I’ve watched a lot of kid’s flicks, especially from the 80s, and it’s not very often that I stumble upon an awesome film that managed to elude me for decades. Last year I was lucky enough to discover the obscure Australian flick The Quest starring a post-E.T. Henry Thomas as an adventuring orphan on the hunt for a legendary lake monster in the Outback. Thomas plays a pretty spunky kid in the flick, and it got me thinking about who my top five favorite young badass characters would be. You know, the type of kid that doesn’t take any shit from anyone and would easily give Mad Max, Beatrix Kiddo, or Snake Plisken a run for their money. In narrowing down the list I couldn’t chose just five, so I settled on six (seven if you count the one team on the list as two.) So without any further to do, here are my personal favorites…
#6 Badger – Better Off Dead (1985)
Alright, I know that electing Badger for a top list of kid badasses is a bit of a stretch, but bare with me for a second. How many kids do you know who build working laser guns, who can seduce no less than five trashy women at a time, and can construct a working space ship from scraps and mail-away kits? Okay, probably two, but River Phoenix is already on this list as another character (as opposed to his more nerdy appearance in The Explorers) who is way more of a badass. The point is, when the shit hits the fan you want someone like Badger around to hand you a working laser rifle. Also, if you stay in his good graces he may let you hang out with his harem of trashy women when he’s through with them…
#5 Cody – The Quest (aka The Go Kids) (1986)
As I mentioned above, this list was inspired by Henry Thomas’ turn as Cody in the Brian Trenchard-Smith (Dead-End Drive-In, BMX Bandits) flick The Quest. Cody is one part Han Solo, one part Indiana Jones, and just a dash of Data from the Goonies without all the fumbling. In the flick Cody basically live out all of the fantasies I had as a kid running around my neighborhood. He wields a pretty gnarly spear gun, makes his own SCUBA gear, and isn’t afraid to hunt and potentially kill a dinosaur-sized monster living in a lake int he Outback.
#4 Edgar & Alan Frog – The Lost Boys (1987)
If you comes across these two tough-talking comic book nerds, and they hand you a beat up copy of Vampires Everywhere, just take it. It might just save your life. While there are a lot of flicks that feature characters like the Frog brothers, they usually turn out to be all talk and no action, but in The Lost Boys these two dudes mean what they say. Whether it’s not being afraid to put on their spelunker shoes and crawl into a vampire den, having dinner with the supposed head-vampire, or to taking down Eddie Munster, the Frog brothers have certainly got your back.
#3 Chris Chambers – Stand By Me (1986)
Chris Chambers is the best. He’ll help you pull the leeches off your back. He’ll share his smokes. He’ll even hug you when you finally realize that your dad wished you had died and not your brother. Heck, even never even misses the toilet, even when the ladies leave the seat down. Most importantly, he’ll take a knifing to save you, sincerely.
#2 Rudy – The Monster Squad (1987)
Rudy is pretty much the ultimate kid badass. Not only will he make the bullies of the world eat shit off the ground or ask your sister if she’s been dorked, but he like totally killed like five of he seven evil monsters in The Monster Squad (all three vampire brides, the werewolf and the mummy.) How could you make a list like this and not include him, I mean he’s in the goddamn club right?
#1 Eli – Let the Right One In (2008)
Okay, I might be cheating a bit here as whether or not Eli is a child is up for debate. All the same, Lina Leandersson made one hell of an impression on me when I finally caught up with Let the Right One In a few years ago. This is one little lady you do not want to mess with, and if you’re being bullied, I can’t think of anyone better to go to for protection.
So, who would make your list of the ultimate junior badasses?