20 Facts About The Goonies On Its 35th Anniversary

Jeff Cohen, Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, and Ke Huy Quan in The Goonies (1985).
Jeff Cohen, Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, and Ke Huy Quan in The Goonies (1985).
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Hey, you guys! Here’s everything you need to know about The Goonies, Richard Donner’s adventure classic, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

1. The Goonies was mostly shot on location in Oregon.

The Goonies shot almost entirely in sequence in Astoria, Oregon on a 5-month shooting schedule. Other locations, like the tunnels and the cave with One-Eyed Willy’s pirate ship, were shot on massive sound stages in Burbank, California.

2. The Goonies marked Josh Brolin's movie debut.

Josh Brolin—who would later star in films like No Country For Old Men and Milk (for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination) and become a comic book movie staple with the Deadpool and The Avengers movies—made his feature film debut playing Brand in The Goonies.

3. In one scene, Sean Astin accidentally calls Josh Brolin by his real name.

In a small goof, Sean Astin (who plays Mikey) calls Josh Brolin by his actual name, not by his character’s name, in the scene after Chunk breaks the water cooler in the basement of the abandoned restaurant.

4. Jeff Cohen, who played Chunk, is still in the movie business—but not as an actor.

Getty Images

Chunk is Jeff Cohen’s only live action feature film role to date. He left acting to pursue a law degree and is now a founding partner at an entertainment law firm.

5. Sean Astin's One-Eyed Willy speech was technically improvised.

To get a more naturalistic performance out of Astin in the scene in which he tells his fellow Goonies about the legend of One-Eyed Willy, Donner had the child actor improvise in an offbeat way. Donner simply told Astin the story moments before they shot and had the actor tell it back to him as best as he could with cameras rolling.

6. The treasure map was speckled with real blood.

Production designer J. Michael Riva thought the prop treasure map looked too new, so to make it look more than 300 years old he spent an afternoon aging it. After pouring coffee in the map, he wanted to add blood, but the prop department was out of paint. In a quick bit of improvisation, Riva cut his finger and dripped his own blood along its edges.

7. Sloth was an actual tough guy.

John Matuszak, who played Sloth, was the first overall pick in the 1973 NFL draft and won two Super Bowls with the Oakland Raiders before turning to acting. As a nod to Matuszak's former team, Sloth can be seen wearing a Raiders T-shirt early in the movie.

8. Sloth's Superman T-shirt is a nod to Richard Donner.

Sloth love Superman.Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

At the end of the movie, Sloth triumphantly rips his vest and other shirt off to reveal a Superman T-shirt underneath, which works well within the context of the scene but also serves another purpose. It’s an inside joke about director Richard Donner, who rose to fame after directing Superman: The Movie in 1978.

9. It took a long time for John Matuszak to become Sloth.

Makeup artists needed five hours every morning to transform the football star into Sloth.

10. Sloth loves Errol Flynn.

The pirate movie Sloth watches while chained in the basement is the 1935 Errol Flynn adventure Captain Blood.

11. The Fratellis love opera.

The song that Jake Fratelli first sings to Sloth and then to Chunk before he’s captured is from Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly.”

12. Chester Copperpot may or may not have been a veteran actor.

Though it’s uncredited in the movie, the photo of Chester Copperpot is alleged to be of American actor Keenan Wynn. Wynn was originally cast as Perry White in Donner’s Superman movie before dropping out due to exhaustion.

13. The bats in the underground caves were created using some movie trickery.

The “bats” were actually just bow ties and wads of black papier-mâché blown out of air cannons.

14. The Goonies takes place in the same universe as Gremlins.

Believing Chunk is pranking him over the phone again, the police officer Chunk talks to recalls one of Chunk’s stories about “little creatures that multiply when you pour water on them,” which is a reference to the movie Gremlins. Steven Spielberg was an executive producer on both films, and screenwriter Chris Columbus wrote both movies as well. Corey Feldman also appeared in both movies.

15. Steven Spielberg directed a few scenes in The Goonies.

In addition to serving as executive producer and receiving a “Story by” credit, Spielberg also secretly directed the scene in which the Goonies bang on the underground pipes as well as the wishing well scene.

16. The slide at the end of The Goonies was real.

The slide the Goonies ride to get to the cave with One-Eyed Willy’s ship was a fully functioning waterslide (the end credits thank the Langford Surf Coaster Corporation for building it). Donner and the crew would allegedly sneak in after filming wrapped for the day to ride the slide.

17. The Goonies's reaction to One-Eyed Willy's ship is genuine.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Donner denied the child actors access to the massive soundstage where a full pirate ship was built. The scene in the final movie features their genuine reactions to seeing it for the first time. The ship took two months to build, and was supposed to resemble Errol Flynn’s ship from the film The Sea Hawk.

18. Corey Feldman's character was called Mouth for a reason.

Not only was Corey Feldman’s character appropriately named because he talked a lot, but the name fit for another reason. The scene where Mama Fratelli pulls the jewels out of Mouth’s mouth was shot in one take with Feldman managing to fit all of the jewels in his mouth at once.

19. Data mentions a scene that was cut from the movie.

Sharp-eared viewers will notice that Data mentions that “the octopus was very scary” to the reporters at the end of the movie. No scenes involving an octopus are in the final cut of the movie. The line refers to a deleted scene that involved Stef and Mouth getting attacked by an octopus after they flee One-Eyed Willy’s ship.

20. June 7th is Goonies Day.

The mayor of Astoria, Oregon named June 7th “Goonies Day” in honor of the movie, and the town hosts an annual celebration.

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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A New Documentary Investigates West Virginia’s Infamous Mothman

The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
Jimmy Emerson DVM, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The continuing impact of the Mothman on Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is hard to overlook. The town plays host to a statue, a museum, and an annual festival that all celebrate the red-eyed flying beast who first showed up on the scene in 1966.

In November of that year, two couples spotted a winged, vaguely man-shaped monster near the so-called “TNT area,” a collection of abandoned bunkers where explosives were stored during World War II. After the Point Pleasant Register reported on their harrowing ordeal, other sightings started rolling in. When nearly four dozen people were killed in a bridge collapse on December 15, 1967, many believed the Mothman was somehow involved.

The infamous cryptid’s popularity endured over the ensuing decades with the help of John Keel’s 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies and the 2002 movie adaptation starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney. While glimpses of the Mothman himself definitely peaked during the ’60s, close encounters with a strange creature in West Virginia still surface to this day.

In his new documentary The Mothman Legacy, director Seth Breedlove delves into the history of the Mothman, investigating its long legacy in Pleasant Point and interviewing more recent eyewitnesses. It’s not Breedlove’s first film on the matter; he also directed 2017’s The Mothman of Point Pleasant, which focuses on the Mothman’s heyday from November 1966 to the bridge catastrophe a year later.

His latest project features Jeff Wamsley, who has written two books on the subject and also founded the town’s Mothman Museum. As The Daily Beast reports, The Mothman Legacy doesn’t exactly try to solve the mystery of the Mothman or debunk all the theories about it. Instead, it’s more of a celebration of the urban legend, complete with spooky CGI reenactments and plenty of eerie accounts of alleged run-ins with the monster. In short, it’s ideal fodder for your Halloween movie marathon—and as narrator Lyle Blackburn points out in the film, “an absence of evidence doesn’t necessarily indicate an evidence of absence.”

The documentary is now available to buy on VOD through Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other streaming platforms.

[h/t The Daily Beast]