LONGSHOT (aka Long Shot Kids) (1981 American)
Director: E.W. Swackhamer
Starring: Leif Garret as Paul Rogers, Linda Manz as Maxine Gripp, Ralph Seymour as Leroy Curtis, Zoé Chauveau as Marie-Christine, etc.
Viewed: Streaming Amazon Prime
College Rep: I will make sure you get a full scholarship and everything will be paid for!
Rogers: Um, I’ve decided to go to Europe and become a pro.
Dad: Europe?! Just how in the hell do you to intend to finance this little venture?!?
Rogers: By winning the Foosball Spectacular in Lake Tahoe.
College Rep: (incredulously) Foosball?!?
I’d started watching Bronson in Love & Bullets for review but was totally distracted by the confusing description of a film I’d never heard of called Longshot with Leif Garret, “a young foosball player who wants to earn the big dollars that will be used to play soccer in Europe by winning the foosball world championships.” Of course, my first thought was how have I never heard of this movie? and my second thought was MUST watch this movie immediately! On top of that, the promo art masterpiece consists of roughly cropped images of two of the stars (images not from this movie, I might add) and an oddly angled foosball table, all of which looks like it was laid out in MS Word. At this point my hopes were up that this would be like the movies I would stay up until 5am to watch for 5 weekends in a row on USA network when I was 13…maybe a foosball version of Equals Against Devils, or at least something as sublimely absurd as The Van. In other words, so jammed with ridiculousness that it would be mercilessly re-watchable.
The title sequence and first few scenes didn’t disappoint, but it quickly devolved (or evolved, depending on your tastes) into a pretty run of the mill Cinderella story tournament movie filled with teen love drama, destiny, and redemption. In other words: Big, gaping yawn. Not bad enough to be good, not good enough to think about ever watching again. Not to mention, foosball?!? You can probably imagine the amount of tension and depth of metaphor present, as Leif and company enter the arena of the foosball kumite: Not much.
Soundtrack wasn’t horrible and the title track actually has a pretty good hook. However, the transfer on this was almost as bad as it gets. Aside from the night scenes where the screen was just black, there was also a two-minute section in the middle where the screen went red. My guess is it was to patch over a rough spot on the VHS when it was transferred?
Trivia tidbit: I’m not an Oingo Boingo fan, but for whatever it’s worth, they perform at the Foosball Spectacular. (DC)
NW: Nate Wilson DC: Devon Cahill MA: Matt Average