Gleaming the Cube

Although it wasn’t my favorite skateboarding-themed movie, Gleaming the Cube was probably the most popular and commercially successful of the bunch.

(Thanks to RetroJunk for uploading this awesome trailer to YouTube!)

Coming in on the tail end of skateboarding’s resurgence, 1989’s Gleaming the Cube starred Christian Slater as a skateboarding punk investigating the murder of his adopted brother.

Once again the legendary skateboarding Bones Brigade made an appearance in this film. Led by Stacy Peralta, some of the more famous skaters that appeared in the film included Mike McGill, Mark “Gator” Rogowski, Rodney Mullen, Eric Dressen, Lance Mountain, Mike Vallely, Natas Kaupas, Tommy Guerrero, and many others. The film also features Tony Hawk as “Buddy,” a Pizza Hut delivery driver.

For some reason back in the 1980s I was really good at winning radio dial-in contests. I owned a phone with over-sized buttons (that helped me dial quickly) along with redial and “flash” features, all of which helped me dial radio stations both quickly and repeatedly. Late one night I ended up winning tickets to the debut showing of Gleaming the Cube. Along with the movie tickets, I also won a movie poster and this t-shirt:


This shirt hasn’t fit in 20 years, and I recently donated it to Goodwill. I hope whoever buys it has at least heard of the movie. It would be even more awesome if they were a skater.

Random Trivia: The term “gleaming the cube” is a nonsense term. “In a 1983 interview with Thrasher magazine, pro-skater Neil Blender was asked if he had ever “gleemed inside a cube,” which is apparently where the term came from. In the film, Slater’s character defines “gleaming the cube” as “pushing your limits to the edge.” The DVD contains an easter egg; by highlighting the skateboard on the main menu, you can watch a short featurette titled “What does Gleaming the Cube mean?”.


Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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