The Skateboard Kid 1 & 2

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I find it absolutely astounding that there could exist not one, but two movies titled The Skateboard Kid, and yet I’d never heard of either of them.

Until now, that is.  I recently watched both (because how could I not).  Generally I would break up my reviews, denoting a separate post for each.  After watching them though, I can conclude that both movies have virtually the same plot, so why not save some time and combine them?  Unlike the other bad films I’ve been reviewing lately, these are not Mary Crawford films, although that would have been my initial guess as well.

The plot for each is simple yet utterly ridiculous.  A young boy receives a magical skateboard that gives him awesome skating powers as well as allows him to fly.  Both skills aid him in some tangential way in helping save a woman’s failing business (a stranger’s in the first, his mom’s in the second).  Throughout all of this, the skateboard makes smartass remarks.

Oh yeah, did I not mention? The skateboard talks. I didn’t mention it sooner because it plays absolutely NO ROLE IN THE PLOT OF THE MOVIE.

The Skateboard Kid is virtually unwatchable.  It’s clear that the filmmakers were trying to cash in on the popularity of other sports movies of the time (since the DVD description makes outright comparisons) but managed to fail in every way imaginable.  Zack, the young star of the film, is gifted a skateboard that just so happens to talk (voiced by Dom DeLuise, somehow).  Every ten minutes we’re granted a random cut scene of skateboarders skating around (quite badly, I might add). You would think they could have gotten a few talented skateboarders if their goal was to show off the sport.  The crux of the film is focused on trying to find a long-lost treasure. A shifty used-car salesman uses deception to try and trick a woman out of her rightful claim to the treasure, but Zack saves the day with his rad skateboarding skills.

As lame as that description sounds, the movie is 10,000 times worse. It’s that bad.

Oh yeah, and the skateboard dies not once, but twice, at the end of the movie.  I didn’t know skateboards could die at all, let alone multiple times, but this movie proved me wrong.

The Skateboard Kid 2 is marginally better, in that there’s at least a more clearly defined plot. Although it’s billed as a sequel, it’s in name and overall theme only. None of the characters are the same, the plot is entirely self-contained, even the skateboard is different.  Unlike the first film, where the skateboard just magically starts talking for no reason, the sequel gives us at least some information as to the talking skateboard’s origin.  We get a whole sequence in which a magical being named Zeno helps young Sammy actually build the talking skateboard.  Sammy uses the skateboard to enter a skating contest, in the hopes of winning enough prize money that he can help his mom save their home before the bank repossesses it.

What I love most about this movie is that the first twenty minutes are basically a blatant ripoff of the Green Lantern mythos.  Sammy’s dad is a loving father who serves as an Air Force fighter pilot. He has an important test flight coming up, and winds up perishing in an unfortunate accident.  Sammy becomes obsessed with flight and dreams of one day flying himself.

…Yeah, literally identical to Hal Jordan’s origin story.

Most surprising is that although the skateboard talks in both movies, it has no purpose to the plot.  You could mute out all of the skateboard’s wisecracks and it wouldn’t change any portion of the story.  The flying aspect is far more relevant to the narrative, honestly. You’d think if someone wanted to make not one but two movies about a talking skateboard, the damn thing would have something interesting to say. Nope. Other than a string of lame jokes, the skateboard comes across as rather flat (I can’t decide if that’s a pun or not. Judges?)

Lest we leave any stone unturned, let’s address the covers of each movie, shall we?  Both showcase a young boy riding a skateboard, accompanied by a dog. There’s just one problem:

NEITHER MOVIE FEATURES A DOG OF ANY KIND.

Obviously this film inspired Mary Crawford’s directorial career.  At least he had the decency to include a dog in his movies.  Sure, it was never the same dog as the one shown on the dvd cover, but at least there was a dog present.  Neither Skateboard Kid movies featurse a dog of any kind, not even in the background, so I can’t even begin to fathom why there would be one front and center on both covers.  Did some pivotal dog-centric scene wind up on the cutting room floor? Maybe one day we’ll get a director’s cut release and can find out.

Somebody else can watch that though, because there is no way I can sit through these movies again.

Also, I know it’s the most minor detail imaginable, but why, on the cover of The Skateboard Kid 2, does Thomas Jefferson have hands on Mount Rushmore?? This pisses me off to no end, and I don’t even know why.  I think it bothers me more than the phantom dogs. WHY DOES HE HAVE HANDS?!?!

Anyway.

These movies are bad. It’s as simple as that. The Skateboard Kid 2 is at least bad in a ridiculous, good sort of way, making it somewhat manageable to sit through.  The Skateboard Kid, on the other hand, is incredibly dull, lacking the entertaining moments that the sequel occasionally gives us.   It seems neither movie had much of a budget, as all of the “flying” scenes are brief, and it’s painfully obvious that the kid is just standing against a green screen pretending to fly.  Given that these movies came out in 1993 and 1995, respectively, I don’t expect the effects to be spectacular, but even so, they could have been so much better than they were.  They’re about on par with what I could do given enough alcohol and my own video camera, which is likely all the filmmakers of these abominable movies had as well.

Normally I’d say go check it out and see how horribly bad it is, but I just can’t bring myself to recommend these movies in any way, shape, or form.  They’re poorly made, poorly acted, and above all else they’re dull.  There are plenty of truly terrible films out there if you need a bad movie fix; ollie over The Skateboard Kid and leave it in your dust.

Yeah that’s right, I just made a skateboard reference. So rad.

-Jess

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