The legendary Richard Donner gifted us with the beloved ’80s movie The Goonies in 1985. We devoured every scene, quoted every line, begged our friends to do the truffle shuffle. We fell in love with our misfit Goonies, and rooted them on as they tried to save their homes. We cheered in triumph as they took down the Fratellis! We loved seeing the escaped gorillas terrorizing the town in Troy’s stolen Mustang. (Record scratch!) Did I lose you in our reverie? I’m not monkeying around! In a mini-documentary just released, aside from the well-known deleted octopus scene, we see among other bizarro deleted scenes, Bertha and Bonzo, the gorillas who found a way to escape the zoo after our young heroes shake those plumbing pipes. See for yourself!
While actual gorillas weren’t cast, they did use Rick Baker’s creations that were laying around from his last movie Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. When I’m not busy writing about adopting creepy dolls, I need to write an entire thesis on Baker’s career. An American Werewolf in London, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Harry and the Hendersons, Coming to America, this list goes on! He shaped our little malleable minds!
Back to the point! Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes was a flop, and they had these great costumes, so they did a little upcycling. Producer Spielberg was so passionate about the gorilla subplot, that Donner told him, if he wanted it that bad, he could direct it himself. Whoa. The gorilla storyline was to have a huge impact on the final cut. At the end, where we all know they are saved by the jewels found by Rosalita (Lupe Ontiveros), seaside, in the heartwarming reunion of the families, Spielberg’s ending takes place in front of Mikey’s house with the gorillas showing up in Troy’s car? We also see Sloth dressed like he’s about to do a set at The Comedy Store, with a wacky Hawaiian shirt and blazer, functioning as part of Chunk’s family. I’m having a fever dream. It is later revealed in the novelization that Sloth was given a Bar mitzvah and a proper name.
As for the notorious beaked-octopus? Everyone agreed that it looked too silly to be seen as menacing. With a run time coming in at an hour and 54 minutes, they were already pushing the limits of the norms, as well as a kid’s attention span. Donner to the rescue! He cut a lot.
The maker of the doc mentions a few times the differences in what’s on his The Goonies VHS tape purchased from the video store, and what he had taped off of cable. If you watch the entire 15 minute examination of The Goonies deleted scenes, I think you’ll be with me, when I say, I remember seeing some of these scenes. But only after seeing them now. Clearly they didn’t impact the film by being excluded. He encourages you to bust out those old movies you taped off the tube as a kid. You might just find some forgotten gems of your own.