"Hey, you guys!" There’s little doubt that The Goonies is one of the most beloved and best '80s movies. The 1985 family drama had the perfect blend of comedy and adventure, and a memorable cast of characters to boot. It's the type of crazy movie that seems like it would be as fun to film as it is to watch. And thanks to the Internet, there are no shortage of The Goonies behind-the-scenes stories that prove how over-the-top production was.
The "Truffle Shuffle" may have been one of the most hilarious moments in the film, but shooting the scene sparked years of guilt for one crew member in particular. Bringing the memorable Sloth to life took hours of careful prosthetic work. And whatever happened to that mysterious octopus scene? These awesome and crazy stories about The Goonies will help you appreciate this '80s classic even more.
While some aspects of the production were great, the making of The Goonies was not an easy task for director Richard Donner or the cast of mostly inexperienced young actors. Luckily, they pushed through to deliver an audience favorite. Ignore the weird stuff and bask in the nostalgia offered by this one-of-a-kind movie.
No, that's not what former NFL defensive end John Matuszak looks like in real life. The football star turned Hollywood actor spent four hours in the makeup chair every single day to become Sloth. The hardest part of doing Sloth's makeup was attaching the googly eye, which was mechanically operated via remote control.
Keeping that eye totally dry was crucial, because water could cause it to malfunction. Richard Donner had to warn the kids not to get any water on Matuszak, and apparently they only pretended to listen: "Bang, first take, John is covered in water. They ran over, as the characters, in glee seeing him and they drenched him."
The young cast of The Goonies loved playing tricks. Director Richard Donner describes one especially mischievous prank the cast pulled on him:
"The things they did. They were wonderful. And you couldn’t turn your back on them. I remember doing a water scene when they first see the boat. There’s a wet suit and a dry suit. A wet suit you strip down to your skivvies and it’s this hard rubber suit, you put it on and stay dry. A dry suit is you can put it over your shoes and your clothes and just zipper it at the top, and you’re in and out and it’s easy. When I put it back on I go, 'oh no,' and I felt the water seeping into my clothes. They had undone my zippers when I was talking to someone, they came behind me and pulled the zippers down. I mean, they’re devils. But they were children having the time of their lives with all the freedom that they could."
Richard Donner wanted the kids to have an honest, natural reaction on film to seeing One-Eyed Willy's pirate ship. So, the crew built an actual pirate ship on a sound stage. The vessel - named The Inferno - was 105 feet long, and took two and a half months to complete. The young cast was denied access to the set until it was completed.
The kids saw the pirate ship for the first time while Donner was filming. Unfortunately, the site was so spectacular that some of the cast mistakenly let out a few curse words. The scene needed to be re-shot without the swearing.
Ask any die-hard football fan about John Matuszak, and they'll tell you what a controversial bad boy the Oakland Raiders defensive end was during his NFL playing days. However, Matuszak was described as a sweetheart by The Goonies kids. Jeff Cohen got to know the two-time Super Bowl champion well because the pair had extended scenes together:
"John Matuszak was huge, first of all. I think he was 6-foot-7 or maybe he was taller than that. John was really nice to me and it was fun to work with him. But it’s funny, when I was a teenager and I would start to watch the old NFL films and they would have films of John playing for the Raiders, he was one the meanest players in the history of the league. He would just terrify people on the field, which was totally shocking to me. I knew him as Sloth, the nice, lovable giant."