Dangerous Minds tipped me off to this particular piece of cinema history. (Oh, NSFW, by the way… there’s like, four nipples shown). The trailer for Skateboarders from Hell is one piece of 1980’s Loose Shoes, a movie composed of genre spoofs filmed as trailers for nonexistent movies. Kind of like a whole movie made out of the intermission of Grindhouse.
What really grabbed me, though, was the motorized skateboarders these feral thrashers use to reach the podunk town they terrorize. They give a quick closeup at about 0:19 in the video above. They appear to be the lovechild of a weedwacker engine and a skateboard, complete with a handheld throttle and some kind of brake.
Besides wracking my brains for a plan to make one, what struck me was the similarities to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s ride of choice: The Cheapskate. (Image from Amazon)
While the toy sports some dumb, oversized hardware add-ons (the spotlight, the fan, a flag…c’mon, aren’t sewers too cramped for this Winnebago of skateboards?) I dimly recall that in the comics and the cartoon, the turtles carvied up the sewer pipes in more compact versions that closely resemble the sweet boards sported in Skateboarders from Hell.
While at first blush these boards look like the sort of backyard engineering that chews off limbs and makes legends, these motorized skateboards are MotoBoards, a product that debuted in 1975, apparently still made to this day. If you’ve got a spare $750 hanging around, these guys will get you on your way to full body road rash. Other Wile E. Coyote-style transport like gas powered skates are available too.
This being the internet, there’s a community Wiki for MotoBoard product enthusiasts. Naturally.
By no means are MotoBoard and Donatello’s workshop the only game in town for motorized skateboard enjoyment. There’s an electric version on offer by some Australian fellas that looks pretty slick. (watch out for those shipping costs before you do some drunk eBaying)
For an exhaustive video survey of motorized boards, look no further than this here link.
And if you’re dying to make one of your very own, after the jump there’s a gentleman with a duct tape band-aid who will walk you through how he made his own death machine out of a skateboard and a chainsaw. (hint: it’s helpful to have a friend who’s a machinist)