film acts tough yet has a soft spot for his sister, played by newcomer Pamela Gidley.

Some of the top skateboarders of this era appear in the movie. Tony Alva has a major role as T.A., with Christian Hosoi as one of the Daggers, and the likes of Tony Hawk and Mike McGill playing skaters at the competition. The skateboard scenes are quite a delight to watch and pretty much drive the film despite having a typical story.

Thrashin’ is nothing to write home about, but definitely has value as a cult film due to its frenetic skateboard sequences.

WFG RATING: B-

A Fries Entertainment Production. Director: David Winters. Producer: Alan Sacks. Writers: Paul Brown and Alan Sacks. Cinematography: Chuck Colwell. Editing: Lorenzo DeStefano and Nicholas C. Smith.

Cast: Josh Brolin, Robert Rusler, Pamela Gidley, Brooke McCarter, Josh Richman, Brett Marx, David Wagner, Chuck McCann, Tony Alva, Mark Munski, Sherilyn Fenn, Per Welinder, Christian Hosoi, Jesse Martinez.

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