SKY HIGH (1984) Some type of Porky's/War Games hybrid.

skyhigh_betaboxTheme Song: A bunch of Chris de Burgh songs that sound exactly like all the other Chris de Burgh songs you’ve ever heard.

Interesting Dated References: The Seiko Data 2000 Computer Watch, Apple’s main competitor being Commodore.

Best Line: “Hi. I’m Bobby, and I’m the guy who hates jokes, but digs surfing, dogs, and drive-ins.”

Social Context: Obviously this was some attempt at warning college students about traveling overseas. But then they added too many music videos and Porkys-esque humor. It’s a common mistake that we are all guilty of at one time or another.

Summary: This movie starts out like some type of James Bond style thriller. Over the opening credits, we see an elderly man break into a house and listen to a giant reel to reel tape that first makes him have some type of old man orgasm, then makes him die, which means he has either just stumbled upon some secret government tape that kills you, or he just heard Saxon’s Strong Arm Of The Law for the first time. I’m betting the latter. After the credits end, we are introduced to the three main characters of Sky High, who are three stereotypical 80s college kids I will hereby refer to as Handsome Guy, Semi-Husky Funny Guy, and Nerd Guy. The three are talking about their awesome trip to Greece on which they are about to embark.

The boys check into their hotel and go sightseeing in a montage sequence. Nerd Guy has made reference to his “computer watch” 17 times already. The Seiko brand name is clearly shown. After a little research it becomes quite obvious Seiko paid a little bit of cash in order to get their Data 2000 watch to be a central plot point. In fact, this watch looks pretty heavy-duty. Ah-ha, you can hook the thing up to a keyboard. Okay, enough about that. While the boys are sightseeing, some spy-type guys show up. They are chasing another elderly man, who hands one of the boys a tape before being shot. The boys have the tape translated, and suddenly the KGB is involved. The translator establishes that the KGB must want the tape because it has a special frequency on it that makes people freak out. I’m certain the tape must contain Allied Forces by Triumph. The fucking electronic equipment in this movie is atrocious: tape decks, computer watches, phone-tappers, phone modems, high-tech listening devices. Fuck.

So our three heroes decide to listen to the tape, which puts them all in some type of trance while a huge 8-bit image of some old guy explains the tape to them. They must match this tape up with another tape someone else has in order to have the most powerful weapon known to mankind. Lets assume the other tape is Accept’s Restless and Wild. Later that night, the boys are invited to an orgy, but have their clothes stolen in the process. This seems to always happen to me and my friends so I can totally relate. Okay, the plot just keeps twisting and pointlessly turning here. The main problem going on is that this movie is caught somewhere in between Porky’s, Brainstorm, and various spy thrillers of the day. I was just trying to rationalize out some slack for this movie and give it a little credit, but get this: In the middle of some cruise, Nerd Guy listens to the tape again and his hallucination is a 5-minute-long Chris de Burgh (of Lady in Red fame) music video. 5 minutes; I shit you not. The director of Sky High must have been attempting to showcase his varied styles instead of worrying about filling in all the plot holes. It doesn’t help that during this cruise is where the three characters sort of splinter off on their own little side missions. Nerd Guy is hiding corpses and hallucinating, Semi-Husky Funny Guy is trying to score with an older hot chick, and Handsome Guy is trying to date-rape one of the chicks who duped him in the orgy. I’ve seen this movie once before when I was like 10 and up really late.

After Nerd Guy throws the tape overboard, they all go disco dancing and women throw themselves at the trio. Now a lot of this seems like harmless fun, but it’s partially the fault of movies like this for making me so delusional about women. Movies like this made it all seem so easy. It made it seem totally plausible that you could go out, meet a nice girl, and get her interested in you with your high-tech computer watch, your charming good looks, or your hilarious barbs about her age. I, of course, later found out this was not the case.

The boys go to a resort, the whole time dodging KGB and getting help from their old man spy helper. They meet more chicks, wear Speedos, and highjack the P.A. system on another cruise ship and make everyone have a group hallucination. What does this involve you ask? That’s right, another music video. This time it’s some fucking Culture Club video effects pile of shit. The video is so bad, if you put in a time capsule and labeled it 1985 video effects and 30 years from now people opened it, they would commit suicide.

Nerd Guy gets laid. After he gets laid the movie goes into a music montage of him getting a total makeover into Cool Guy, interspersed with footage of Handsome Guy and Semi-Husky Funny Guy on a topless beach in Speedos trying to get laid. I’m actually a little upset with this movie. What could have easily been a nice tight 80-minute spy comedy is fast turning into a 110-minute miserable experience. Not only that, but it’s turning into an episode of Miami Vice. After the old man spy helper guy is killed, former Nerd Guy gets all Don Johnson. By the way, anyone who thinks the 80s were cool or that awesome shit happened in the 80s is wrong. Fuck that decade, that shit sucked and was tacky. Except for Judas Priest and The Scorpions, but they both started in the 70s.

The dramatic finale includes a 10 mph scooter chase through the streets of Greece wherein the bad guy is defeated by a watermelon stand. Along with this spectacle, the plot takes another twist no one cares about. It is revealed that the old man spy helper has actually orchestrated the whole thing in an effort to get both tapes to himself. Then he drives off of a cliff and the boys resume their Porky’s style adventures.

Poster and Box Art: The box art for Sky High is fucking awesome, being a nice example of montage-style illustration of the era. Several key scenes are depicted along with that “high-tech” font everyone used in the 80s to indicate “there are computers used in this movie.” I could not locate a theatrical poster, but I speculate this was a straight-to-video release anyway. The dvd cover totally ruins it, making it seem more like Porky’s than a spy comedy.

skyhigh_dvdcoverAvailability: You’re damn right it’s available on DVD. Except for some reason the DVD is titled “The 2003 Version.” I tried to investigate why this was and from what I can tell it just means they forced widescreen on it, cropping the original format and thus losing a lot of the picture.

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