IMDb > Joey (1985)
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Joey (1985) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Roland Emmerich (written by) and
Hans J. Haller (written by) ...
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Release Date:
November 1985 (Austria) See more »
Only he can see it. Only he shares its magic. Only he knows the danger. See more »
When Joey's dad dies Joey is starting to act strange. He's got psychic powers. He can talk to him on the phone... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Good, but better for the kids See more (23 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Joshua Morrell ... Joey Collins
Eva Kryll ... Laura Collins
Tammy Shields ... Sally
Jan Zierold ... Martin
Barbara Klein ... Dr. Haiden
Matthias Kraus ... Bernie
Jerry Hall ... William
Sean Johnson ... Bobby
Christine Goebbels ... Alice
Ray Kaselonis ... Steven
Joel Kleinman
Berit Morrell
Punky ... Scooter
Christoph Lindert ... Sheriff
Axel Berg ... Parapsychologist Ralph
Sandra Freeding Myers ... Parapsychologist
James Baumgartner ... Parapsychologist
James Heffernan ... Parapsychologist (as James Hefferman)
Gunther Zorn ... Parapsychologist (as Günther Zorn)
Peter Kosma ... Parapsychologist
Peter Kiener ... Parapsychologist
Sheila Behrens ... Parapsychologist

Joe Azzato ... Parapsychologist
Kevin Peck ... Parapsychologist
Ralph Nordenhold ... Parapsychologist
John Caruso ... Parapsychologist
Carrie Shields ... Child
Joshua Ellis ... Child
Charly Dere ... Child
Tim Edwards ... Child
Daniel Bayer ... Child
Elliot Smith ... Child
Allison Koblik ... Child
Ann Katrin Behrens ... Child
Michael Goebbels ... Child
Fabian Muliawan ... Child
Tanja Hartmann ... Child
Myriam Thiele ... Child
Guido Seitz ... Child
Miguel Ninaus ... Child
Stefania Sabucci ... Child
Daniel Markwald ... Child
Holger Schweizer ... Child
Volker Konrad ... Child
Rainer Pietschmann ... Child
Sebastian Riehm ... Child
Ina Bohnsch ... Child
Monic Wintermaier ... Child
Thilo Scheuermann ... Child
Dan Porter ... Guard
Bruce Burney ... Guard
Frederic Ambrosio ... Policeman (as Fred Ambrosio)
Charly Hack ... Policeman
Reid Morrell ... Policeman
Frank Loomis ... Policeman
Volker Hamp ... Technician
Antje Hilbert ... Technician
Choanne Anderson ... Technician
Frank Leather ... Technician
Simon Stone ... Technician
Ann Paris ... Technician
Joe Brown ... Technician
Bebby Dalton ... Technician
Peter W. Kleg ... Doctor
Dr. Hollis ... Doctor
John Curthan ... Doctor
Dr. Hobkins ... Doctor

Michael Gregory ... Doctor
Birgit Stutz ... Doctor
Caplan Brown ... Priest
Ruth Poklekowski ... Mourner
Liesel Luft ... Mourner
Sacha Luft ... Mourner
Elisabeth Chambers ... Mourner
Renata Bechner ... Mourner
Lynnea Minger ... Mourner
Jack Angel ... Fletcher the Dummy (voice: US version)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Linda Caroll ... Jessica (uncredited)
Christian Claaszen ... Peter Collins (uncredited)
Danny Colby ... Joey Collins (voice) (uncredited)
Rolf Giesen ... Ghost (uncredited)
Sven Hass ... Parapsychological Research Crew (uncredited)
Bernd Limmbacher ... Police Officer (uncredited)
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Directed by
Roland Emmerich 
Writing credits
Roland Emmerich (written by) and
Hans J. Haller (written by) and
Thomas Lechner (written by)

James Melkonian (additional dialogue) and
Carl Colpaert (additional dialogue)

Wolfgang Hess (german dialogue)

Produced by
Klaus Dittrich .... executive producer
Hans Emmerich .... producer
Roland Emmerich .... co-producer
James Melkonian .... associate producer
Alena Rimbach .... co-producer
Willi Segler .... producer: ZDF
Original Music by
Hubert Bartholomae 
Paul Gilreath 
Cinematography by
Egon Werdin 
Film Editing by
Carl Colpaert 
Alan Toomayan 
Tomy Wigand 
Art Direction by
Holger Schmidt 
Set Decoration by
Sonja B. Zimmer 
Costume Design by
Marina Schirmacher 
Makeup Department
Jurgen Hees .... makeup artist
Susanne Schickert .... makeup artist
Johanna Von Gastiowski .... makeup artist
Production Management
Peter Huschka .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hans J. Haller .... assistant director
Thomas Lechner .... assistant director
Art Department
Norbert Brunsch .... set builder
Mark Harbison .... set builder
Ralph Hengherr .... architect
Marc Hug .... assistant set decorator
Peter Huschka .... construction coordinator
Siegbert Kratzki .... construction coordinator
Magnus Krüger .... architect
Wolfram Popp .... architect
Benjamin von Mallinckrodt .... construction coordinator
Bernd Wiese .... construction coordinator
Sonja B. Zimmer .... property master
Sound Department
Hubert Bartholomae .... sound designer
Bettina Bayerl .... foley artist
Barbara Becker .... foley artist
Milan Bor .... sound mixer
David E. Campbell .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul B. Clay .... sound effects supervisor (as Paul Clay)
Reinhard Dietze .... sound re-recording mixer
Susanne Eichhammer .... foley artist
Pia Fritsche .... sound editor
Jens Hasler .... sound
John T. Reitz .... sound re-recording mixer
Jean-Pierre Roueche .... assistant sound
Gregg Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer (as Greg C. Rudloff)
Heinz Schürer .... sound re-recording mixer
Special Effects by
Hubert Bartholomae .... special effects supervisor
Roland Emmerich .... special effects
Sven Hass .... special effects crew (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Rolf Giesen .... visual effects: Futureffects
Uli Gleis .... animator
Joachim Grüninger .... animation technician
Hans Haller .... model builder
Armin Lange .... animator
Armin Lange .... visual effects: Futureffects
Bernhard Menges .... animator
Thomas Meyer-Hermann .... animator
Karoly Pakozdy .... model builder
Frank Schlegel .... visual effects: Futureffects
Holger Schmidt .... model builder
Helga Thamm .... animator
Herbert Umbrecht .... visual effects: Film & Trick
Camera and Electrical Department
Günther Bauer .... gaffer
Tomas J. Blazek .... assistant camera
Tomas J. Blazek .... second camera
Stefan Döberl .... still photographer
Roland Emmerich .... second camera
Angelika Hobl .... still photographer
Wolfgang Kling .... still photographer
Reinhard Köcher .... assistant camera
Robert Kögel .... assistant camera
Rainer Pfister .... gaffer
Editorial Department
Martina Cloos .... assistant editor
Edith Eisenstecken .... assistant editor
Birgit Klingl .... assistant editor
Other crew
Michael Hermes .... dubbing producer
Wolfgang Hess .... dubbing director
Tina Maria Krüger .... continuity
Michael Wagner .... titles

