On a Hypothetical Goonies Prequel: The Life and Death of Chester Copperpot

The prequel to 1985 adventure-comedy The Goonies, were it made, would be a vastly different film, of a man driven by equal parts greed and the prospect of adventure, who ultimately possessed too few resources — intellectual, intuitional, physical, material (we don’t know, precisely) — to fulfill his ambition of finding a great and hidden store of wealth.

Nominally a dramatic film, the story of Chester Copperpot is a comedy on the cosmic level — of a pathetic man killed literally by one of many booby traps set by a legendary 17th-century pirate, but metaphorically by the booby trap of his own vice. The viewer is acutely aware from the first moment: even were he to find the treasure of One-Eyed Willie, Copperpot’s spiritual poverty is overwhelming and grotesque.

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