Ep. 05-23: Explorers (1985)

Ben Crandall (Ethan Hawke) spends his free time watching sci-fi films, playing video games, and reading comic books. One day, his affinity for all things fantastical yields an actual result—when he has a vivid dream about technology, his science-loving friend Wolfgang Muller (River Phoenix) creates a working spacecraft. Joined by their buddy Darren Woods (Jason Presson), the boys take off into outer space and encounter some very odd extraterrestrial life.


Ah, the 1980s… a time when child stars in kiddy Spielberg-esque fantasy films ruled the box office. Not necessarily for Explorers (1985), though, Joe Dante’s attempt to capture some of that much sought-after Goonies (1985) audience and bring it over to another studio. Join us as we discuss the hits and misses of this nostalgic effort, including its cartoon-obsessed director, its awkward edits, and the problems that arise when studios boot creators and take over. Listen as Johnny Has the Keys blasts off to space only to discover that there are kids everywhere in the galaxy, annoying parents and causing trouble as usual.



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