1986’s Flight of the Navigator is my favorite childhood movie, and I was pleased to see that it still holds up pretty well after all these years — especially its first half, as David Freeman tries to figure out what happened to him when he inexplicably wakes up eight years in the future. I’ve also watched it with my kids, and even they think it’s pretty good. (Which makes me think that this limited edition Blu-ray release might be a good investment.)
Unfortunately, the ensuing years haven’t been as kind to Joey Cramer, the actor who portrayed David. As a child, Cramer starred in several films in the mid-to-late ‘80s, including Flight of the Navigator, D.A.R.Y.L., and The Clan of the Cave Bear. But after his acting career ended, he had several run-ins with the law, including drug possession, forgery, and bank robbery. He became a heroin addict and even attempted suicide.
Some of these details appear in the above trailer for Life After the Navigator, an upcoming documentary by filmmaker Lisa Downs that “takes an open, honest and in-depth look” at Cramer’s life and the direction it took after he starred in Flight of the Navigator three decades ago.
Related: Life After the Navigator isn’t Downs’ first actor documentary. In 2017, she released Life After Flash, which chronicles the life and career woes of Sam J. Jones following his iconic role in 1980’s Flash Gordon as the titular hero.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.