Page 3 of 3   <      

'Goonies' fans descend on Oregon town to celebrate movie's 25th anniversary

How do you explain "The Goonies" ? The film, which came out in June, 1985, included seven misfits, a criminal gang, a pirate ship, and, of course, the Truffle Shuffle.

Mr. Mayor, "The Goonies" is about kids saving a fictional Astoria. How would you say the movie has impacted the real one?

"I'm not sure that's the right phrasing," the mayor says. He has lived here his whole life; his business cards read "N.B.A.," for Native Born Astorian. He was an extra in the movie. "The Goonies didn't impact our culture," he says. "The Goonies are part of our culture. They're part of our history. As we go, so go the Goonies."


Jeff Cohen, 35, will tell you about the last time he did the Truffle Shuffle. He was leading cheers at a Berkeley football game, where he was a student in the 1990s, and in the back of the stadium, a drunk guy started chanting "Truffle Shuffle!" until it seemed like the whole stadium joined in. He thought if he didn't comply, "they might murder me."

That's what it took -- the threat of death by a mob. He Shuffled at Berkeley. He has not Shuffled since, or acted much.

The fans still ask. Here at a cast meet-and-greet, the fans are swarming Cohen, Feldman and Joe Pantoliano, who played a Fratelli brother (Astin is set to arrive the next day). They ask Cohen to sign their Chunk action figures, their Chunk T-shirts. They bare stomachs and ask him to sign their Chunk bellies.

"All my favorite quotes are yours," says one girl intimately. She is looking at him in a way that makes you think she wants to become Mrs. Chunk.

Chunk? A hunk! Chunk has lost his jiggle and his goofy curls; he now has a sleek physique and a shaved head. He looks like Chunk only in the teeth, which are still slightly crooked, but adorably.

When, post-puberty, acting offers started drying up, Cohen headed to college (winning a student government seat on a "Chunk for President" campaign) and then to law school. He now owns an entertainment law firm in Los Angeles. His clients know who he is, but since "in any room that I'm in now, I'm the 15th most famous person," no one really cares.

He doesn't need to be here for financial or fame reasons, but "I think it's nice. It's nice to make something people like, that people are attached to."

The cast will be perpetually haunted by "Goonies."

"We get 'Hey you guuu-uuys!' at every concert," says Feldman, who now fronts a band that will perform in Astoria. "Every single concert."

(Goonies trivia: Feldman met his 1980s counterpart Corey Haim at the Goonies audition where both were up for Mouth. R.I.P. Corey Haim. Could the brotherhood of the Goonies have saved you?)

Bucket of fate

Some would argue that "The Goonies" had no meaning, that it was nothing but a string of oddly memorable catchphrases: "Rocky Road?" "It's wet, ain't it?" "Always separate the drugs." "Follow them size fives."

At one point in the movie, the Goonies have a chance for rescue, when they realize they are below the town wishing well and that popular jerk Troy, standing above, could pull them up. Mikey persuades everyone to stay. He wants to finish the adventure, not capitulate to the adults outside and the Troys of the world.

"That's the line I quote the most," says Brandon Lerner, a fan from Seattle. " 'It's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket.' "

That's the thing. True Goonies know that when Mikey said refuse the bucket, when he said, "It's our time down here," he wasn't talking about the bottom of the cave. He was talking about wanting to stay in childhood just a little longer, because it can never be retrieved.

And when adults make the pilgrimage to Astoria, they're not coming for the Truffle Shuffle. They're coming to show that Mikey was wrong, that sometimes it can.

<          3

© 2010 The Washington Post Company