You knew we were Ferris Bueller disciples. Who else would make a Ferris Bueller fan film, giving the John Hughes “Shermer High School” canon the same gravitas and production value as Star Wars, Space 1999, and Scooby-Doo.
And just like anything we’re obsessively into, we want to know the whole world of the thing we love. So imagine my joy when, one day in 1986, I walked up to the paperback rack at Fred Meyer and found this;
Remember when Ferris, Sloane and Cameron went to the baseball game and Ferris caught the ball? Well, he got it autographed by having himself lowered into the dugout from above, which led to the gang getting interviewed on the radio. The book is full of scenes, conversations, and whole characters who never made it into the movie.
In one scene, Ferris and Sloane go to cash one of his savings bond, to finance their day off – hey, baseball tickets and French cuisine don’t come cheap. They nearly run into Ferris’ mother at the bank, who’s there setting up the damn deal with the Vermont People.
There’s even two Bueller kids you never saw. Kimberly was 12, a Madonna-wannabe who tormented 7-year-old Todd. All you saw of them in the movie were some crayon drawings on the fridge. You can see blink-and-you’ll-miss-it clips with Kimberly, and the sullen teen son of the Vermont People in this trailer.
There are more bits of deletia to be found in the original script, including a one-line appearance by Cameron’s dad, and a scene where Ferris relates a tragic story:
“His name is Garth Volbeck. He’s a serious outsider. Not a bad guy, I like him. I’m probably his only friend. I do what I can for him. I mean, if I was him, I’d appreciate it. Do unto others, right?
Anyway, his mother owns a gas station. His father’s dead and his sister’s rumored to be a prostitute, which is complete bullshit. She only puts out so people will hang out with her. It’s sad but I don’t hold it against her. Better to hold it against the guys who use her and don’t care about her.
My parents never allowed Garth over here. It was because of his family. Mainly his older brother. He’s in jail. I could see them not wanting his brother here because he is a registered psycho. I wouldn’t want him here. I once watched the guy eat a whole bowl of artificial fruit just so he could see what it was like to have his stomach pumped.
But Garth isn’t his brother. It isn’t his fault that his brother’s screwed-up. A lot of fights with the parents on that point. I always felt for Garth. I was sleeping at his house once and I was laying on the dark worrying that his brother was going to come in and hack me to death with an ax and I heard Garth crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said, “Nothing”. … Nothing was wrong. There was no specific thing he was crying about. In fact, he wasn’t really even aware that he was crying. He just cried himself to sleep every night. It was a habit. The guy’s so conditioned to grief that if he doesn’t feel it, he can’t sleep.
How could you possibly dump on guy who has to deal with that kinda shit? My parents acknowledge the trudge of the situation and I’m sure that deep down, they do feel for him but still the guy’s banned from our house. Unfortunately, now my parents have a legit argument. Garth doesn’t need his brother to give him a rep anymore. He’s getting one on his own. He’s lost. It’s over for him. He’s eighteen. Gone from school. Gone from life. His legacy is a gas station.”
Bleak, huh? The name Volbeck made it into the movie, on the tow truck that tows Rooney’s car. It turns up again in the script, when Jeanie Bueller is leaving the police station with her mother. You remember part of the scene:
Don’t “hi” me, young lady. Get your stuff.
(Oh yeah, btw, the mom’s name was Joyce before it was Katie.
Jeanie reaches down for her purse.
What’s your name?
Jean. What’s yours?
So, the kid’s life is shit, but he gets a cute girlfriend, which is cool. At least, until she goes off with Patrick Swayze.
So, how did we get on the subject of Garth Volbeck? Oh yeah, Charlie Sheen is gonna play him again on the Goldbergs, So, if you’re into that sort of thing, check it out. Me, I’m gonna go watch the Parker Lewis where he helps Ms. Musso get her job as Principal back.