Made in 1988, Straight Up is an educational movie divided up into six parts, each designed to inform students about the dangers of using marijuana, alcohol and other drugs.
In other words, it's a 90-minute-long anti-drug PSA.
The local cool gang made up of Kevin, Robbie, Tony and Sue ride by skateboard to a local parking garage, where they divide up various illicit substances among themselves. They're caught by Ben, an ordinary kid, whom they promptly write off as a wimp due to his lack of desire to try their drugs.
This is about when things start taking a turn for the weird. He is met by Cosmo, a mysterious man with a magic elevator.
Over the course of Ben's adventure, he receives magical trinkets, which give him the knowledge, vision and willpower to say no to drugs once and for all.
This PSA has examples of:
- An Aesop
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer : Kevin and his gang, who seem to want to get Ben hooked on drugs come hell or high water.
- Anthropomorphic Personification : Booze, Miss Pot, Cocaine and Heroin.
- The Alcoholic : Booze, of course.
- Bad-Guy Bar: Booze lures Kevin into one... which for all the world looks like a Gay Bar.
- Cool Loser: Ben looks like the guy who, in a real school setting, would be the most popular. Especially considering the competition.
- Crapsack World: Pretty much everywhere the Fate Elevator stops.
- Drugs Are Bad : The entire point of the movie.
- Five-Token Band: Kevin's "gang" is composed of an Asian girl, a Black boy, an overweight boy in Bermuda shorts who appears to be Jewish, and are of course led by the Mighty Whitey Kevin.
- HeelFace Turn: Tony at first, then the entire group.
- Jerkass: Kevin.
- Joker Jury: The personified drugs do this and try Ben for not possessing drugs.
- Magical Negro: Cosmo.
- MacGuffin: The magical items given to Ben by Cosmo.
- Smoking Is Cool: Lampshaded in the World of Illusion sequence and subverted throughout the movie.
- Villain Song: Three of them. "Gimme That Headband", "Reservation for One" and "No Way Out".