Theme Song: Bad late-80s synth and blazing guitar plucks. Tons of it. The exact kind of blazing guitar riffs and uplifting, positive synth you would expect out of a late-80s anti-drug motivational video.
Interesting Dated References: People moving away from Wisconsin; Young white kids being into and having huge vials of crack cocaine; Young kids being interested in going outside; Young kids going to carnivals; Skateboard competitions that don’t involve a bunch of wasted, smelly dudes and chicks with terrible tattoos; Freestyle BMX competitions that don’t involve a bunch of wasted, smelly dudes and chicks with terrible tattoos.
Best Line: Said by older man in slacks — “Watching those boys made me tired.”
Social Context: The title of this informational videocassette is a nightmare. The official title is Kids Have Rights Too! It’s Okay To Say No To Drugs! A Parent/Child Video for the Protection of Children Sponsored by Minute Maid® IN THE BOX™.
It’s like nobody was able to decide on what they wanted to call it, so they just tied-in everything they knew up to that point: This is an anti-drug tape, this tape is for parents, but really the tape is aimed at kids, it was sponsored by Minute Maid®, oh, and in order to not scare off kids, let’s tell them they have rights so they are more apt to take-in our terrible anti-drug message.
Summary: Our anti-drug propaganda begins with Arte Johnson (Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In) going on and on about being a celebrity and making movies and how hard it is in show business and how this pressure is similar to the pressure kids feel when offered drugs. He does not address how celebrities feel when they are offered drugs. Arte’s intro leads us into the main serial.
Meet Pam and Scott. We are informed that Pam and Scott are brother and sister and have just moved to L.A. from Wisconsin. Right off the bat you can tell this was written by people who are totally out of touch with reality. Nobody ever leaves Wisconsin, let alone does so to head for L.A. As the kids unpack, their stupid dad brings a bunch of thug-looking kids in from off the street and encourages Pam and Scott to go play with them.
It’s the 1987 equivalent of Beavis and Butthead trailed by a black kid. My guess is the dad must have bought some freebase off these thugs and wants them to get his kids out of the house so he can pummel his wife’s lady parts in an amphetamine-induced stupor. This is what most men from Wisconsin want from life.
After Pam and Scott walk around the beach with the thugs, the most Beavis-looking one whips out a joint and encourages them to smoke it. When Pam asks what it is, the Butthead-looking fat kid calls it, “Potmarijuana.” He says it as one word, which confuses our protagonists so much they leave.
Pam confides in her brother that declining the Potmarijuana might make people think she’s uncool, yet she never once questions her insane hairstyle choice.
A day or so later at some carnival, Pam is offered a vial of crack from Al (the Beavis-looking kid, now clad in some type of shirt with moonlit dolphins on it).
Full-on, rocked-up, crack cocaine. Al is not here to relax or mess around, despite what his dolphin-by-moonlight shirt implies. Pam declines and runs away.
Scott is played by Paul Walker from the Fast and Furious franchise, if you care. Eventually the siblings meet up with boyfriend-girlfriend pair Carlos and Lisa. They immediately start doing everything with them, despite the fact that one pair is a couple and the other pair are siblings.
But it’s not long before some stoner offers them drugs again. Seeing as how drugs are lurking around every corner for these kids, they decide to go to the one place they know won’t have any drugs: a skate park.
Yes, the audio is that blown out for the entire tape. After that, they go to the other place where there’s never any drugs: The freestyle BMX park.
All the kids are having fun without drugs. The end. Oh, and throughout the story we got little intercut scenes of other celebrities telling us how good life is without drugs.
These included Jason Hervey (Wonder Years), Kim Fields (Tootie), and Shannen Doherty. I should also mention that Marc Summers, the OCD guy from Double Dare, was in this.
Poster and Box Art: The kids on the front of this box are not in this movie. Regardless, this is typical late-80s/early-90s, computer-generated textures and art.
Availability: Maybe used VHS on eBay. Or you can also buy Marc Summers book about how he used to brush carpet strands to be parallel in his home.