Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Never Met a Trading Card I Didn't Like

Ever since I read this article on Dinosaur Dracula, I’ve wanted a pack of the Fright Flicks trading cards.

I love horror movies.  Not only did I grow up watching them, but in my late teens I became even more obsessed.  My friend, Kris Riley, and I used to wander in to the independently owned rental store down the street from us and rent the worst horror movies we could imagine.  You know, something, like, say this:

I remember that one in particular, because it had a button on the cover that turned on a green, blinking light in the eyes. Pretty sweet.  For 1990.  If I had any idea how to make an animated gift, I probably still wouldn’t, because I’m real lazy. 

So why in the hell wouldn’t I want a bunch of horror movie trading cards?  Especially horror movie trading cards with completely random one-liners written in.  But, while looking for Fright Flicks on EBAY I stumbled across something….well….maybe not better, but just as amazing.  Goonies trading cards!  And while looking to find the person who would give me the most Goonies trading cards for the lowest price, I found something definitely better.  A guy selling a mixed bag of Goonies, Batman Returns, Gremlins and some YO! MTV Raps cards.

When I got the cards, there was a surprise inside.  Maybe I overlooked it in the description, blinded with excitement as I was with the other cards.  Also included were a good 8-10 Baby: Secret of the Lost Legends cards, a 1985 flick about The Greatest American Hero stumbling upon some still living dinosaurs.  Not on a deserted island, but just hanging out in Africa.  And one of them is a baby.  Thus the name.  Apparently, in the 80s and 90s, they would make a trading card out of anything.

I just went to EBAY and typed in Freejack trading cards and nothing came up.  Still, it did give me a list of items I may be interested in based on the search and, while the complete randomness of the recommendations make it quite obvious it had no idea what to recommend based on that particular string of words, it did manage to recommend a full set of Seaquest DSV cards.  Based on this evidence I’ll let you decide whether or not the above statement about making a trading card out of “anything” is too strong or not.

I barely know where to begin with these cards, so I’ll start by saying the Gremlin cards are the clear winners, with cards that not only help tell the story of the film, but also depict scenes from the whereby it appears somebody painstakingly took the time to find stills from the film that would actually look presentable once placed on card stock.

Gizmo Surprised!  Rand Peltzer, dejected!  Crazy old lady, getting ready to get shot out of the side of her house like a cannonball!  Judge Reinhold, incarcerated!  Those four cards alone made the purchase price worth every penny.

The Batman Returns cards, on the other hand, oh dear.  Quite the opposite.  Looks like somebody just took every, say, 5 minutes? of film and, regardless of what was on screen, made it in to a card.  It has been a loooooong time since I have seen this film, but even in my small sample size I seem to have an inordinate amount of cards where penguin is wearing only long underwear.  And standing near a giant rubber duck.

I was a little disappointed there were only 10 Goonies cards which, I assume, was probably only one pack.  There was a close-up shot of the skeletal piano player and one of Chunk brandishing a sword.  A few more fairly generic offerings.  However, two of them were pure gold.  A pretty fair percentage considering I only got 10 cards, I think.

The first was a card featuring an action sequence of the octopus scene which wasn’t even in the final cut of the film.  I know this scene exists, but I have yet to see it.  I love the idea of a trading card with a scene from the film not even in the film.  Boy howdy, back in the heyday of trading cards, this one must have fetched upwards of $1.00!  The movie card equivalent of Bill Ripken’s 1989 Fleer baseball card.  Well, for some of us anyway…

 The next card is a cast shot.  I liked the shot, it frames everybody pretty well.  Except for Josh Brolin.  But, you know, what else did he ever do anyway? God knows he could never boast of having used the film to springboard himself to as successful a career as a Jeff Cohen or Martha Plimpton.

 The thing is, it's titled “The Goonie Pledge,” which automatically makes me think of the scene where they find the coins in the well and Mikey gives his speech (“The next time you see sky, it'll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it'll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the bestest stuff for us. But right now they gotta do what's right for them, 'cause it's their time. Their time, up there. Down here it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket.” *Insert heartfelt nostalgia here*).  The shot on the card, however, is clearly not from that scene.  So, my curiosity piqued, I turned the card over to see what they were talking about.  And oh, my, was there a surprise waiting for me there.

“I will never betray my goon dock friends, we will stick together until the whole world ends.  Through heaven and hell, and nuclear, war.  Good pals like us will stick like tar.  In the city or the country, or the forest, or boonies.  I am proudly declared, one of the Goonies!”

An actual pledge, written and, assumedly, recited, to display one’s loyalty to the Goonies! 

I have never heard of such a beast.  I know for damn sure it’s not in the film and 1985 was well before we could ever start thinking about DVD extras.  So where did it come from?    I just can’t get the picture out of my head of a bunch of Topps employees sitting around a stereotypical oval meeting room table, brainstorming ideas for card captions.

“We should just use the speech from the well scene”
“Hell no, we’re gonna leave our mark on card #85.  It’s gonna be an honest to God pledge.  In rhyming couplets.  We’re gonna incorporate nuclear war and tar.  And damn the naysayers!”

I would love to find the guy(s) who wrote this particular card and see what they’re up too nowadays.  I’d like to think they own a small restaurant which sells nothing but hot dogs, and they are all named after characters from the film.  “The Chunk” comes with a little bit of everything on it, “The Mikey” is your all-American dog, with just ketchup and mustard, maybe onion could be optional, and “The Sloth” is prepared with nuts, caramel and chocolate.  But no nougat, because that’s just plain disgusting. 

I also received 4 UNOPENED packs of YO! MTV Raps cards, with TWENTY cards apiece in them.  Mighty impressive.  I grew up loving rap, but I’m not completely sure it jibes with the rest of this piece, so I am going to make it a separate blog sometime in the future.

However, I will leave you with a couple of the Baby: Secret of the Lost Legends cards.  I don’t have a whole lot to say about them.  I’ve seen the movie, but not in three decades, and had mostly forgotten about it until I opened my package.  I sure in the hell didn’t know the lead was Williiam Katt.  And the cards?  Well, they’re pretty much garbage.   About 50% of them just featured a close up of the dinosaur's neck and head.  Like he was just some big sock puppet.  Blech.  Dinosaur special effect in the 80s.  Just think, a mere 10 years later, an absolutely classic film about dinosaurs hit the silver screen, becoming one of the most popular films ever, redefining the way we looked at special effects, and spawning two sequels.  Of course I'm talking about Carnosaur, a modern day classic.  CLICK HERE FOR THE TRAILER!  

No comments:

Post a Comment