Thrashin’ (1986)

For all the love that people have for Rad, let me tell you, Trashin’ was just as big in the video rental stores of my youth. Maybe it’s because I skated and so much of my culture came from Thrasher Magazine, but this movie is just as good to me, if not as celebrated today. I mean, Vinegar Syndrome isn’t rushing out a 4K of this one.

Corey Webster (Josh Brolin!) is an amateur skateboarder new to L.A. who wants to win a downhill competition when he meets Chrissy (Pamela Gidley, Cherry 2000 herself!), a girl who knocks him for a loop. She just happens to be the sister of Hook (Robert RuslerA Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge), the leader of The Daggers, a punk rock skateboard gang who now wants to knock out our hero.

Sure, it all works out, but along the way, some of the greatest skaters of the 80s show up, like Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero. There are also appearances by Brooke McCarter (Paul of The Lost Boys), Brett Marx (Jimmy Feldman from The Bad News Bears movies) and Josh Richman, who directed several Guns ‘n Roses videos. Oh yeah — Sherilyn Fenn plays Velvet, one of the Daggers’ girls.

The soundtrack to this is kinda all over the place, with a theme song by Meat Loaf, of all people, yet there are plenty of scene correct punk and metal shirts, as well as Fear and the Circle Jerks songs. Perhaps the best music part of this film is an appearance by the Freaky Styley-era Red Hot Chili Peppers, back before anyone cared who they were and they’d show up in movies like this and Tough Guys.

Director David Winters started his career as an actor, showing up on Broadway in West Side Story and Gypsy before becoming a choreographer — he was the first to choreograph the Watusi, originated the Freddie and helped Elvis and Ann-Margaret dance in Viva Las Vegas. His first directorial effort was the Alice Cooper film Welcome to my Nightmare and he also was behind the Joe Spinell movie The Last Horror Film. His producing credits are insane, with everything from Linda Lovelace for Presidentto Young Lady ChatterleyKiller Workout and owned Action International Pictures, where David Prior made all manner of films.

So yeah. Thrashin’. Go find it.

*Lovelace dated Winters after divorcing Chuck Traynor. She credited him for introducing her to culture.

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