When people talk about having a second childhood, I don’t think this is exactly what they mean, but before long, everything I obsessed over as a child is going to be back in full effect. We’re already neck deep in Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises, The A-Team has come around again, Knight Rider is on the way, and Red Dawn and RoboCop both made me sad. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head, but we’re about add one more to this list, because Joe Dante’s 1985 sci-fi classic Explorers.
Directed by Joe Dante of Gremlins and The Howling fame—also key pieces of my youth—Explorers was a flop in the theaters, but grew to bona-fide cult status once it hit home video. The third act is a strange mess, largely because they kind of made it up as they went, due to money issues. The film tells the story of three young friends—played by River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke, both making their big screen debuts, and Jason Presson, who no one has heard from since—who take an old Tilt-A-Whirl and turn it into a fully functional spaceship in their back yard. And their craft is named Thunder Road, which is pretty badass.