“The adventure begins in your own backyard.”
Remember when teaser trailers actually attempted to tease you? The teaser for Joe Dante’s 1985 kiddo sci-fi click Explorers – starring a young Ethan Hawke – does.
Panning around the side of a house, the camera crawls over discarded bikes while autumn leaves blow through the frame. “Hey watch what you’re doing!” is the first line of overlaid dialogue. “Hey switch on the computer!” is followed by the sound of electricity. Clearly these kids are building something, but what? “If thing works everyone’s gonna wonder what we’re doing.” one says. Then a blast of light permeates through a wooden fence, and takes off toward the sky. “From the director of Gremlins… Explorers.”
The poster as well played with the backyard theme – featuring the bike and fence from this teaser, and adding the tagline “You don’t need a driver’s license to reach the stars”. Explorers came out the same year as The Goonies, so it was a pretty darn good year for kid-based adventure flicks on the big screen. Even though Explorers was said to have been rushed into production and never fully finished by Joe Dante, I’ll go out on a limb and say that it has a lot more weirdo charm than The Goonies does. Blasphemy? Maybe, but it might just be the more interesting picture if compared with one another.
Anyway, you could probably screen this teaser in theaters today, and it’d get my ass into a theater seat. That’s sayin’ something.