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Making Contact" - , International (English title) (cut version)
See more »
98 min | USA:79 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Roland Emmerich employed the children of soldiers from the local US Army base for bit parts.See more »
Movie Connections:
References "The A-Team" (1983)See more »


What are the differences between the US Theatrical Version and the Original German Version?
See more »
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Good, but better for the kids, 15 December 2006

Director Roland Emmerich is nowadays best known as the man behind blockbusters such as "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow", big budget science-fiction films where he has shown a mastery for the use of grandiose and awe-inspiring visual effects. While he may not be the most original and artistic director, Emmerich has truly developed a style of his own, a style that owes a lot to his spiritual guides, the great 80s masters of fantasy, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg; and as this little early film named "Joey" proves, it's a style that Emmerich has been developing since the early years of his career, back when he was a young director in his natal Germany, many years before his first big hit, "Universal Soldier".

"Joey", known in the U.S. as "Making Contact", is the story of a 9 years old kid named Joey (Joshua Morrell), who after the tragic death of his father, begins to experience psychic powers allowing him to move inanimate objects with his mind, set things on fire and even to communicate him with his dead father. However, not everything is good for Joey as his newly gained powers accidentally awake an evil supernatural force that is contained inside the body of an old ventriloquist's dummy that Joey found in an abandoned house. The supernatural Dummy shows similar powers to Joey's, and soon he puts the lives of everyone near Joey in danger as the evil Dummy has dark plans for Joey's special powers.

Written by Emmerich himself, along with Hans J. Haller and Thomas Lechner, "Joey" is pretty much a supernatural horror movie on the lines of Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg's "Poltergeist", but done with the approach of a fantasy movie for children (like "E.T.", also by Spielberg). The premise is very original, but sadly the script's development is quite typical of its time, although to be fair with it, the German version of the film (that runs 20 minutes longer) is a slight but noticeable improvement over the dubbed U.S. version. Focused on Joey, the film works more as a creepy adventure film than a horror movie, mainly because the story is written in a way that highlights the main character's fight versus the evil force instead of the horror created by the Dummy.

While the movie focuses on the action and adventure, this is not to say the film doesn't have good creepy moments, as it is packed with some very good (for the budget) visual dark imagery that forecasts Emmerich's taste for big budget special effects. It's really interesting what he does with his minimal resources, and one can say that at this early point in his career he knew the kind of films he wanted to do in the future. As with the script, the German uncut version allows a better picture of Emmerich's direction, that while not really masterful, it's competent and effective for the kind of movie he was trying to make. The similitude with "E.T." and "Poltergeist" is not gratuitous, as nods to both Spielberg and Lucas are very common in the film; this just shows how much the young German director admired his heroes.

The cast is really average, and this is really one of the film's weakest points, as the lack of experience of the cast (specially of the kids) becomes increasingly notorious given the fact that the director was at this point unexperienced as well (and being honest, directing actors has never been Emmerich's strongest characteristic). Anyways, Eva Kryll is the only actress with real experience, and as such delivers the best performance of the film, although her character is really small and doesn't really have enough screen time. Also, I guess one can say that the casting of Joshua Morrell was truly inspired, as the young actor really looked natural in front of the camera.

As written above, the unexperienced young cast paired with the unexperienced young director is likely a deadly combination for any film, and "Joey" has this as its biggest flaw. However, Emmerich manages to pull off a nice entertaining adventure of this that while not perfect, is a lot better than what could had been. The script isn't really amazing, and at times shows up some serious plot holes, but nothing really to worry about. "Joey" was intended to be a children's horror movie, and in that aspect it succeeds, as this movie is the perfect introduction to the horror genre for young children.

I can not recommend this movie to everyone, as definitely it won't be attractive to the average horror fan, but I'm sure the kids will enjoy it a lot more, as the movie has a nice mix of horror, adventure and comedy. "Joey", like Emmerich's other early films ("The Noah's Ark Principle" and "Moon 44"), shows the young talent of a visionary master of visual effects, that while probably not a very accomplished director, manages to make entertaining and attractive films that deliver good doses of entertainment. "Joey", or "Making Contact", is definitely one of the best horrors to enjoy with the kids, although it doesn't really offer something for the grown-up crowd. 6/10

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