SPIKER (1984) A fairly by-the-numbers but well done 80s sports themed movie.

spiker_usposterTheme Song: There’s a bunch of original music in this movie credited to veteran songwriter Jeff Barry. There’s no credits for the titles or who is singing them, but here they are if you want to take a listen. Exactly what you want from an 80s sports movie:


Journey To The Stars – Can you feel the motivation? You guys are totally going to win at this sport!

So Does She – Dude you are in love! This is the happiest you have ever been, and you are still really good at this sport!

The Next Time – You’re going to win in the end! You’re the best, around!

Interesting Dated References: Volleyball before it was relegated to being played at bars on Tuesday and Wednesday nights while penny pitchers are on sale. People succeeding and enjoying life, being happy, well spoken, etc.

Best Line: “Now what’d you do that for, he was strokin’ you guys!”

Social Context: Sports movies featuring good looking young men succeeding against adversity were pretty much unavoidable in the 80s. This is another in that long line of films.

Summary: Giant beach volleyball montage. And absolutely 80s uplifting sports movie AOR song.

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Meet “Catch.” Catch is a good looking white male with blonde hair who likes to play volleyball and is trying to get on the US Olympic Team. Getting on the Olympic Team for any sport was a big deal in the 80s when people cared about things and weren’t all consumed by social networking websites and constantly checking updates on what other people are doing.

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Catch rides all over town, picking up middling women so they can watch him take his shirt off at the beach and spike volleyballs. I am obligated to mention Catch is played by Patrick Houser of Hot Dog…The Movie fame. Every great sports movie has to have an odd couple duo, and Catch’s partner is a guy by the name of Sunny.

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Sunny is irresponsible and parties a lot with chicks with no asses. He’s always late and hungover. So Catch and Sunny get accepted into training for the Olympic volleyball team, and all these white people on a beach get excited and cheer.

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The two buddies then have a heart-to-heart about trying to get on the team. I can’t think of the last time I had a heart-to-heart conversation with a good friend while we both had our shirts off.

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The chill bros head to the opening day of training and their coach is a hard-ass played by actor/under-rated musician Michael Parks (Tarantino favorite). He reads them the riot act about training and as you can guess, Sunny is probably going to have a problem with this. Then Christopher Allport of Savage Weekend fame and numerous other things shows up as the over-the-hill volleyball star, Newt, whose marriage is falling apart because of volleyball.

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So there’s a bunch of montage training, then Coach Parks busts Sunny’s chops, then Catch reconnects with some girl he knew.

This is like the most awesome collage of training immediately followed by young love.

“Oh ya’ are are ya?” Meanwhile back in reality, Newt returns home to have his ass handed to him by his wife. She goes on and on about how he should grow up, how he turned her into a battle-ax, and how she’s 31 years old! Remember when 31 was old? It was like halfway to dead.

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So then there’s a bunch more training, a bunch more tension between Sunny and the coach, a bunch more balls being volleyed, and Catch and his girlfriend argue and make up and have a white-painted, wicker, king’s chair.

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Then the volleyball game footage starts. The team travels around to Japan playing qualifying matches and Sunny is still a fuck-up.

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Eventually Sunny misses a plane and quits the team. Catch and the rest of the team do some team-building exercise. In an effort to add 25 minutes, the team goes to Warsaw and Catch gets involved in trying to smuggle some Polish broad’s documents back to the US. After that subplot evaporates, Catch finds himself looking for meaning in life, so he goes to see Sunny who is suddenly a millionaire volleyball player for Hawaiian Tropic. Yes, and as nonchalantly as I say it, that’s how the scene played out. After all that shit, Newt leaves his wife and the scene is great. That’s probably because Chris Allport is a great actor and I’m sad he died in that avalanche.

Following that theme, Catch’s girlfriend breaks up with him and he has a crisis about staying on the team. We know he’s having a crisis because he has to splash water on his face.

Super anti-climactic nervous breakdown. Then there’s a final game (I think it’s during the Olympics) and the team wins thanks to Catch.

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Poster and Box Art: The box art for SPIKER is a very well done early 80s airbrush/colored pencil illustration (there was no poster because this was direct-to-video). The picture is signed, but I can’t make it out on the box. It’s a great travesty many of the artists who did video box art like this never get recognized or appreciated. Anyway, the box looks way more exciting than the movie was.

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I don’t know if this was a tie-in video game, but it came out the same year. It probably had nothing to do with the movie, but I just want to point out that the chick is wearing the most implausible volleyball outfit ever. There is no way she could seriously play, let alone spike, in that outfit.

Availability: You can buy an overpriced used VHS on Amazon because you enjoy sports and still have a VHS for some reason.