Picks and Pans Review: Joy Sticks

updated 04/04/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/04/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

The title refers to the device used by video arcade vagrants to rack up points on Pac-Man, Frogger and other electronic games. So much for the educational value of one of the most consummately imbecilic films ever released. Director Greydon (Wacko) Clark sets Joysticks in a grimy part of some small city. A white-collar red-neck, Joe Don Baker, wants to shut down the video arcade he sees corrupting the local kids, especially his squealing Valley Girl daughter, Corinne Bohrer. He's opposed by a coterie of technicolor-coiffed punkers (the leader is the aptly named King Vidiot). The perfect symbol of this film's unrelieved tastelessness is the kid played by Jim Greenleaf. He's a junk food behemoth whose main passion in life—aside from tooling his joy stick—is breaking wind. The film isn't intelligent enough to make any statements about videophiliac youth. Instead it feeds off—and then perverts—a relatively benign national pastime. If they ran as a double feature, this might be the only film around capable of making Porky's seem halfway tolerable. (R)

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