Friday, June 12, 2009

River's Edge (1986) R - 4 Stars

What makes movie on the scary side of sick is it's based on a true story of a murder that took place in Milpitas, Ca. and the teens that just walked away from it. Take a journey back to the 80's, with this great dysfunctional drama starring a very young Keanu Reeves. It wasn't a big box office success but stirred up controversy in 1986. The story is about a group of young teenagers who make difficult choices between friendships, loyalties and the law. When a girl is murdered by her boyfriend, a small group of teens do not call the police and instead go back to living their screwed up life's doing nothing at all.

Dennis Hopper is at his usual best with his blow up girlfriend and totting the gun he killed the love of his life with. Reeves shows good signs of his young acting abilities and Glover plays a perfect zoned out druggie. Roebuck sort of gives you the creeps the way he brags about killing.

In a very small town, where everyone knows most everything, Samson Tollette (Daniel Roebuck), aptly named "John" for his toilet sounding name, has just killed his naked girlfriend, strangling her to death by the rivers edge. Instead of having any emotions over what he has done, he brags to Layne (Crispin Glover), who becomes a witness. But, Tim (Joshua Miller), not yet a teen but super rebellious, has also seen the dead body and knows John is to blame. He idolizes him and looks up to being like him. A small group of bored students, including Matt (Keanu Reeves), Tim's older brother and Clarissa (Ione Skye), get together to see the dead body, but no one bothers to tell anybody about it. It's like they are numb to her death and what John has done.

Meanwhile, back at a hidden home, Feck (Dennis Hopper), a left over biker missing his leg from a motorcycle accident, now living and loving his blow up doll, "Ella," supplies the young kids with killer weed. Layne decides it a great place to hide John out. But two psychos living together is more than Feck can take and the more John brags, the more Feck wants him dead. As egos rise, guilty consciouses eat away at Matt and Clarissa, and the teens callous attitudes get the better of them.

Favorite silly quote from the movie "Pot head - f*ck brain."

1987 - River's Edge - Independent Spirit Awards - Best Screenplay
1987 - River's Edge - Independent Spirit Awards - Best Picture

Hemdale Releasing Corporation, Island Pictures, New Yorker Films
Director: Tim Hunter
Writer: Neal Jimenez
Producers: Midge Sanford, Sarah Pillsbury
I viewed 6/09

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