Who remembers that iconic line from the 1985 classic “The Goonies”?
If you grew up in the 80’s like I did, you most likely do. And if you’ve seen the movie a dozen or more times like I have, you’ll probably find this article very enjoyable, and hopefully humorous!
Back in 2007 I was working up in the Pacific Northwest, and one weekend I decided I would go on a Goonies exploration trip! I mean, why not?
At the time I was alone – my family was at home in Alabama (our home at the time), and couldn’t join me unfortunately, so I was going to be a Goonie for the day solo. This was probably for the best because I would have probably humiliated my wife.
I did some research online, and then headed down to the small town of Astoria, Oregon (which is the home town the movie is set in) and was determined to find as many filming locations as I could. Unlike other movies like “Twilight” (another filming locations tour I took – this one with my wife OF COURSE), The Goonies actually IS filmed in the town it’s set in (Twilight is not).
To refresh your memories… the movie opens with criminal Jake Fratelli (Robert Davi) escaping from jail with the help of his notorious family consisting of his mom (Anne Ramsey), and his brother Francis (Joe Pantoliano). The police are in hot pursuit which soon turns into a dramatic police chase through the small town of Astoria. The police chase manages to pass by all the other characters in the movie as they are going about their daily lives. Later the Goonies meet up at Mikey and his older brother Brand’s house where they contemplate the dreaded fact that they may have to move away from their beloved town due to real estate developers buying out the “Goondocks”.
Because these are the scenes filmed in Astoria – and primarily the majority of the ones filmed above ground, I decided I would try to find most of these filming locations.
It wasn’t long before I stumbled upon the jail which is shown in the opening sequence. This screen grab shows Francis Fratelli who is aiding his brother escape from jail, AND – there’s me on the right. At a later date my brother, his wife, and I came back here and re-enacted the entire scene!
Astoria High School was the actual high school used for the scenes filmed at the high school in the movie. In this scene, Andy (played by Kerri Green) is shown on the field with her friends when the opening police chase goes by. To the right is my photo of the same field showing where she was standing.
Who remembers the Spanish housekeeper Rosalita? In the opening sequence, Rosalita (Lupe Ontiveros) is shown crossing the street when the police chase nearly runs her over! This same building was also shown in a later scene where Stef (Marsha Plimpton) and Troy (Steve Antin) are shown in front of it. Below are movie shots from these scenes and my photo of the store on the right.
And then there’s Chunk (Jeff Cohen) – probably everyone’s favorite. He’s the only that actually notices the police chase and is fascinated with it! He plasters himself up against the window to watch right before he accidentally squeezes his milkshake all over himself. The shot was filmed in a local bowling alley in the arcade area. Below is the movie shot, my impersonation of Chunk in the same location, and a shot I took from outside the window showing the street where the police chase took place.
This next one is my personal favorite. The Goondocks! This is the movie home of the Walsh family which includes the star Goonie – Mikey (Sean Astin) and his older brother Brand (Josh Brolin). You can see where the boys rode their bikes down the hill on the way to follow the treasure map as the movie starts to unfold. Below is the shot of the house with boys on their bikes, me with the house, and the shot of boys riding down the hill. I even point out where I parked!
(I have heard that you are no longer able to park here and climb up this hill and take photos. Apparently too many “Goonie fans” have attempted it, and the new owners of the home weren’t too keen on that.)
I remember watching the below scene of Data (Jonathan Ke Quan) zip-lining across from his neighboring window to Mikey’s window and thought “HOW COOL IS THAT?” Well, while I didn’t get to zip-line across, I was able to take a picture with the same window used in the film. The owner of the house was nice enough to take the photo for me.
Remember the scene when Mikey rides down the street and waves at his dad (Keith Walker) at work? I found that too! The museum Mikey’s dad worked at is really the Flavel House in Astoria. It really is a museum!
Finally the boys reach the coast, where they use the doubloon they found in Mikey’s attic to match up with the shapes of the rocks in the sea to prove the map is real! This scene is filmed in Oregon’s Ecola State Park, with the “doubloon rock” actually being the famous Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach. Haystack Rock is also shown at the end of the police chase in the movie’s opening as the Fratelli’s eventually lose the cops in an “on-beach” truck rally shown in the shot below.
Finding and visiting these locations was a lot of fun. While you can no longer visit “the goondocks”, you can still visit many of the other locations and take photos just like I did. I recommend going with someone else who is also a big fan of the movie to help you take photos (so you don’t have to ask random strangers), and so you can have fun acting out the actual scenes. You may feel foolish doing so, but trust me you’re not the only ones. When I was there the 2nd time to re-enact the jail escape scene, there were other people waiting to do it next! SERIOUSLY!!!
Just remember to always ask permission where you can (eg. bowling alley, and other establishments) and do not trespass under any circumstances, or else this may turn into a real life jail scene for you!
Enjoy yourself, have fun, and send me some photos if you go!